Rants on Cycling and on Life



when joe byrnes left for Cali he gave me a bike he
could not travel with
he said sell it and we can split the cash
I rode it
it was two sizes too small so I rode it no
but I rode the shit out of it
miles and miles all no handed
then finally a friend of mine needed a bike
and I needed a CD burner
we traded
I swapped some of the parts, and sent the
bike off
Joe got nothing and the cd burner never
then, two years later I am cruising down the
street on a Saturday morning
and I see this old KHS FZ Comp, just like the
one joe gave me, just like the one I traded to
rob had a bike stolen from his design studio
just at TOOLBOX design studio just blocks
away from where we were
so I approached the rider
I was friendly and kind
told him it was my bike and I needed it back
it was an odd exchange
there was little arguement
little fuss
there was some apparent confusion
but I tried to spell it all out in espanol
"es mu facil...este mi bicicleta, tu eres una
lodron...tu queres los policia"
or something to that effect
my spanish is better spoke than written
and there was some gentle back and forth
finally I gave the guy his lock and helped him
take the seat saver of rob;s bike
I feared that I had given his a serious weapon
but knowing I was right in taking the bike back
I did not fear this guy
I really did not feel he was a theif, in english I
tried to express my feelings that he bought a
stolen bike, but in spanish I did not have the
A call was made to rob, he was not there, I left
a message.
For days I walked proud like some sort of
Robin Hood, taking back what is not rightfully
days later rob calls
he clears things up
it was not the KHS that was stolen
his fisher was stolen
I traded him the KHS to replace the FISHER
I make him go to the bike and touch it
my heart sinks
I get a lump in my throat
then my stomach feels all sick inside
I am not robin hood
just a hood
I stole this bike
heavy handed
right on the crowded streets by the farmers
people looked on
and watched me ride away
it must have been quite a site
I tried finding this guy
went to the local shop
talked with some Salvadorean friends of mine
but nothing

everyone put me at ease
that this bike was purchased on the "gray
that only made me feel a little better

it all happened so fast



yesterday I was doing a post work spin on my Kona Humahuma-nuka-nuka-
apoha-ah out on the Mt Vernon trail
(well, this happened a few months ago, but just posting it now)I was spinning the single speed gearing around as fast as it could
go, which does not propel the bike all that fast
but manages to give me a pretty solid work out in a very short time
this is how I try to get a four hour ride done in only 45 minutes out
on the bike
the view along the river was epic as usual
and the post work traffic was getting thick, again as usual
I rode out past the airport and turned around at the wooden boardwalk
just before the beginning of Old Town Alexandria
my turn around was to the outside and not on the trail, as I know how
dangerous a blind buttonhook can be
people are always button hooking right in front of me
if only they could repeat after me...
"look before you buttonhook!"
"look before you buttonhook!"
"look before you buttonhook!"
or even better button hook onto the grass and take a look before re-
entering the grass
but my lectures are for another time and another group of people

[that mantra is as close to my heart as "pass bicyclist, don't harass
bicyclists", but this is not for trail users but a subliminal message
that I want to be implanted in people's head, hidden in subliminal
frequencies that could play over their car radios, or perhaps in the
background of the elevator music played at the MVA/DMV so each
licensed driver walked away with an updated license and an updated
sense of respect for the cyclist ((more realistically this would make
for a great red bumper sticker to be placed on STOP signs, using the
word STOP and the sticker reading HARASSING CYCLISTS, and in small
letters...pass cyclists don't harass cyclists))]

the ride was business as usual
there were many people riding too fast
all sorts of people drafting/racing/being all out reckless
very few people were giving any warning to the other trail users
walkers/runners/and other cyclists were all being harassed as much as
being passed
showing each other basic disrespect
all the while runners were stopping at inopportune times and doing
that buttonhook thing that can be so dangerous

knowing how much I hate to be spooked by a rider passing closely
without warning
I was ringing my little frog bell as I passed each other trail user
and often saying excuse me as I felt can often lessen the effect of a
close pass
sure there were some passes that offended a few, but I tried to be as
safe and pleasant as possible while still getting a workout
and when I am quasi-dangerous, I want to at least be pleasant

then when approaching one of the road crossings I was passed by a
women on an old school Bridgestone with mustache bars coming the
other way
then following behind her was a women on a generic department store
bike outfitted with tri bars and other equipment
she crossed the road, over the curb, and onto the trail
soon she realized she would not be able to hold her lane and make the
winding curve without having an head on collision with me
she opted to go straight, off the trail, over the grass, and into the
airport service road never checking to see if a car was coming from
either direction
clearly out of control she went off the curb and got thrown from her
stuck in the tri-bar position, out of reach of her brakes
by this time I was at a standstill watching it all
as she tumbled on the asphalt and the bike crashed riderlessly
against the curb
I went to her aid, as well did another cyclist
she seemed okay and it was clear that she wanted me to retrieve her
I took off spinning, hectically spinning
lucky for me this other rider had slowed down, the maximum speed of
my cruiser is slow
when I caught her she was frightened and excited that her friend was
seriously hurt, which she appeared not to be
we rushed back
the other cyclist was reviewing the condition of her bike
the cyclist who had crashed was back
with everything under control I figured I best be off before I chewed
her out
as she was out of control and could have seriously hurt someone,
namely me!

it was a wake up call
the trails are not really any safer than the streets
and the best place for racing is at the races
one thing I love about doing a race on a Sunday is having a trail
marked off
knowing I can take a turn or downhill fast and not have to worry
about a horse or a dog or a blue haired lady to be coming up the
other way
the likelihood of a cyclist coming the opposite way is rare
and the other riders may be more knowledgeable about courtesy and
or maybe not

in any case
enough time with this
back to work for me

MAC not PC
I am a MAC guy
and I am sure that there are many MAC GUYS using this BLOG thing
but I feel that there is something odd going on
at work I work on a PC, actually I work on the PCs
while at home I play on a MAC
but the interface on the MAC is not as simple and clear as on the PC
someone help me out here
I just finished a POSTING that I wanted to be HYPERLINK RICH
but was unable to find the ICON
and looked for the spell check, again, WHERE IS THE ICON?
the world is not MAC friendly
or maybe it is just me
and I have not discovered the set up

do I need to upgrade my Internet Explorer?
(I was a Netscape user for so long, but the world would not let that happen for SCRABBLE addiction at GAMES.COM was enough for me to not only start using Internet Explore, but to use it exclusively)

In any case......

Is it this Jack Daniels
am I are some of he features missing on my Mac version of BLOG?


MAC not PC
I am a MAC guy
and I am sure that there are many MAC GUYS using this BLOG thing
but I feel that there is something odd going on
at work I work on a PC, actually I work on the PCs
while at home I play on a MAC
but the interface on the MAC is not as simple and clear as on the PC
someone help me out here
I just finished a POSTING that I wanted to be HYPERLINK RICH
but was unable to find the ICON
and looked for the spell check, again, WHERE IS THE ICON?
the world is not MAC friendly
or maybe it is just me
and I have not discovered the set up

do I need to upgrade my Internet Explorer?
(I was a Netscape user for so long, but the world would not let that happen for SCRABBLE addiction at GAMES.COM was enough for me to not only start using Internet Explore, but to use it exclusively)

In any case......

Is it this Jack Daniels
am I are some of he features missing on my Mac version of BLOG?

I am not very political
but like anyone else I have an opinion
simple and clear, I do not care for george bush

it is so simple
and so clear
that I feel no need to even justify my opinion

with that said....
here is a link to an animation that my friend Rob Myers made for an anti-STATE OR THE UNION address advertising campaign
It is very SOUTH PARK and worth a viewing......
actually it is worth several viewings.
BUSH and the Environment (SEQUOIA)
(that is what I am calling it)
and if you like that
you should check out his "What is ART?" short film
he is super talented

guess while I am riding his jock....
check out some of the music projects he is a part of with the 18th STREET LOUNGE crew

Dean, Dogs, and Honey Baked Ham
It is really quite funny actually...
This weekend past Lisa and I hosted a Christmas Cocktail party with music mixes by City Bikes House DJ BK Deluxe (aka Brian Kemler.) The party was a humorous scene, roughly 60 adults, 20 children, and 2 dogs. Everyone was well behaved even the dogs. Roscoe and Brutus each did the rounds. Roscoe's activity was more social; chasing down "butt rubs" from various willing guests; while Brutus spent more time trying to hang in the secure shadow of Lisa or myself. The party went on virtually incident free. The dogs were getting enough snacks from plates on low tables or the floor while the occasional piece of ham that fell to the floor. At this time has been no reported account of either Roscoe or Brutus being bold enough to hit the buffet table in self service style.

Days have passed since the party and Lisa got pro-active on the remainder of the ham and went freestyle on creating a Navy Bean Soup without recipe or instruction. While her beans and beast simmered in the large pot on the stove we realized that there was still plenty of meat on the bone for at least one more vat of soup, perhaps Split Pea Soup. It was decided, the remainder was to be frozen and stored till a more convenient date. We gathered up Dean, patted the dogs on the head, and headed off to the Bethesda Rescue Squad to purchase a Christmas tree and check out the Engines.

The trip to pick up the tree was made into a more attractive adventure by telling Dean that we were headed to the "fire station." A difference so subtle that we did not think that either tribe (fireman or EMS) would be offended in our clumping various emergency services together into the mind of a 2 year old. Dean was fixated, his mind was set on going to the FIRESTATION. We plotted our route. Dinner would have to be slices of PIZZA from Armand's carry out, we could not risk removing Dean from the car without being within a stone's throw away from the station's garage.

Pizza being his favorite food we were able to calm the beast as we made the short drive to the B-CC rescue squad station. The tree sales were going on as expected and the station garage had sites and sounds that had Dean fully occupied. As I worked my way around the tree selection and decided upon a Frazier Fur (or maybe it was something else, but I know it was not the Colorado Blue Spruce which was too prickly for Lisa's tastes,) I picked out my tree still wrapped in its pine cone shape for its long distance delivery from Indiana Pennsylvania. IT was then I noticed that Lisa and Dean were now inside the garage with the door closed behind them. As I loaded the tree onto of the Passat, car of choice due to the Landcruiser not starting at this point in time, I saw Dean's face glowing as he marveled at all of the dials, equipment, and gear. He was in all his glory his skin color radiated a certain excitement. It made me happy to see him so happy. The enticing notion of the "fire station" had in fact delivered. As I approached the garage one of the burley rescue squad volunteers was placing a white souvenir fireman's hat upon dean's head. The door was opened and I offered thanks and praise for their generosity, they all were happy to accommodate and were quite gracious that we had purchased our tree and our wreaths from their sale thus supporting their volunteer services.

After coaxing failed, I chased Dean down and carried him out of the garage. There was some squirming, but he was able to spend panic by the promise of future visits and the direction of his attention to his new hat.

We arrived home and left the tree and wreaths with the car. There was the hope that Dean would be tired after his adventure and ready for sleep. Our deduction was reversed, he was all wound up and could not sleep. The ideas of Emergency Vehicles raced through his head which made it impossible for him to go down for bed. Lisa went upstairs to try and tend to Dean, pjs, fire, and blanket did not lure him to his Big Boy Bed. While the battle to get Dean to sleep I worked downstairs to collect all of the Christmas decorations and make room for the newly acquired tree. While I worked trouble shooting the lights I noticed the dogs were chewing on some small bone scraps. Lisa came down and gathered the scraps, barely a handful. She walked over and said, "this is what is left of that hambone."
In disbelief I walked to the kitchen, the counter was bare. The carcass that had several pounds of ham/ham fat/and marrow filled bone was gone. The dogs walked about as if nothing had happened.

It was all rather humorous. No real crime. I would have done the same. What was funny though was the dogs had a hard time hydrating after they gorged themselves on the salty ham. The bowl was empty, the toilet bowls were soon closed and off limits, out on their evening pee roscoe ate snow to satisfy his thirst...Then at 2:30 Roscoe was whimpering at the bedroom was clear...he may not have satisfied his thirst, but he did manage to fill his bladder.

Funny stuff this world of THE BLOG
it has a certain addictive quality
but just like anything in life, moderation is the key
and for those who can not control themselves and feel the need to Blog all day long at work there is a FIRE ESCAPE created for them and their viewers
It is a button that rests on the BLOG Page as an escape button for the User
just one click on the button and the screen moves to a more work related screen (Excel Spread Sheet, Word Document, or in my case the GOOGLE search engine)
funny stuff
it all amuses me
but no one wants to lose their job over something as fluff related as this


I recently made a purchase from MEC: Mountain Equipment Co-op.
There prices are very reasonable.
There equipment is very well designed.
and there is the wonderful strength of the US Dollar

give it a look
you may be able to get some new gear to make this winter a tad more enjoyable

I must say that the Gore-tex cycling jacket and Gore-tex cycling rainpants that I got are changing my outlook towards a long winter of commuting and hopefully some riding

Dean and the Start of my Day

This morning was like most mornings, mixed all around

Dean woke up in search of his fire (fire=pacifier, his modification of the word. Although I had a firm rule about reinforcing a child's mispronunciation or misconception of a word, we let this one slip through the system.)
As our room is right next to Dean's I could hear him up and looking around for his fire. As he searched around his bed he called out, "mommy, where us my fire? mommy? mommy?" I got out of my warm bed and was able to find his fire only after climbing over him several times and pulling the bed away from the wall and then climbing over him to retrieve the fire from the crevasse between the bed and the wall. Dean was waking slowly and asking for mommy. He is accustom to the routine, "mommy is working." He does not like this answer, yet he understands it. But once the fire was passed off to him he slammed his head down on the pillow to steal a few more Zs. I rushed to the mommy bed to do some of the same. Roscoe and Brutus were both in Lisa's spot sleeping comfortably. I watched the clock and made sure that I did not sleep past 8 as so not to allow Dean's sleep cycle to go through too much of a shift. He is staying up too late and I feel that if we allow him to sleep too late that his will become his natural cycle.

Dean woke up slowly and we started our morning chat. We looked out the window and watched the cars pass and birds fly by. Dean made mention of "daddy's car"
I told him it was broken, Dean said, "you have to fix it."
I tried to explain that I had tried, but was unable to fix it. We moved to the next step. His mood was fairly positive. Although he had mommy on the brain. The changing of his gear from pjs to day wear was easier than some days. He said he did not want to go to "art class and would not need his backpack." I feared that this could lead to difficult moments ahead.

There was no toying with him.
It was my feeling to stick to the program, let him know we were going to "art class."
He was hesitant so I carried him downstairs He wanted a juice I offered him a banana As I was fixing up his juice he raced into the kitchen just as the juice cup was being sealed He rushed back to the couch to enjoy his juice

I got him a banana, peeled it, and placed it into his free hand At a closer glance I could see a single tear drop resting on his eyelash. He was a little sad I asked him why he was said Dean slowly responded, "never......Callum never comes over to dean house anymore."
We spoke about his buddy Callum.
And I assured him that he would see him again It was cute and sad at the same time. Callum is a child that he has grown with for the last two years was now stripped from his life. He clearly misses him. They shared the same nanny, Mayra. But as she has been recovering from surgery we have been forced to find a temporary replacement. As chance and opportunity would have it. Our temporary fix is going to become our permanent fix.

We had to move forward. Having carried him down the two flights of stairs and dropping him on the couch I started to try and pick up some momentum.
His shoes were put on his feet, he told me they were "too tight"
I made sure I had the shoes on the correct feet and wiggled them a bit as to make them more comfortable And went for my jacket As I got up I made mention to dean that I was going to get my jacket Dean chimed in, "get dean's jacket."
This was a positive switch in his attitude He was ready to go He wanted to go So I got my jacket, got his jacket, hat, and gloves He also asked for his backpack With some swapping of the juice hand and the banana hand the jacket and backpack were put on We headed out the door All the while roscoe and Brutus were running around gathering shoes in anticipation of their morning walk They are not use to the new routine. Before I would leave in the morning with the dogs and Dean Now I leave with just Dean.

With the door locked behind me.
The dogs noses pressed against the glass within the house I tossed Dean onto my shoulders so he could concentrate on the juice and banana as we walked the cold two and a half blocks to Rosemount. No tears. No complaining. Nothing. We got to the door of Rosemount school. I lowered dean and opened the door. Again no tears, this is an improvement. We got to the classroom. The teacher Laura was a little aggravated that Dean had breakfast in his hand. More because she wants him to arrive hungry so she can feed him. But I explained that he was hungry as we got up And would not leave the house without the banana and the sippy cup. As I removed the jacket I was forced to remove the banana from Dean's hand Dean backed up my argument by immediately demanding the banana I took the juice cup and tried to leave with it, Dean asked that I put that in his backpack.

With the juice cup in his backpack, and the backpack on Dean's back I put dean in the chair at the table I asked dean to give me a high five Then went around the table requesting "high fives" from all the children at the table Each child responded excitedly and gave me a high five Well except for the last little girl Then I worked my way back, finishing with Dean He seemed content So I said a quick good bye and evacuated before he changed his mind.

With Dean successfully dropped off at daycare I moved forward to try and accomplish the rest of my tasks of the morning. Once back home the dogs were wagging their tales and ready to go out. They were leashed up and out the door, the door locked behind me. I had forgotten my coffee. Back up the steps, unlock the door, grab the coffee, back out the door, lock the door, and head towards the woods. As I waited for there to be a clear spot in the traffic of our oh too busy street in front of our house. Roscoe could not wait. He lifted his leg right there and began freeing a long yellow stream. His eyes rolled back in display of great pleasure. He had held it long enough. With a clear gap for crossing I tugged at Roscoe's collar and told him we needed to move. He cut his stream short, but more than a gallon had already flowing down the street. Roscoe was willing to oblige me. We crossed the street into a small section of Rock Creek. The leashes were removed and the dogs went looking for trouble. My eyes scanned the area for dangerous obstacles, no cats, no deer, and no homeless campers were in sight. We looked like were were headed for a quick spin in the woods "incident free." Hope that they had time to make their "deposit" as they ran into their dog buddy Lodi.

We did our morning hike that interestingly loops behind the Rosemount daycare center. A beautiful building with classic Spanish architecture that before was just a building, but is now part of my life and my child's development.