Rants on Cycling and on Life


Inspirtation and DAY ONE
Take inspiration from where ever you can find it. Look to magazines, books, and films. Watch others around you, your peers, your competetors, your enemies, the leaders and creators of whatever your interests may be. Let the morning sun or the evening stars help your mind wander as you find inspiration from the world around you and from your feelings within. Take that inspiration, hold onto it, nurture it, make it grow, then share it.

Each journey starts with day one....
Before day one there are many days of thinking, planning, and preparation, and of course dreaming. There are many nights of trouble shooting ideas and dreams over drinks in a bar, without Day One all these nights of schemes and plans are complete fluff. Then finally, the dream becomes a reality, a thought becomes an action, and it is day one.

dean is awake
more later

boys napping
wife walking he dogs
me blogging

what is this DAY ONE?
yesterday after leaving work a tad early I felt I had the time to try and get out on the bike for a few more miles than normal. My intended route, miles, intensity, and speed were altered when I spotted from the Capital Crescent trail a rider cruising along the towpath along side the C&O Canal with a larger yellow trailer, the stretch limo of trailers, and an assortment of packs. Without hesitation I back tracked to a point to where I could access the towpath and quickly caught up to this lone rider. Immediately we were talking. Curious as I was I could not contain myself....Starting or Finishing? Where you headed? How long are you going for? and What the heck is this thing you toteing along behind you?
All my questions were answered and then some.....
His name is John and he is headed to Alaska. He has sold everything he owns other than the possessions that he is carrying with him. There are pots and pans, extra tires, certainly tools; although I could not see them, there were two skis that turned out to be a back country snowboard that splits in half, all that with paddles and an exterior that turns out to be a collapsable sea kayak. John is riding a southern route across the United States where he expects to sell his bike In Seattle and climb into his self designed and self constructed collapsable sea kayak. From there he will paddle his way to Alaska.
On our introduction he was just miles from home, as this is Day One from him.

proof read
and more to come on this
going to try to get his contact info
and get him to start a BLOG


Some CITY BIKES Mountainbike Team Members with Ned Overend

here is a link to a friend Chris' page
it has a odd mixture of information
Cycling Links
Cyling Repair Guides
Video Clips from the Simpsons
Audio Clips from South Park
and some personal images
a good resource

Chris' Page


The C Chair Shuffle and the Hike up Four O'Clock Run
and hitch hiking Loveland Pass
In my early 20's back in the early 90's I passed through Colorado on a cross country motorcycle adventure. I stayed with friends in Boulder and Aspen. This taste of the Rockies was not enough. After settling in the Bay area for a short while I realized that I would be happier in the Rockies, so I sold my motorcycle, shipped my mountainbike and gear back to DC, got in my car and drove out to Colorado. My arrival to Colorado was a confusing one. There was so much to learn about the system of the mountain resort town, not to mention I was in an odd situaion with a quasi girlfriend who had a quasi ski patrol boyfriend, but that is a BLOG not worth BLOGGING about. Other than my spring time ride up the Gondola in Aspen I had never been on a ski lift before, the only snowboarding I had ever done was on the old Burton boards that lacked a metal edge. Our rides were always on golf courses with moderate grades and usually ended with a crash rather than a stop. Upon arrival to Colorado I learned that the snowboard needed a metal edge, snowboards needed special binding, and also special top this off...riding the chair needed a lift ticket or a lift pass. Lacking the funds for any of this I was forced to settle in on another option, Hitch-hiking Loveland Pass. Having never experienced a metal edge I was zipping through the trees without any chance for stopping, again falling back on crashing as my only stop option. It was complete madness, looking back, I realize I was lucky to walk away without breaking several limbs. I was going from a gentlely graded grade of a golf course to a steep wooded path with short steep drops, jumps, and all sorts of other dangerous obstacles. It is funny to think that the first trip to Loveland Pass was with Jack, the quasi boyfriend of my quasi girlfriend...he cooked me breakfast that the warden delivering a death row inmate his last meal.


I survived.
I recall being winded by the high altitude. Never knowing that it was not my inexperince that put me at such high risk as much as it was my inferior equipment. Jack, a seasoned ski veteran, and a ski patroler, knew the danger he was putting me in by taking me to "the Pass." I survived. We did not truly bond on this experience, the basis of our relationship forbad such a closeness. It was all so new and different for me. The whole mountain experience. The people, the culture, the absence of oxygen, and the sport of snowboarding were completely forgein to me. As I waited at the botton of the out of bounds ski run leaning on my diminutive board that lacked metal edges I got looks and stare, made friends, and got laughs....but I did not get it. It was only months later when I got NITRO FUSSION all mountain board that I came to understand what a snowboard truly was.

Eventually, I got a job, actually got several, backed away from the quasi girlfriend and her quasi boyfriend and let them take their course, I settled in Breckenridge. I knew just a few people. My boarding stepped back to the basics, with a ski pass and a new board I was able to see how insane my efforts were on that old Burton Woody. Took it all back a notch and tried to keep my uninsured body out of harms way. Oh, I forgot to mention that I got run over by a car within the first months of arrival, that may have taken some wind out of my sails as well. From my morning job I went to the mountain and did some riding and then off to therapy. Quasimotto needed to fix his back. Quasimotto did not have a quasi girlfriend, all he had was a whole lot of back pain and a mess of hospital bills, and a whole lot of drinking and shooting pool...that is what boys do in these girl-less cowboy towns.

The seasons changed. Boarding moved to biking, well first snow turned to mud. The high altidude environment was usless to me. No fun for the biker and no fun for the boarder. Funny how we were unable to appreciate our situation, guess that is being young and stupid. By this time I had a network of friends and we had all lost our seasonal jobs and were looking for other jobs and trying to entertain ourselves. We drank, we shot pool, and we took road to Boulder for days or weeks at a time....then off to Moab to ride our bikes...then back to the mountains....we did not appreciate how grand it all was. It was amazing. If we had been able to limit the alcohol intake we may have been able to do some more riding and some more hiking and even added a few more sports to our routine, but I think that the ski town has a certain loneliness that we tried to drown with bottles of Jim Beam and whatever else drink special may be available for us.

Then, as much as I loved the mountains and enjoyed the party. I felt it was time to leave. For some reason I thought I would do some more traveling, Asia was on the brain. And honestly, there were aspects of the resort lifesyle that I could not take any more. The never ending party was something I was trying to escape. Humorously enough I got back to DC only to drink and shoot pool in another town. My plans to go cross country on a big old Suzuki GS850 to fly our of SF to Japan were put on hold as after a broken clavicle made me jobless and I spent all my cash, while my disassembled motorcycle could not be assembled with one hand as the other one healed in a sling. Once back on my feet I lost sight of that goal and fell in love with my now wife. We got to Asia, only to visit, never to live, it was an awesome 4 months Guess we will have to get back.

Lunch time
more in a bit

back from lunch
where was I?
where am I going with this?
from the title it seems that I am supposed to bring this around to the C Chair Shuffle

once back on the East Coast I still had a need to fulfill my craving for POWDER
some of my peers teased me with what they figured to be the tongue or dialect of the snowboarder...
They were right, these were the words so often used to explain the pleasure of deep champagne powder....but they did not understand, no one who has experienced it can ever is a drugless drug and I loved it and I craved it. So each winter after my return to Washington I would make a pilgramage back to Breckenridge. There were still friends living the same life so there were always couches to sleep on, bar mates to drink with, and boarders to ride the chair with. There was one issue...all of this was very expensive. Whether flying or driving that all cost money. When on vacation, whether for a week or for a month, that was time when money was going out and no money was coming in. Lift tickets are expensive so I had to be creative......I tried to mix up my approaches and my attacks to decrease the odds of getting into real trouble. In an effort not to get anyone into trouble other than myself I tended to try and hike onto the mountain alone. There were two different routes that I used to get to a chair that accessed accessed some of the higher parts of the mountain, but the lift opperators did not check for tickets, as it was a quarter of the way up the mountain. This path was called THE C CHAIR SHUFFLE. I would vary my route, usually cutting through the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, but this route put me right below the chair lift, behind the "lift ops." Quite risky, hiding in their blind spots, Jedi mind tricks, and pure luck were all needed....I felt like I was living "Murder on the Orient Express." (or whatever that movie about the tourist smuggling hashish back from Turkey was) The hike up Four O' Clock Run was a tad longer, but it offered a situation where you could click into your board and ride right into the queque. Still risky. I did get caught, but never got in trouble, I was lucky. Apparently there was a safe and easy hike to the Falcon Chair on Peak 10, but that was never convient for me, but Bob Blair claimed it was the safest. When I did not feel like hiking there was always the wire snips for the afternoon ride, which was an A-Basin favorite or the ever dangerous Children's ticket, children under 6 ride was a ticket, and it worked on the modern scanners.....but was very have to enter the lift line and go face to face with the the mercenary lift op seeking the bounty of 50 dollars for nabbing the scamming snowboarder. Let me cut this short, this is not a manual, "50 Ways to get onto the mountain without Paying" As my recommendation to anyone is to get a job that pays well enough that you do not need to fall back on the "hook up" or "the scam." It is too risky and too stressful.

if I were to live life all over again...
there are many things I would do different
but that is a BLOG for another day


I lack both the experience and the knowledge to BLOG on these issues, but as a person with an opinion I choose to BLOG on anyway.....
I have only been married for over 4 years (and with my wife for nearly 9 years), it has been like most relationships the metaphorical roller coaster with very high highs and some rather low lows, and moments of calm unaware of the turns ahead. We have been able to handle most of what life has sent our way, in so many ways our lives are charmed. Our obstacles have been minor and few, yet we find battles and struggles just the same.
We are healthy, active, and moderately attractive.
Our home is a glorious house with nice furnishing in a wonderful location. (well there are some short comings, we are in Washington DC, not Utopia)
Our dogs are good when they are not being bad.
And our children are both healthy and strong with no great issues other than the basic adaptations that all children go through (sleeping,eating, going to bed, fighting for attention, making friends, sharing, learning physical skills, learning language, etc.)
Yet, life has its battles.
In my mind I think that one of the greatest error we all make in relationships, ANY RELATIONSHIP, is that failure to appreciate what we have. We tend to step into routine and take our surroundings for granted. We are selfish and greedy, always wanting more. Whether we fail to slow to pet our dog who greets us at the door, or we run quickly through the motions of getting our children ready for bed. Even our job, we all bitch about our job while we should be happy to have a job at all. It is tough to appreciate each moment for its intrinsic value. Each of us is tired after a long day, as a man all I want to do is put my feet up, grab a drink, and scan through the channels. In the world of love and romance we all spend so much time to get into a relationship, but rarely do we spend a fraction of the effort to stay in that same relationship. For some reason the "cartwheels" have stopped, we no longer strive to entertain and impress our mates, but instead we lounge about in our underwear with potato chip crumbs collecting on our full bellies (okay, that is me...maybe not you) Why do we let the magic fade?
It is hard.
Even if I want to do cartwheels, how can I expect my wife to have the time to watch them?
There is breastfeeding for one child and bathing and bedtime for the other. There is trash to be taken out and dogs that need to be walked, bills need to be paid, as well as an assortment of other domestic tasks.
In life I meet other men, some married and some divorced, with their age and years can come experience, so I try to probe these men for insight and guidance. Whether it is our pediatrician or a stranger in a bar, each man married or divorce has had time to reflect on his relationship, his strengths, his failures, and his successes. I ask and they answer.
Many offer the same textbook answers, "Communication is the key!"
others will tell you, "respect each others space, spend time apart"
it can be more simple that , "don't be a jerk!"...."don't cheat!"
In my mind any relationship can work, it just takes effort from each side. Egos need to be put aside and both members need to sacrifice and try. If we are respectful of our mates and slow things down and think how our actions effect them and how we may feel if the table were turned.
As in the case of infidelity/cheating. It would crush me to learn that my wife were cheating on me, thus it is obvious that I would never cheat on her and risk causing her that pain and jepordising all that we have worked for.
Don't be petty.
Don't play games.
Act with a combination of your heart and mind.
Be considerate.
Understand that actions have consequences.
Every action has a reaction

back to work
or this action will have the reaction of me GETTING FIRED FROM MY JOB!
I doubt that I said anything worth reading
I doubt that anyone read this far

and article that helped inspire this topic
"Pitfalls of Marriage"


here is a short QUIZ...
What Faith/Spirituality are You?
it is an interesting little set of questions
and the results may intrigue you

religion is not really part of my life
but it seems today it is part of my BLOG

Here is a clip from
over a decade ago I considered myself a "SOUL RIDER"
as I rode for the feeling

Snowboarding as Meditation
It's about time winter sports got spiritual. At Beliefnet we've previously covered Christian wrestling, Christian hunting, and even Christian yoga. Now an Anglican priest is trying to stir up interest in Christian snowboarding. Rev. Neil Elliot, a chaplain at the University of Central England in Birmingham, is writing a PhD thesis in the spirituality of snowboarding.

Elliot, currently spending four months in the Canadian Rockies to interview snowboarders for his research, says that many snowboarders are interested in the spiritual elements of their often risky sport. Some back-country snowboarders even refer to the sport as "soul riding."

"Soul riders are not seeking the glamour of video and magazine coverage, but the peace and solitude of riding 'out of bounds,'" Elliot told the Anglican Journal. "For some riders, and I include myself in this, there is an out-of-body experience (in snowboarding). You're there but you're not there. Your riding becomes a meditation; it takes you out of yourself."

check out BELIEF.NET for all sorts of odd stuff
from YOGA to Quizes about what religion suits your life's philosophy


Banff Film Festival at National Geographic

Head to the middle of this page, BANFF Film Festival, for clips
nothing shy of inspirational

this year they have broken free of the stereotype of the ADRENALIN JUNKIE films and created another festival catering to that genera, RADICAL REELS

This event sells out every year.
It is a must see in any town. Whether you are an adrenalin junkie pushing the limits of your sport, a world traveler, or an Olympic level Couch Potato...these films will get you pumped and inspired. Just as a Jean Claude Van Damm movie leads it viewers to leave the theater thinking that they are ready for a Kung Fu Gang War....these films make us all think that we can drop any cliff on our skis or boards, paraglide off our garage, or climb any mountain or rock face, or ride our bikes down any rocky descent.

The variety of films last night covered a spectrum of variety that entertained for nearly three hours as if it were three minutes, never did a film drag. All who attended were entertained and inspired.

FOCUSED was film one....
A big mountain skier rides steeps and deeps pushing his personal limits and the limits of the sport only to take it one step further. His personal narrations read like a script for an Owen Wilson character, to sum it up in his words...."I live it and I rip it!" and his actions backed up his words. Not only was he riding the unridable terrain, but his choice of equipment was as colorful as his persona. After many comments that the shape of his skis closely resembled water skis, he opted to put some ski bindings on some water skis, then later in the film he had a snowboard on each foot, then a snowboard mounted like a monoski, but that was all very subtle. The rocks, the drops, the avalanches around him were more the focal point. The camera perspective was normally from a helicopter, but it switched to a helmet cam, it was all more than a mortal like myself could grasp. The rides were epic, limitless, he was clearly FOCUSED. Then, just when you think you have seen it all. He offers the question of "What is next in Big Mountain skiing?".....and he opts to take the line that is not a line and shoots right off a cliff.....then another cliff...again....and again....pulling out a parachute and gliding safely away. This was the perfect start to a night of films after a day of the heart pumping....woke up the everyone pumped.
The title is something that should help people appreciate that these athletes are not just slamming a Red Bull (Mountain Dew is OUT,) crossing their fingers, and hoping for the best. Focus backed up by the pinnacle skill level are vital to attempt any of these maneuvers.

The tone shifted drastically with the next film, SISTER EXTREME, a mockumentary. It was 15 minutes into the film before I realized that this was a mockumentary and not an actual documentary. It was dry and humorous and quite a break from many of the climbing films that display the heroics of superhuman demigods.

The next film moved to a more serious film with a more sociological work, A Man Called Nomad. This 44 minute tale told the story of a young nomad of northeastern china, born a nomad into an ever changing world. How his life sculpts his identity, and his frustration as he tries to grow with the times. It was a beautiful story of a complex life in a changing world, showing the clash of modern world with the old world of the Nomad. Definitely worth checking out a clip on this one. It was a beautiful moving piece that offered much chance for insight into our own lives as we try to figure out our different yet also changing world. Too much to say on this without you the reader having seen this film....
I walked away thinking....
this man must be no more than 25....we grow up slow in the Western World

Biscuit was a three minute short about a tenacious terrier that has taken on bouldering and climbing rather than chasing frisbees and sticks. A lighthearted piece that was a feel good viewing, well other than the moments were the theater was on the edge of their seat watching, waiting, and fearing the inevitable fall of this small little Jack Russell Terrier. And yes, Biscuit did fall, but he was able to recover and not get hurt and approached the same climb and overcame it. This was a basic feel good piece from a production company that had one of my favorites from the year prior, URBAN APE, Tim O'Neil climbs anything and everything in his hometown of Boulder.

Then the evening of films came to a close with an unlikely sport topic for a mountain film festival, soccer. THE OTHER FINAL, is a film that documents the events leading up to a soccer contest held between the worst two teams in the FIFA international league, a contest between the countries of Montserrat and Bhutan. The characters of each country are as different as the lands they come from. The islanders of Montserrat are cocky and vain, while the mountain people of the diminutive mountain nation of Bhutan are humble and kind. It was a gathering of cultures. The film was wonderfully produced by a Dutch film maker/World Cup Soccer Fan. It was a high quality production that unfolded as quite a tale. The beautiful backdrop of Bhutan and the characters of each team made for an entertain wrap up to the evening.

Check the Website to see when this film festival is headed to your hometown
and if you missed it this year
catch it next year
you will thank me!

on Saturday I will be attending another night of BANFF FILMS
lets see where this inspiration takes me