Rants on Cycling and on Life


trying to spend my free moments at work doing something other than my compulsive blogging
why is it that some people have more healthy compulsions than I do
like a workaholic
or a compulsive athlete
my compulsions are always negative
like my compulsive eating or drinking

a thousand different formulas
none of them perfect
yet anyone of them can work
it may not be easy, but it can work
just don't give up
stay the course

Back on a 26 Incher?
sorta sucks

this morning I got up thinking I better start pushing some bigger rings. there is a race under a month away and all I have been doing this winter is eating bon bons on the couch and some less than occassional spins on the single speed (then there is the requisite short commute to work, better than nothing, or so I hope) so this am I got out a commuter bike that I have no great love for, a Cannondale Bad Boy. this bike was purchased because in its price range it was the only rigid fork bike that I could get through my local shop hook up. initially I was pleased. before the monkey my love for this bike had started to fade, now with the monkey....I am ready to put this bike up for adoption. the aluminum frame and fork create a very numbing feeling in hands and balls, an hour is all I can handle on this ride and well, that is not a good selling point for any bike. to add to the misery, the 26 inch wheels make the whole riding experience awkward. the wheelbase and top tube length seem so compact. the monkey is the first bike that fit me, now my variety of other rides are all awkward in comparision. the Karate Monkey has become a mirror for me as I mount my other 26 inch machines, I can see how my bear like frame dwarfs the diminutive wheels and frames......
now I need a 29 inch hardtail built up for dirt rides and for racing

starting to think about the C&O canal ride
186.2 miles in a day (plus the ride home, another 4 or so miles from its start, my rides end in Georgetown
my long rides tend to be about an hour and a half
not exactly a roadie over here
so this ride is a real battle of the spirit
but what bike would I ride
the cross bike has its selling points
but the dropbar hand position for touring really sucks
and the bad boy, as mentioned, is not a distance bike ((especially on suck pebbley terrain))

Education Punk?!?!
oh, excuse me Education harDCore!?!

Name this performer and educator.
Education harDCore
click here

and of course

Education Rock!
oh, sorry wrong again
Schoolhouse Rock!

Free Lunch?
for years I have seen a similar sight as I ride through the city on my way home from work
at various corners throughout the city the homeless gather for the arrival of soup trucks
well, there may not always be soup
usually it looks like sandwiches, coffee, and maybe some fresh fruit
what is received is not what is important, the meat of this message is that when passing these lines of homeless people it is not uncommon for me to see a few couriers thrown into the mix
it has never been clear to me whether they felt they needed the handout, they deserved the handout, felt that they got by better by not purchasing all their meals themselves, or if they just found these sandwiches tastee
never stopped to ask
I have known people to handout the sandwiches
their stories usually involve a the long list of thankless complaints they get from the homeless
"I want one turkey and one ham"
"I don't like roast beef"
or whatever special order they may have
"no mayo"
"extra mayo"
who knows....
I recall trying to work a different set of systems when I was younger...
Happy Hour! We use to go to a variety of restaurants on their preferred happy hour nights. TACO NIGHT! Was always a favorite, but I was never too picky. We would go to any bar that was known for a serious happy hour spread. This was a money saver here in DC as well as out in Colorado. Normally we would order a single beer or a single Coke, but our trips to the Happy Hour Buffet were many. Then there was the discovery of a day shelter in our Neighborhood of Mt. Pleasant, Our Turn. Someone had told me that they had inexpensive juices and shockingly cheap pints of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. For some reason it never occured to me that these inexpensive services were not for me. Guess I felt that my long beard and hair was a good enough for me to pass as a person in need of a break. The flavors were usually odd ones, Ben and Jerry's Coconut or they had the Butter Pecan
the survival instincts of the courier have to be keen
especially in a time when the economy is so tight
more power to these guys for finding a way to survive


this upgrade takes things to a new level
and a different direction
let me get some of this proud poppa thing out of my system
my pride is overflowing

what the heck
one more

I had a variety of BLOG ideas
some that I thought to be real interesting ones
potential epic entries
but the ideas passed with the wind
perhaps if I am ever to be the Widget Maker that I dream of being I will have to live the rest of my life with a pad of paper on a string wrapped around my neck. Stopping my bike, my typing, or my fork at lunch to write down any brilliant brainstorm that passes through my head

sometimes I forget that I live in the city
sure this is not Manhattan nor is it Hong Kong
Washington DC is a city just the same, just a little like Mayberry than Gothem City
with living in the city there are an assortment of oddities and often some dangers

our neighborhood of Mt. Pleasant butts up against Rock Creek Park
our house and our front door looks out across to a small patch of woods with righteously tall old hardwoods
being that this is the city and this is seemingly remote area for the city
occasionally there are those that make the woods their homes
and I do not mean squirrels and turtles
now days there are less and less vagrants setting up camp
dog traffic is great enough to dissuade any new settlers
as well as the police responding to complaints and calls
but there are those that have refused to budge
SCREAMING MAN is one of these characters

over the years his "spot" has moved from location to location
finally settling in a sliver of land between Park Road and Beach Drive (aka Rock Creek Parkway)
he has no tent or any shelter to speak of
just bags of stuff and his trash, some of which I can not discern
each day he migrates about the city
he has been seen at various bus stops and resting on different front steps or stoops
I am never sure if he is headed to shelters, soup kitchens, or to make deposits in his Swiss bank account
his agenda is unknown to me
all I see is him marching up the street with his body slung over his crutches
his one shoe and his swollen foot without a cast but a slipper that would normally be worn over a cast

he ambles up the busy road at his own pace
screaming all the way
what he is saying or who is screaming at is unknown to me
we have spoken before
and he spoke clearly, politely, and in complete and articulate thoughts
he refused any food or clothing I offered
gave his thanks and moved on

each day he makes several passes by our house
our dogs love for him is only surpassed by their love for Mr. Johnson, our mailman
when they hear him (or maybe smell him) they go wild
rush to the door
pouncing on the plexiglass that blocks the glass
as the glass has been broken once
and we can not risk injury having it break again

the worry is not the barking
the worry is that our timing is such that his pass occurs either while I am already in the woods
or as we step out the door
the dogs will only chase and bark
perhaps that is enough, or in this case too much
there is no desire to torment this already tormented mind
yet there are worries and dangers
either the dogs could be leashless in the woods or my petite little lisa could be out with Dean at her side, Grant in the baby Bjorn, and the dogs on leash
there is no way she could contain the dogs
their might and their passion combined with their fit athletic frames would be more than she could handle
she would have to let the leash go before she injures herself or delicate baby Grant

there have been no incidents on my watch
lisa has not retold of any events
but a neighbor had a wine tasting party the other evening
at this party he retold a tale of him having to make an emergency stop as my dogs crossed the street to agress the Screaming Man
my apologies to the Screaming Man
my thanks to James for stopping in time
it is difficult to balance all the individual needs and all the different personalities of the people in such a compact space as Washington DC

sorry if my rants and ramblings have been more directionless than usual
perhaps it is sleep deprivation
perhaps it is just my way

the main thing may be I have the time to BLOG
but I do not have the time to proofread or edit

excuse me while I PUBLISH AND POST


this evening I did a drive by an old friend's house
well, since it was on bicycle, it was a ride by
it was like old times
cocktail hour on maryland avenue northeast
although water was my pleasure
I enjoyed the excuse to lengthen my ride home from work
it was cool to see Adam's most recent woodwork
his skill boggles the mind, it all happened so fast
the passion he has for his "craft" is visible

while there another friend questioned the design and purpose of the single speed karate monkey
having no luck in the past to explain the single speed to a non single speeder I reached for a metaphor
Stoff being a photographer I went for his craft/art (what ever art or wood working may be)
simple and plain
the single speed is a pin hole camera
sure I could take better shots with my Canon 35mm or even my Minolta 3.2 megapixel camera
but instead I choose a pinhole
and a sturdy and solid pin hole it is
not just a cardboard box, but an actual camera
to get the desired image it may take more work
but the final results can be so gratifying
knowing it was done with the pinhole camera

the visit was a drive by
a quick hello and than back headed into the setting sun
the orange sun splitting through the windows of the Capitol building
off for home
to walk the dogs and join my family at the dinner table
or try to catch up with them with whatever stage they are in the evening

just have to arrive alive
riding a bike in the city is like swimming in the Pirahna infested Amazon
nips at your feet
dipping and weaving, dodging and avoiding any and all dangers

(as it turns out Dean was feeling all sorts of active, so we took the stroller to the streets took in the sight of the black sky and the white moon, the air was brisk and refreshing, Dean learned the word archetechture as we looked at the national cathedral off in the distance, then he got to explore our elderly indonesian neighbors house as we invited ourselves in as house guests, we shared the joy of our new arrival of Grant and the pending arrival of their grandson, due in a month)

surfing the traffic on my single speed this evening I had a very Gollumesque experience
as I dodged in and out of the car traffic I argued in my head
"don't second guess yourself, don't second guess yourself"
"check again, is that hole going to close, check again, is that gap big enough..."
the journey has a never ending rhythm of re-evaluation
never holding a straight line
accelerating for closing opportunities
creating options when doors shut before you
it is a game
a game with dangerous consequences
but risky
the second you get too cocky, that is when you get slammed
man small....nature big
respect it

sometimes I add PSEUDO definitions to my BLOG
while other times I add real ones
this one is real
the mixing of lies with the truth has been a form of trickery that I have enjoyed implementing for years
hiding insults in compliments and vice versa is also a pleasure
anyway, here is that definition followed by a directionless rant about an education I never had

potvaliant (POT-val-iant) adjective, also pot-valiant

Showing courage under the influence of drink.
Such courage is also known as Dutch courage.

many years ago I had thought that I would be writing a thesis or some sort of PhD type of thing
but never took education to that level
as it turns out
going to class
doing the prepared reading
studying for tests
writing papers over an extended period of time with edits and revisions is better than the night before without spell check
were the actions of a student

to me being a student meant drinking excessively, sleeping late, and playing video games
oh, toss in varsity Div III soccer and various intramurals

with that said...
one of my thesis ideas pertains to this term, potvaliant
my intended title was to be, "The Fight or Fuck Response, with the Steak and Cheese Loophole"
Since I never pursued science with the usual routine of grants and such
I was forced to study myself and my own drunken behavior, in sociology this is called Participant Observation.
When going out drinking I found that our subject, me, would get very drunk very fast and keep on drinking. Once hitting the wall completely inebriation my goal of drinking and shooting pool moved to the pursuit of love, or more accurately lust. somehow the urges, hormones, and emotions all get confused, perhaps it was just the frustration of knowing I was not going to find a suitor that I often found myself in a situation of "fisticuffs." Not being a fighter, there was always the safety loop hole of the Steak and Cheese. Not finding love, and trying to avoid the fight, I found that our subject, again me, was placated by the greasy pleasure of a steak and cheese sub from any of the Korean markets of Sub joints littered about the city. Yums being a personal favorite, extra mumbo sauce on the fries please.

yum mumbo sauce
the condiment of the gods

my other thesis concept that never got developed
Art versus Craft

and the thought of not posting this rant crossed my mind
but being a tad off color can often happen when you are me

Main Entry: com·pul·sion
Pronunciation: k&m-'p&l-sh&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French, from Late Latin compulsion-, compulsio, from Latin compellere to compel
Date: 15th century
1 a : an act of compelling : the state of being compelled b : a force that compels
2 : an irresistible impulse to perform an irrational act

at times BLOGGING is not a pleasure
there is no substance
nothing is being said
nothing is being achieved
I have work to do
as well as other interests to occupy my mind and my time
yet I am compelled to blog


here is another BLOG RIP OFF from ROBLOG

My inner child is sixteen years old today

My inner child is sixteen years old!

Life's not fair! It's never been fair, but while
adults might just accept that, I know
something's gotta change. And it's gonna
change, just as soon as I become an adult and
get some power of my own.

How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla

about stealing info from other blogs...
what can I do?
original thought is tough
we even RIP OFF ideas from ourselves
when was the last time you told a story for the first time at a party
we usually fall back on the stories that we know will entertain, as we know they entertained before

let me see what else is out there worth stealing and sharing....

scroll down to the Ian MacKaye article link
he talks about MP3 music downloads and how he feels about sharing music

gear is expensive
when gear is used
gear gets worn
after some vigorous workouts gear can start to stink

the gear can be washed
but at the first healthy sweat that gear shows that it has a life of its own
the sweat is clean while the gear is dirty
the end result the rider carries the pungent odor that rubs off from the gear
this morning my gloves were the stinkiest item of all my gear

after removing all my gear, some mud covered, some clean, some pungent from the fresh sweat
once cleansing myself of STINK FACTOR from my odiforous gear with SPEED STICK and GOLD BOND I realized it was not enough
no time for a shower...just some soap to the may be time to retire some of this gear


another time I will tell the story of my proposal to Lisa
but this loser may not want this story told again

I' Don't

guess the Wizards were not the only losers that night

does anyone know if the world is making fun of William Hung?

life is pretty basic
there are some simple rules
here are some rules that I try to live by


(this way you will never be let down)





life may be basic
but it is not always easy
we make it harder than it needs to be

more rules to come later

The Jam

if I had an iPOD
that is what I would be listening to
but I don't
as it would not be conducive to my current job or my bicycle commute
the body has five senses
the sense of smell is vital, but not so helpful in dodging traffic
sight is good
but hearing is tied so deeply into feeling
that I could not see giving it up
too many cars coming up fast and hard
some people
it is just best to get the fuck out of their way

(that is the word fuck twice in my BLOG today, now three...make that four times....I never BLOG like that...what is happening to me?)

there is Soft Rock
so I guess The Jam is Soft Punk!
but they are not soft at all, they are just more polished than most punk bands

more on Minor Threat/Ian MacKaye and Fugazi
there is one line in this article that says, "he passed on chances to be rich and famous..."
well, Ian is rich and he is famous
that may not have been his intention or his goal, but it is his reality
he did it on his terms
got rich even when he was not trying to
more power to him
he deserves it...
one might think that I was some huge fan
well I am pretty big, but not huge
and I am in some ways a fan
so I guess that I am a pretty big fan

with that said I am pretty big not matter what I do
big cyclist
big computer user
big person all around

on a similar music note
(music note...I crack myself up even when I don't aim to!)
check out ALL MUSIC and search the history of various bands
quite a resource

and once again
it is from their early days
they are just kids
they are fucking tight
can I say fucking on my Blog?
it is a rush
and even the none STRAIGHT EDGE people need a natural RUSH sometimes!


baby grant is sleeping
so far so easy
but it was this way with Dean for the first few weeks
all that was followed by a few months of crying
nothing more than a memory now
it was nerver racking
but not so much that we ever freak out too much
as it was our first child and we figured that is just what children did
in the scheme of things...Dean was healthy and strong
so what if he cried?!?!?
and that flexing and screaming was working out
he was getting fit and strong for a long life to come

I was never much of a skater
skated some street and a little ramp
well the ramps were not little, they were big, but I skated them infrequently
never really got off the ground, total land dweller
no more than dropping in, riding fakie, carving, some sketchy grinds, and some rock and roll slides that never reentered the ramp
all this with no pads and no helmet
running out when bailing a trick

transportation and recreation were more my thing on the skateboard
sure we use to head down to G-town in the 80's and skate the brick quarter pipes by the canal
but it was as much about hanging out as it was about skating
just something to do

hardesty and I would head to the tall parking garages in downtown bethesda and mess around with the tricks there
but it was often more about a hoot, a holler, and a giggle
we would run the stairs up and skate down doing long glorious power slides on the sharp 190 degree downhill turns
wearing down our leather tipped gardening gloves
running over our hands
wiping out on the slick concrete
never careing that a car may be coming up as we sped down
friday nights of a simplier time
not just a simplier time of my life
a simplier world
now bethesda is so crowded you could never expect to have a vacant 6-8 story parking garage for skateboarding

the most fun skating in those tall garages was the CATAMARAN!
each of us would sit on our own decks
then we would put our feet on the other's decks, each foot to the outside of the seated rider
then we grasped hands and hiked out
the speed was awesome!
the outside rider had to really get back
and the whip sensation was phenomenal

I recall one friday night getting some of the younger more pumped skaters to join us in the garage right behind Bethesda Square
these guys were all use to living at the ramp
pushing their tricks farther, further, and higher
they were all reminded the simpler more laughable aspects of skating

here is a downhill ride that is a rush to watch
not sure who it is, but it makes me want to go out there and break my wrist

soon Dean and Grant are going to be wanting these