10.31.2005

day lights savings and my evening commute
looks like it is time to strap on the headlamp
as day lights savings has made it darker earlier
blinking lights are great for being seen
but a headlamp seals the deal

here is a Dirt Rag Article that talks about the Nite Rider Commuter Series
it may be tough to go from blue glow of HID to the dull brown pen light of a 7.5 watt bulb
.

some interesting stuff about next year's tour from MASIGUY's BLOG

.

The Hardesty Wedding: the rings and a toast
within the tasks of best man it was my job to stand there along side of my friend
while I stood there I also had to hold certain papers for the minister when she did not need them
as well as hold the rings.... then pass the rings to the minister at the appropriate times

on the wedding day
as the tension started to build
the guests had all arrived and were seated anxiously awaiting for the ceremony to begin
it was cold
did I mention it was cold?
we listened for cues and waited to be called forward
just as things started to get exciting I turned to the groom and asked where I was to get these rings
without a blink Rob told me that they were on his dinning room table
there was no hesitation
the house keys were in my hand and the co-bestman Snoopy was along side of me as we raced to the car

luckily the wedding was not far from Rob's house
we were back in nearly no time at all
this little slip of forgetting the rings worked in perfectly
it was not decided until after the ceremony when we were giving the toast
the missing rings seemed like the perfect topic to center around for my toast

as the toast was not pre-written nor was it pre-practiced I can only tell you what I recall
for those that do not know... extraverts think outloud
so the words were uttered as they were spoke
I did not know what I was going to say until after I said it
as extraverted as I may be
speaking in front of people is not a pleasure for me
as a matter of fact I hate it
not only do I hate it.... but I am aweful at it
but
I have been good friends with Rob for over 20 years
telling some random people about one of my oldest friends is an easy enough thing to do

so I introduced myself
gave people an idea of who I am and my relationship to Rob
then I told them of Rob's nervous mannerisms in contrast to his lack of anxiety about getting married
there was...
his lack of anxiety the days proir...
his lack of anxiety at the rehersal dinner...
his lack of anxiety on his wedding day
and
finally
his lack of anxiety five minutes before the wedding when he discovered that the wedding rings (and license) were not on hand
yes it took Rob over seven years to marry Lori
but this is not something he was at all nervous about
nor is this something to be at all nervous about

I was more nervous about my toast then Rob was about getting married
The Hardesty Wedding: the ties.... lets start with the ties
this weekend past I had the honor of serving as the best man in my old friend rob's wedding
this is the same person who dragged me off to Vegas for a long weekend of decadence
also being the same person who said... "no we are not wearing tuxedos... I need you to buy a black suit."
well....
after an awesome but somewhat expensive trip to Vegas
then the purchase and tailoring of a discounted yet still expensive Kenneth Cole suit
I was a little put off when Rob told me he was sending me the tie I was to wear at the wedding
honestly...
to me it seemed a little over the top
what if I did not like the tie?
what if the tie did not flatter my new suit?
had I not done enough so far?
selecting a tie... forcing me to talk in front of people?
these thoughts and many others went through my head

the steam settled
the tie arrived
it was not the the paisley tie from the '80s that I feared
in fact... I rather liked the tie and its Tibetian Mandala feel to it

the day of the wedding all the groomsmen showed up early before the wedding event at the Baltimore Museum of Industry
we gathered and discussed the detains of the wedding that I had missed by showing up late for the rehersal dinner
while standing on the dock outside the museum Rob brought up the ties
there was a hush then a mumble
then rob pulled out a pair of scissors
two snips here
a few snips there
and two groomsmen were left with half a tie
being next in line I clutched my tie and scampered away
everyone was shocked and confused

as it turns out
Rob had purchased ties for the event... bow ties
these ties were meant to be hated
not sure of the smoke screen
but
I guess he assumed that we would be so focused on our hate for the ties that we would be releaved that they were being replaced
thus taking our focus off the bow ties
as not everyone is a fan of the bow tie

we accepted our new bow ties
I tucked my other tie away
hiding it safely from any and all scissors
we then all crowded into the nearest men's room to try and learn how to tie a bow tie

luckily for me I learned to tie a bow tie for my wedding
in front of the mirror rubbing elbows with 6 other men did not work for me
my arm was falling asleep
while all the advice and instructions were messing with my head
so in the middle of the room right before the amazed eyes of a few early arriving guests I tied a bow tie blindly to near perfection

we all managed to get our ties tied
each individuals knots lasted at least through the night

baltimore museum of industry
my blogging about our bachelor party in Vegas

another epic weekend
last weekend was filled with hikes in the woods with the dogs and the boys
long scenic drives south to Charlottesville for some mountainbike racing
then ending the evening with a glorious afternoon at the park with the boys which included a mini train ride
this weekend was pretty much the same
well
swap out a Friday night at home for a rehersal dinner
still some hiking with the boys and the dogs in the woods
then take all the preping and packing of cycling gear and insert suits, ties, and wedding gear
take away the six hour mountainbike race at Panarama Farms and insert a 6 hour wedding in Baltimore
end the weekend with a trip to the same toddler park.... only no train ride
throw in a pizza dinner and a trip to Boo at the Zoo!
TRICK OR TREAT!
the weekend was awesome
lisa and I left the boys at home for both the rehersal dinner and the wedding
great to get out
great to get away from the kids and chew our food
great to stand witness to see to friends take their life and their relationship to the next level
pictures and stories to come
the potential for many stories
it was a fun packed weekend which included me as the best man
well
playing the role of "best man"


by robert mcclintock
I would bet that this painting is from the perspective of the Baltimore Museum of Industry
the location where my friends Rob and Lori got married this weekend past


race report from that labor day event
Gloucester Cyclocross Race
looks like cross racing at its best
my friend and City Bikes cycling team mate Joe Foley went up to the race
when he was not racing the course
he put his passion of cycling aside and reached for another one of his passions... sports photography

check out Joe Foley's images from Gloucester
from their you will find the link to other racers blog entries on the event
as well as the main site for the event

(this is just one of joe's 1300 pics from the event)
Wheels...
this deal does not suit my 29 inch wheel needs

but my buddy Hound-dog was good enough to share the information with me just the same
another internet deal from
SUPERGO!*

*I am a firm believer is supporting your local bike shop but I am also a firm believer in getting the deals when and where you can
spare wheels even if they are beaters can be the difference in keeping a bike on the road or in the garage
I know.... I have many wheel-less bikes lying dormant in my basement and my garage

hound dog also links to an intersting story about a mountain lion attack on the trails that he rides daily
Halloween Inaugural Ride!
a real treat with no tricks

over a week ago I picked up my new
Specialized Tri Cross Comp
it is a beautiful bike that has a bit of a Darth Vadar feel to it

the all black frame with its unique flat spots areas and oddly thick spots make me feel like I am on some super stealth machine
the rain and other obligations kept me off the bike days prior last night I thought about it
Halloween seemed like the perfect time to start breaking in this machine
tonight there will have to be a very rapid session on some dirt before I go home for some more Halloween action

tonight our neighborhood throws a major celebration

it should be a great gathering the kids from our block are all meeting together for a mass march up to the Halloween Block Pary
the party should be extra fun for Lisa and myself as the party occurs on the block where we lived for five years before we moved to our current house
ye ha!

trick or treat
happy Halloween!

I have to admit.... I will be relived when Halloween is behind us.... it has lasted nearly two months
finally the apex has arrived
Tuesday may offer some "post party depression"
but Thanksgiving and Christmas should start occupying the boys attention in no time
Winter Gear.... Deals!
I love gear
more than that
I love gear that works!
Sierra Trading Post always has Deals!
now is the time to start assembling the appropriate riding gear for commuting or
for just plain riding


go to their BARGAIN BARN!
maybe you can get some super sweet stuff super cheap!

be careful
it is not a good deal unless it fits and you are going to use it!

and no
this is not advertising
this is a recommendation

remember
spend the money to get the right the right gear
this gear if treated well will last for years
or at least until your wife or boss tells you it stinks so bad that you need to toss it away or even burn it!


here is another recommendation
for your printing needs use www.4by6.com
if I had any sense...
I would start my Christmas Cards now rather than on December 15th

10.28.2005

A window into my world....
perhaps a keyhole view into someone else's future

the other night my old friend Rob came over
he did not come over for drinks
he did not come over for dinner
he just came over to "hang"
dinner and drinks were part of the evening... but company was the objective

Lisa was at yoga so Rob got to assist me in the standard fatherly duties
basically.... keeping the kids alive
while trying to keep Dean and Grant alive they also need to be fed and entertained

Rob tagged along and assisted as best he could
as this routine is somewhat forgein to him
we went up the block to get something to eat at Tonic in the Mount Pleasant building
Tonic has a Wednesday Kids Night thing... kids under 12 eat free!
it is a nice way to embrace the families in the neighborhood
it is also a nice way to coral the families to one night a week
so we do not risk ruining the night of the single romantic types

during that time most of my focus was on my boys
kids needed to be corralled up the road safely
we quickly went to the man to man defense
Rob moved with Grant
while I covered the faster and more wild Dean
Grant moved at a fast pace for a toddler
while Dean moves at a fast pace for an Olympiad
neither has a direct trajectory
both have a different set of objectives
every acorn deserves their attention
each house with decoration causes a stall
parked cars may cause a delay
construction vehicles are a manditory stop
the whole walk to the restaurant had that Billy in Family Circus way about it
we zigged and we zagged and we finally arrived at our destination

I ordered for the kids before our bums warmed the seats
we ate

Rob and I talked in between trips to the bathroom to wash hands
trips to the bathroom to go to the bathroom
and
trips to the bathroom just as an excuse for them to explore
it is tough to focus on adult conversation when there are potential fires and ketchup related traumas

after our dinner which included far more tater tots than broccoli
we marched back
an after dinner mint bought me more rapid passage home
for several blocks I was able to stack the boys in one stroller
Grant on top of Dean
Dean using his arms as a seatbelt to fasten Grant in
there was only one spontaneous ejection
no blood
no tears

once home there was wrestling on the floor
the boys ran their usual tag team attack with me on the floor
exchanging between the scissors hold and the anaconda
I have become the pro wrestler that my oversized frame has bred me to be
my opponents are little blonde midgets who never tire

rob watched in awe slouching on the couch
exhausted from the whole experience

as rob watched he may very well of had a keyhole view into his own future
as just days after this dinner event rob was scheduled to get married
and as the old teaser goes.... first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes
"someone's name" in the baby carriage

after the no holds barred cage match we went upstairs to prep the boys for bed
pajamas were put on
faces were washed
teeth were brushed
books were read
kisses and goodnights were shared
doors were closed behind us

with the boys in bed I leashed the dogs and put on a Petzel
Rob and I headed across the street for a brief walk with the dogs
everyone needs to blow a little steam at the end of the day.... even the dogs
on this walk we talked
I let Rob know that the evening he experienced was not a specially hard evening nor was it an especially easy evening.... it was just a standard evening with a wife, two kids, and two dogs

after the hike were were down the basement to talk bikes
showed off my new cross bike
and then my fixed gear project... a bike a few parts from completion
then from bike talk we talked life and marriage
I had no advice for Rob
Rob seemed at ease with the whole marriage thing
no questions
no fears

it was getting late
with a hearty handshake and a quick goodbye we sent rob off
letting know we would see him just days later at the rehearsal dinner for his wedding

wonder what went through his mind as he drove back to Baltimore from DC?

10.26.2005

Proud Poppa
in case you have not notice... I am one proud poppa
my son's are not perfect
but they are pretty darn good
even if they can be bad
they are healthy, strong, and positive
they have their moments
but they hit high marks in many different categories

there are times when people ask me about my kids and I can not stop with the anecdotes
yet most of the time I respond with a simple... "they are good."
why?
because I feel that when people ask... they don't really care... they do not really want to know

the same goes for cycling
people could ask how my weekend went
and well
I can talk faster than I can blog
my stream of conciousness can over flow
so when people ask "how was your weekend?" or "how is the biking going?"
I tend to give a simple short answer
sure, there are those that are victim to my verbal rants and my endless diatribes
but
for the most part people get a standard... "good."

this is where the blog comes in
the blog is my outlet that gets to hear my stories of my kids or the tales from the trails
not every trip to the zoo gets told
not every second gets photographed
just as their are rides and incidents on the bike that go unmentioned
there are aspects of my fatherhood that go unmentioned as well
most people who care tune into the blog from time to time
then when we talk...
we take it from there

images from paul aka freddie's dad
more images from paul


images from paul aka freddie's dad
more images from paul

10.25.2005


Emmanuel's Gift
(found this here...wannabebikegirl)

greenwashing?
well....
what is the story with FORD?
are they really the leaders in moving forward in alternate fuel technologies?

Race Report: Panarama Paranormal 2005

the threat of rain gave me great hesitation to attending this event
the days leading up to the race included much scanning of Weather.com
the doppler radar was green over Washington and clear over Charlottesville
the prediction was giving odds towards rain leading into and through race day
in the end the weather was awesome
it rained slightly right before the start which mucked the trails up
while during the race the skies were clear
there was the passing of some autumn clouds over the orange setting sun
but no more rain once the race started
an evening dew added more dampness to the tail end of the course that was already pretty well saturated
in short... the temperature was perfect
while the trail surface was not the pinacle fast and dry that I favor
not a mud bog
not a mud slog
but slick
slicker in some spots more than others

everyone dealt with the same set of variables
the rocks and roots were slick, very slick
there were many short climbs that better suited marching than riding
the ground hurts when crashing
but not as bad as slamming into the trees
I know as I did multiple comparisions of both
at times I felt like a ball in a Pachinko machine
hitting the ground was a pay out that did not happen every time

let me take it from the begining
here is how it all played out....

Race Report: The Panarama Paranormal
the Panarama Paranormal is a grass roots race that was being hosted for its third straight year
the race is a 6 hour event that is run either as one person solo or the two person duo
I was racing again this year with Chris Redlack
we were racing in the Clydesdale Duo class
there are many combinations for the Duo Classes
also a wide variety of solo classes... by sex, by gearlessness, and by size (clydesdale)
the event has a Halloween theme
cider, bonfire, some halloween docorations on the trail, and costumes
there were movies and more kids last year
perhaps the kids stayed behind for fear of bad weather
I know mine did

the race started with a run to the bikes
those with costumes got a 2 minute advantage

while the costume clad cyclist rode off into the distance
racers killed the prerace jitters with small talk
beside me was long time cycling friend and rival Bill Davis
we yapped it up reliving previous races
then the gun went off
we all went off running to our bikes

once at our bikes it was down a double track road, across some grass, and into the woods
Bill Davis and I were riding together like old times
only he has gotten faster
he is riding his geared double banger
while I am struggling on my single speed Karate Monkey with rigid fork
knowing of course it is more about legs and lungs than machine we choose to ride

we exchange back and forth for the lead
out of the woods into the next set of single track and we are starting to catch the costume clad racers
with polite passes we work our way forward

as we meander through the woods I tried to choose the wise line
thinking back to the year prior I tried to anticpate the terrain around each corner
my memory is not GOOGLE EARTH
it was like seeing things for the first time
a few things were recalled after I pass
but there was no benefit from racing this course the year prior
it is all unfamiliar
there was the knowledge of the type of terrain
but that was all

the first lap had it fair share of passing
the three laps to follow would invole the occassional need to pass and the occassional pass
but for the most part it was a dark, lonely, and potentially scary ride
there were tombstones decorating parts of the course
each I had memorize by my last and final pass
there were reflective arrows marking the trail
there were several huge mulch piles
each steaming from decomposition
some scare crows and halloween sounds on one pile
and the strong warm odor of rotting leaves and wood on the others
there were shreds of a racer's costume
the shreds were extra creepy as it was pieces of torn lace from a wedding gown
night riding can always possess a little feel of the Blair Witch Project
there of course was the usual nocturnal animal appearances
there were various birds, a field mouse, and some unusual phosphorescence
no owls, fox, or snakes
but they were most certainly out there
just not seen by me on my laps

it had been a long time since I had been on dirt
a few weeks earlier in Vegas and the Shenadoah Mountain 100 on Labor Day weekend before that
the eventual crashes had me timid at times
having broken my finger in my first race of the season
I did what could to prevent a serious crash
accepting there would be crashes
but avoiding what crashes I could

not only had it been a while since I had been on any real dirt
it had also been some time since I rode the single
there is a certain style and certain strengths to riding and racing the single
my time away from the single showed on this day
the wet terrain kept me from forcing bike up the climbs
in most cases I was on foot walking along side my bike

Chris and I did very little calculating or discussing things between laps
there was an exchange of a Halloween theme race bracelet
a congratulations
a good luck
then one person went to ride
while the other went back to our dual honda element base camp
with a glance at the watch we did not know our lap times
but could tell that we were doing sub hour laps
which would allow for that fourth lap for the first rider

I had taken the first lap knowing the risks
sure enough
we were consistent
Chris faster and more consistent than myself
the combined time sent me out 15 minutes before the 10 O'clock race end

my last lap was less than impressive
nothing to be ashamed of
but certainly not on par with our first 6 laps

the Panarama Paranormal is a great event
a great set of trails
a great gathering
it is a unique presentation that really carries the spirit of mountainbiking
everyone is there to ride, race, and have a good time
hopefully the weather will be better as I most definitely want to bring my family to camp and run around

yes.... I said that last year
I meant it this year
the weather did not agree with our plans

Madonna:
should I be embarrassed that I am excited for the new album that is set to be released next month?
Cross Season
Cross Dressing
and
DC's High Heel Races

today is the day
the Tuesday before Halloween
just north of Dupont circle on 17th Street up the block from one of my favorite DC Dives, The Fox and Hound, there will be the High Heel Races!
a night with energy and excitement that is not normally seen in our conservative city
track and field meets Priscilla Queen of the Desert
if weather and family permits I should be there
also know as The Drag Races

read more
Washington Blade
Ontap Online

today is like the Tuesday before Halloween the last two years; rainy and cold
no fun standing in the rain with someone's umbrella obstructing your view

oddly enough
I like my DAILY CANDY
maybe you would like it as well
Swag Review: Specialized Chicane Optics
this weekend past at the Panarama Paranormal Chris Redlack and myself took first in the Clydesdale Class

not sure how many participated in this class
we were strong overall
our combined seven laps
was a good race bringing respect to the Big Boy Class!

as I completed my 4th and final lap there was just enough time to bond with some buddies at the finish
Chris Redlack, Bill Davis, and Phil Rice were all there
each with a beer in their hand
each with a tale of the trail
Four happy Clydesdales!
(well, Bill Davis has dropped a few pounds and picked up some speed... we will have him as a retired Clydesdale with a potential Clydesdale Future!)
after a slug of IPA from Bill Davis is was time to strip out of my sweat soaked City Bikes orange and red for the fourth and last time then load my mud coated Surly Karate Monkey into my already packed Honda Element

before I could close the back door to my car
it was time for the awards at the Panarama Paranormal
no time wasted here!

Chris and I scanned the prize table as all the classes were being called to the podium then selecting their swag

the table's contents grew thinner and thinner

finally we were called to take the stand
with a hearty self congratulatory hoot we were on the podium
then a quick smile for the camera

7 laps

first in our class

strong over all
at the prize table I looked at what they had and thought about what I could use

there were all sorts of cartons of Power Bars, some multi-tools, various mini-pumps, but nothing that I felt I needed

the tires and tubes were all for 26 inch wheels
the Power Bars did not seem flavorful after an evening of similar fuel ingestion
then I saw the lone box sure enough.... riding glasses
something I needed
something I wanted

I reached over and pulled the box closer to me

slowly opened the container and pulled the glasses out of a little sack

the lenses were not clear or amber... standard "smoke"
the frames were of a style to my liking
SCORE!


upon my departure one of the promoters James Gist (I will confirm his name later)
commented on the quality of the glasses
I thanked him and started to point myself to a long late night post mountainbike relay race drive home
the next day there was no riding to perform a proper product test

but I proudly wore my glasses just the same
the lenses ended up having some high tech UV protection

the lenses change their darkness depending upon the brightness of the situation
a great feature for dipping in and out of the woods
or
for going in and out of the store

so... driving outside on the city streets was as comfortable as pushing my shopping cart inside the Safeway
the glasses did not go close enough to clear to wear as an accessory this weekend at my buddy Rob's wedding but stylish just the same
later that day as I rode the mini train at Cabin John Regional park I took in the splendor of the dense woods
the fall spectacle that surrounded me
leaves still holding on strong to the green
while orange and yellow patches were exploding everywhere
at this point I made comparisons of the view with and without the glasses the lenses did improve the clarity and the crispness everything was warmer and more beautiful not quite the "prozac lens effect" that one gets from amber lenses richer just the same
much richer
AWESOME! as a matter of fact.
I give these glasses 5 STARS which is okay as a purchase in this 5 STAR Rating but as swag! this acquisition is off the charts!

7 Stars in a 5 Star Rating!

10.23.2005

Google Images
sometimes I like to GOOGLE IMAGES
various stuff
random stuff
basic stuff
some things are more GOOGLE-ABLE than others
some people are more GOOGLE-ABLE than others
gwadz and/or gwadzilla are highly GOOGLE-ABLE
sometimes I GOOGLE myself then sift through the archives of my BLOG
it is like paging through my diary

10.21.2005


City Bikes DC makes TOP 100 List
good work!

this is my shop

I recommend them!

apparently others agree
Off Season Training Tips
Tips from a fellow mountainbiking father; Ashwinearl
(today I emailed this collective for info on the weather in Charlottesville... I got a quick response back... but it turns out that he is in Blacksburg)
from Wikipedia
(try it... it is fun a parent of a teenage kid could do well to Search for terms that involve their children's interests)

Punk rock
From Wikipedia, the free
encyclopedia.
Jump to:
navigation, search
Punk rock is an anti-establishment music movement that began
about
1976 (although precursors can be found several
years earlier), exemplified by
The
Damned
, The
Ramones
, the Sex
Pistols
, and The
Clash
. The term is also used to describe subsequent
music scenes that share key characteristics with those first-generation "punks".
The term is sometimes also applied to the fashions or the irreverent "
DIY" ("do it yourself") attitude associated with
this musical movement.

music...
fashion...
the counter culture

fashion has blurred over the years
it is not clear if I can put my finger on the moment things happened
but
I think that the line of distinction blurred somewhere in the mid-eighties
although it may have been a long subtle progression that started with Alice Cooper on a Slurpee cup
*1 in 1977

there was a time when college rock aka alternative music was only heard on college radio and people's cassette tape playing Sony Walkman
then somewhere in the early 90's things changed
it is not clear if it was the Beastie Boys or the Red Hot Chilli Peppers
maybe it was MTV
maybe it was Lollapolossa
what caused it.... I am not sure
but somewhere in that time the music moved from the speakers in the commuter lounge to the HiFi system of the fraternity houses

first it was long hair
then it was the goat-tee*2
now it is alternative facial hair across the board
the same tribe of people that would start a fight with the "punks" or "the hippies" are now listening to much of the same music and wearing some of the same fashion

then it all changed some more...
Indy Rock went from basement recordings into the studio
Alternative Rock went from college radio stations to the mainstream boss jock stations
it all got very blurred
Punk Rock and its fashion were no longer an urban idea... but a product sold in the mall

piercings and tattoos are no longer getting an effect
most of this stuff can be seen on soccer moms and high school cheerleaders
so much of the fashion has been recycled and lost some of its bite

oddly... the counter culture kids are taking things in the opposite direction with their 80's fashion
the IZOD with the collar up, multi-colored cords, and other stuff that may have been my daily apparrell in grade school and onward

(well... no colar up as I was never that "pink and green")

as this is going no where
I will stop this here

PUBLISH AND POST
then back to work

*1-
maybe his shock rock was pop all along... I don't know as I did not listen to him then and did not drink Slurpees then either... actually I had never been into a 7-11 until I was roughly 17 years old... as I was a High's Grocery Store man

*
2- well.... actually the Van Dyke... the goat-tee is when there is facial hair on the chin... sans mustache.... the Van Dyke has the mustache as well as the chin coverage



iPod Video
review on CBSNEWS.com

iLove my iPod
but
lets not forget
iPODS Dirty Secret
a very fun film
there other films are worth viewing as well
perhaps the owners of the new iPod Video will download these films onto their devices

10.20.2005

back from the bike shop
dean fighting getting dressed by my side
back from the bike shop
grant dunking his hand into the toilet while I blog
back from the bike shop
with a new bike that my wife says looks like all the others
back from the bike shop
with parts to bring my old rides back to life
back from the bike shop
where I get giddy like a child on christmas as I leave with a new bicycle at my side and a side stash of equal enchantment
back from bike shop
pleased to hear that dean wants to take a toy catalog to bed and read to himself
back from the bike shop
releaved that lisa is putting grant to bed rather than me
back from the bike shop
now down to the basement to drool over my new bike and revive some old ones

back from the bike shop
thanks to the folks at city bikes with their cycling advice and knowledgable assistance
back from the bike shop
somewhat jealous of how it appears these guys enjoy their work
back from the bike shop



.


reminder: buy cross bike and cross gear before cross season

reminder: buy winter mountainbike shoes before winter season

right now I am missing the whole Cyclocross Season due to the absence of a race worthy bike

.

Mechanical TLC*
this is not what I meant in my prior post when I made reference to
"mechanical TLC"

hate when this happens
I need to fight the power of the weather psyching me out
it is vital that I approach the weekend with a positive attitude
tune my bike
pack my bags
and
prep my head as if I am racing the Panarama Paranormal this weekend

the current weather report is not positive

these things need to be taken into account
the weather will effect my decision to take my family camping as well as my plans to race
but
I must realize
backing down from racing is a point further down the road than deciding not to take the family camping

no costume yet...
but
ZOMBIES could be an easy one
most of these multi-lap relay races have me feeling like a ZOMBIE anyway!

today I need to go grab a chain and some brake pads for the Karate Monkey
it is well over due for some mechanical TLC*


my SiDi shoes
it has been too long since I wore my SiDi Shoes
from the looks of my Time Pedals in a Zip Lock bag I am figuring I have not worn my SiDi shoes since my trip to Vegas in late September lat month

these shoes are not reserved for racing
although these shoes tend to be reserved for riding on dirt
it has been too long since I have ridden on dirt
since my ride in Red Rock Canyon just outside of Vegas last month
and
the Shenandoah Mountain 100 several weeks before that
seems that my fall priorities have shoved mountainbiking under the rug or maybe onto the shelf

last night I put my pedals on my Karate Monkey single speed
this morning I put the SiDi shoes on my feet
before even rolling the Karate Monkey an inch I could sense that the air pressure was low in the front
rather than mess with a pump
then onto swapping a tube
I just grabbed my worn and tired 5 year old Jamis Nova
my everyday bike of the past many weeks
time was running late
the morning hike with the dogs had me behind schedule

currently watching the weather for this weekend
wanting to race the Panarama Paranormal with my buddy Chris
but
not sure if I am so "gung-ho" as to slog it out in the mud

last year's race report from the Panarama Paranormal

SiDi Shoes (blogless)
Time Pedals Blog
Surly Blog
and
Panarama Paranormal

10.18.2005

.



Marla Streb writes in her BLOG about going for a ride with my fellow City Bike Mountainbike Team Member Hillary
(hillary bought the "ride" at a WABA AUCTION the money went to this charity)

cyclists...
a culture that will pay more for a product just because it is different
Bruce Gordon Stuff

no mention of Eric Roman here at PINKBIKE.com


.

10.17.2005

friday night leading into an awesome weekend

out of work early
only a few minutes early... but early just the same
out of work
out on the bike
though the city streets of DC
through the crowded streets of Georgetown
bumper to bumper car traffic on M Street
sidewalks packed with shoppers
across Key Bridge and onto the bike path
out past the airport onto Old Town and back
across the 14th Street Bridge back into DC
back on the city streets
more bumper to bumper traffic

racing the train
dodging a bullet
over to a friend's house to buy some used wheels
for a hundred bucks I roll away with some slightly worn wheels with one broken spoke
then over to the bike shop to get a replacement spoke
the mechanic replaces the spoke and begins to true the wheel before I can cut in
turns out a six pack covers the cost of spoke and repair
guess that is better than me taking it home and not finding the time to make the repair myself
head for home

return home a few minutes late to join some friends for dinner
our kids playing with their kids
carry out menu on the table
I walk the dogs as they place an order
there is a party down the block
down the block in shifts
some stay with the kids
others go to the party down the block with the kids
at the party our friends are hosting an art show
some very cool stuff very well presented

after I stroll through the party/art showing I leave taking the artist's two son's with me
upon my return home I see that one set of toddlers have left with their parents
dinner is gone and so are they
bedtime for the weee oneees
I set up a couch pillow fort to keep the kids occupied
the lights go off
Petzel headlamps go on
the blankets seal things off turning the pillow fort into quite the little hide away
after returning the artist's son's I stay for a Burbon on the rocks
one burbon turns into two burbons
two burbons turns into too many
the clock strikes 2
I stumble down the block for a late night snack
the artist stumbles up to bed
later I learn he fell asleep with his clothes off and his glasses on
not sure if he usually sleeps with his clothes on
I suspect the glasses are usually off

the next morning comes on fast
not much sleep
lots of hang over
the boys join me to walk the dogs while lisa heads off to yoga
after our hike we go to a different neighbor's house
when it is time for me to head for yoga I leave the kids playing with the neighbor's kids
return from yoga feeling much better than before yoga
immediately from yoga I go to a fair at Dean's school
we have volunteered to work one of the booths
there are rides and games
dean is in all his glory and so am I
lots of shaking hands.... kissing babies.... and getting votes
a mayoral canidate tries shaking my hand... tries kissing my babies... and tries getting my vote
then we head back for home
there is grilling and playing out back
we eat in the club house
hot dogs all around
Roscoe steals the lion's share of brat and kiabassa

that night I go to bed at the same time as the boys
8PM
wake the next morning pleased with my decision to for the early bed time
after the usual routine of coffee, clothing the boys, and dog walking we plot our course for the day
it is our sixth wedding anniversary.... a kiss is shared
grab the family and head to Cox Farm for a Fall Festival
pumpkins and alpine slides

the battery for my new digital camera is charged
in a short time my card is filled with images of smiling children
four hours have passed and we have not ridden all the slides
nor have we done all the activities
cox farm gets my vote
we head home passing through the Wendy's drive through
kettle corn and granny smith apples had not been enough to satisfy my hunger
had lisa been driving I would have been asleep along side of Grant
Dean mimics Grant's nasal snore

we return
the grill gets fired up
more kids from neighboring houses racing up the ladder and down the slide
steaks on the grill
the kids are in bed a few minutes after 8
I consider some of the same
but there are things to do
I walk the dogs and go to the store
the day has given me a bit of a rush
on my walk I talk up various strangers
wake for the work week routine
walking the dogs
on the bike and off to work

rinse and repeat
a good weekend
there should be more weekends like this

Cox Farms


10.14.2005

Urban Fashion/Urban Sensibilities-
normally when I travel to the bars at night I tend to go "stealth" on the bike
yet there are times when I am moving on foot these times I like to travel light
before going out I remove my ID, one credit card, and my photo ID
these items all fit comfortably into a little business card holder
(there is even room for a few business cards in there as well... but other than my BLOG... I have no business to promote)

why do I travel light when on foot?

cause if a less than friendly stranger asks me for my money or my life...
well.... the choice is clear
without arguement I should hand over my money

that said...
I was held up at gun point one time prior
there were two of us on foot
I had ridden my bike to my friend Rob's house and we walked to the restaurant together
on our return two very angry and aggressive young males approached us with fire in their eyes and guns in their hands
upon their approach I tried to expedite things by offering my money rather than handing everything over
my efforts became more of a fillibuster than acceleration of the process
but....
I did not want to deal with the hassle of canceling credit cards
worse yet I did not want to have to deal with the MVA (or perhaps what is known to some as the DMV)
it was a foolish interjection on my part
my effort to expedite things could have lead to my extinction
but... in addition to my wallet and its contents... this angry young urban gentleman wanted my whole bag which contained the basic bicycle tools, pump, and tube

come on.... a tube can cost me anywhere from 2 to 5 dollars!

that experience changed my behavior
since then I have wised up
I try not to travel with anything I do not need
more importantly
I try not to travel with anything I can not afford to lose
also learned on that night... do as they say... leave ego and other nonsense behind
if I live to see tomorrow I can buy some more bicycle tools

so I was thinking there must be a market for such a product
a niftly little wallet.... a sub-wallet of sorts
not the massive "BAD MOTHER F---ER" wallet of Pulp Fiction
but rather a small compact package that travels comfortably in a person's pocket
be that pocket the hind pocket, front shirt pocket, or front pant pocket

not to mention the wisdom in carrying something that would cause less pain to hand over...
there is not the discomfort of "wallet butt"
and
your manly bottom will be are attractive on the dance floor with just a slight container
rather than an over stuffed wallet that gives the appearance of "poopy diaper"

being that I am more an "idea man" than a "man of action"
I will leave my creation of the "sub wallet" along side of my double sided tooth past for morning and night (morning side having caffiene/night side containing some sleep aid) and my heated bathroom mat with timer
these are ideas
not pattented creations

oh....
the angry young urban gentleman would have served themselves better to chanel their anger into a Punk Band

bathing a cat
some mornings getting my son's dressed is like trying to bathe a couple of cats
although I am a dog person who has never tried to bathe a cat
I still feel that my measure of this experience is accurate

this morning Dean was a little slow out of the gate
he can dress himself... but there are days where I assist the process
Grant on the other hand... he needs my help
this morning he did not lend a hand
this morning he did not help
instead Grant gave me the pleasure of getting to know what it would be like to bathe a cat


tools: more specifically the specialization of tools
this morning I had some email correspondence with a cycling friend
in that email conversation this person spoke of some things he had witnessed while skating in a local skate park
he questioned the merit of a BMX bike whose seat has been lowered so much that the bike has lost its ability to do much more than jumps and tricks
he then went on to question the trials bike and other very specialized machines

well.... a Phillips head screw driver does not work in place of a flathead
a mallet is not used to pound nails
there is a saw for wood
there is a saw for metal
and it most certainly gets more and more specific than that

the specialization of the bicycle is no different
some bikes are "multi-function" while other bikes are designed for a singular purpose
here is how I responded in my email

the bicycle has evolved
the trials bike is not good for much more than trials
the downhill bike is not so good for anything more than downhill
a cross country mountainbike would not do well in a road race
while a road bike would fare no better in a XC event
the kids in LA make their low riders so low that the cranks can not turn
they need to kick their feet to move
but the specialization of the bike for function is different than adaptations for fashion

cars have dragsters that can not make a turn
sand vehicles that would not work well on the road
H2s that never do more than pick up the dry cleaning

the list goes on

as far as lowering the seat...
well there would be no other way for them to make the jump
I recall in snowboarding there was a movement that was very similar...
the removal of the "high backs" from the bindings made it impossible to carve good turn yetallowed for contortions on airs that could not be done with the rigid binding pressing against the calve
this was a change that I tried... enjoyed... then went to a lower back on my binding
so that I could still carve turns and still make grabs (what few grabs I was able to do)


I have no opposition to the specialization of each tool
there are skateboards for ramp
there are long boards for cruising
each may be able to attempt the task of the other but the specialized tool is the right tool for the task

the same extends to snowboards and of course bicycles

those who ride recumbents call standard bikes "wedgies"
try taking a recumbent off road
heck... try taking a recumbent off a curb

each specialized bike maximizes the potential for each task
pushing the limits of that discipline
we have seen that in the Le Tour de France there are different bikes for different stages
achieving the greatest speed with the greatest efficiency
should there be a rule that each cyclist must start and finish on the same bike with the same equipment?
I think not...

so as much as I can appreciate my friend's question of the BMX bike with its low seat and lack of functionality
I feel that not all bikes are designed to be utilitarian
I say embrace the differences
thank the specializations for their ability to expand the freedom of the bicycle
let their be competition
let their be solidarity

oh yea...
this friend also left the skate park craving his old BMX bike
which he may pull out of his parent's garage
which he may ride with the seat lowered such that he can not pedal comforably
but he will be able to play in the park with