Rants on Cycling and on Life


Clydesdale Championships?

This is a race/event is something that I have been interested in being involved in for years.
A few years ago I searched and I searched but could not find any information on it. Went so far as called the guys at Dirt Rag to see if they knew anything about it. They were of no help, which is odd since the founder of Dirt Rag, Maurice, was the first person to win the title and has won it several times since. A friend of mine and fellow Clydesdale, Bill Davis, went to this race a few years ago and said it was not worth the trip. That is a great distance to travel just to do a race.

As for me, if I am going to travel a good distance, I might as well fly and head out to the 24 Hours of Moab or the 24 Hours of Tahoe and get a good ratio of race miles to travel time/expense.

A few years ago I did the Moab event and had a great time with a bunch of my Clydesdale buddies from out west. The race went well, we managed to win the coveted first place in the Clydesdale division (just a week before my wedding) but the days prior and the rides in Moab were superior to the race course itself. Moab is a Mountainbike Mecca with an assortment of terrain. The Granny Gear course is not the best sampling of what is to be ridden out there, but it is a great race just the same.

The year prior my brother and I grabbed a plane and headed out to Donner Pass for the first Granny Gear event out there (which has since moved to Tahoe proper) We had a blast. The course was awesome, a tad too much hike-a-bike, but that is the granny gear way. We linked up with a college buddy of Marc's named Tim Noakes and a cool cat from San Francisco named Kurt. Noakes was a roadie who had little respect or knowledge of mountainbiking and had never been night riding. Kurt was and is a seasoned cyclist with numbers of races under his belt and many miles on dirt. The race itself was small and had a great grass roots feel to it. Marc and I arrived a few days early and did a fair amount of preriding as well as some afternoon swims in the mountain ponds that were all over the mountains. There was also a guy named Gordon who worked for Marin that I had met in Bali racing there. It was a great gathering and a good time. We took first in the Clydesdale at this event as well. The numbers are not fresh in my head, but our overall standings are often respectable as well. It is not just a matter of being a fast Clydesdale, but being fast over all as well, oh, and there is that notion of fun that everyone claims it is all about.

Granny Gear 24 Hour Race History and Results

my friend Chris sent me this
sorry I missed this when it was live and something to mess with

Story About a Bush Online Poster that was being Fucked With By non-Bush Supporters

this is a response to a BLOGGER out west, TIMMYP
the KARATE MONKEY is part of his life as well
he tells great tales of living with the monkey

ah yes
the cycling experience is very different than many others
you see and smell your surroundings like no other
in my wide array of tools so many have been found on my rides around the city (DC)
my bright neon green tape measurer with the name PIG etched in the back
the black crow bar with the owners info stenciled in red paint
then some tools I will never need
like the suction cups that would be good for the Human Fly to climb glass sky scrapers
in addtion to the tools there are many other things scored on these rides
I am a semi-pro dumpster diver
all sorts of wheels and bikes;most that I will never use, have been found in the city alleys
then yesterday as I rode some rogue trails behind the DC resivour near the C&O canal I saw a rocky creek that I had never seen before
a great secret spot
maybe a place to take the dogs
or to just relax and eat a sandwhich mid ride
funny, I have been there several times before, but never looked over the edge, guess I was there during seasons where the green growth obstructed my view

I know alley short cuts that take me back in time
on Capitol Hill weaving between the 100 pllus year old houses
through that alleys past the carriage houses
imagining that their are horses and buggies rather than SUVs and lawn mowers

on my commutes to work I look into the cars and buses and I pedal by
eye contact is shared
I try to read their mind from my end and they try to read mine
I have a hard time understanding their choice of travel and they have no concept of mine
pretty girls wait at the bus stops
well dressed men hail cabs
nannys of one color push strollers carrying children of another
dogs walk the city streets, my attention waits to see if this dog owner picks up his dogs waste
I have seen this guy before....he never picks up
the other cyclist...the courier...the homeless man that pushes his bike that carries all that he owns....the latino man on the ladies bike....the roadie back from his training ride...and the other commuters making their way to work

each day I see the sights
no day is exactly as the day before
yet these days are completely different


here are some shots of the boys
these are a few of the cousins
Grant is not in the photo because he is only a month old and is somewhere being breast fed
and Benjamin is not in the photo because he is still just a bun in the oven

Spring is here and the beard is gone I miss it already it marks the start of my cycling season and makes me look thinner
or at least I hope

today/this am

this morning my alarm went off at roughly 7:30
my alarm's name being Dean
Seven thirty is pretty late for this guy; on our vacation in Florida there was a morning where he got up a few minutes before 5, but regularly he woke up at 5:30, so for him to get up at 7:30 was a pleasure
he got up, jumped into bed and jumped right out
guess he heard lisa downstairs and traded up
so I put my head down and went back to sleep for another half hour
once up I joined lisa dean and grant with my coffee
selected some gear for dean and headed out to the morning mist and the morning cold with Dean and the dogs
getting Dean out of the house was the usual game of loading his backpack (which we ended up forgetting) and selecting this hat and not that hat
dropped Dean off at "art class" and headed out with the dog
as I was scheduled to do the late shift at work I had some time to spare
went down into Rock Creek and did the Melvin Hazen trail
a short little loop that dips by the creek where Roscoe and Brutus were able to chase some ducks
then back home to grab some work gear and straddle my single speed and head into work
pointed the bike north even if work is south and cut through Bethesda onto the Capital Crescent Trail
as I crossed the Maryland/DC border I scanned the woods for the enterance to a small network of trails, then dropped in
nothing technical
but dirt beats pavement anyday
did a few loops through the woods, checked the watch and headed back for one more
(as these loops are small...very small)
just as I started to wind down the last loop I felt my front end getting a little sqooshy
so I dismounted my ride and pulled out the tools of the trade
had a spare tube and a mini pump that took a thousand pumps to fill the tire
put the wheel back in
put the bike upright
and could immediately feel that the rear wheel was flat as well
not sure what caused the flats
maybe thorns maybe a snake bite
not sure
so I started walking
the little loop sure seemd a lot larger as I walked my way back to the Capital Crescent Trail
so I pulled out my cell and told my boss my situation
he had no problems and understood that I would be a little late
walked a few miles
was getting tired of walking when a rider with an Aussie accent offered me a patch
my acceptance was immediate
he pulled over and we started chatting away as i made the repairs
his voice was clue one, well actually, the bike was clue one, then the accent, and then his build
I remember meeting him once before months prior
he recalled our brief meeting
then it came up that he was heading cross country in two weeks
flying out to San Diego and riding back
the wife, the kids, and the job all gave him the go ahead for this "adventure"

more in a bit
this is dragging
and going no where
need to do some work

maybe a different topic

with that said it was a good morning
and all before work
walk in the woods
ride in the park
and some hanging with Dean
almost like a mini vacation right before work



and meanwhile GW is trying to bash him with some ad


funny though....
if we were to look at other countries, such as Canada, that have socialized health care
perhaps the model of raising the gas prices is not such a bad idea
the only people who are penalized are the ones who drive often
and the ones who drive the gas guzzling SUVs
the ones who make long commutes in the SUV get penalized twice
which makes sense to me

there should be more incentive for alternative transport
and for those that must drive...
there are the fuel efficient Hybrids and Electrics

nest topic?
Two people in a 6 person SUV is HOV?
Two people on a motorcycle is just about HOV, but in Thailand they manage 5-7 people on a Vespa!

and for those with a few seconds to kill
check out
and no this has nothing to do with the creation of the Bush Twins, no one would want to see that
this shows the finalists from the commercial contest

back from florida
back to work
back to BLOGGING, if I can find the time
so much to do here after my time away, but slacking instead
better get into a groove or the day will go by and tomorrow will be twice as hard

just finished a rant to my cycling team about bashing a local race promoter
seems that many people were looking forward to a local race last Sunday and it was canceled at the last minute
sort of pissed some people off
there was some negative ranting among our team members on our team site
so I responded with this....

Hello City Bikers

Running a business is hard, being a race promoter is a unique business. Perhaps a harder business than some, maybe easier than others, certainly it looks attractive and must have some wonderful rewards, but it is work. There are many people to try and please as a race promoter just as with any business, so many variables to juggle so many different needs to meet. I can only imagine the headaches that the weather can cause on top of everything else. So I think that people may want to cut Dan some slack on his race cancellations. Sure his race series has its quirks, some of the courses may not be long enough, many of the courses may not be rocky or technical enough, but they are races and they are close. Many of his short comings may come from his need to accommodate each individual's needs as well as what the terrain in the immediate area offers. Some of his races start late....well, have you ever seen how late the racers show up for his events. He is never a stickler for closing down the sign up table and I for one am thankful of that. Personally, I enjoy the events. It is a good network of people, the races are close, fast, and fun. Dan puts on a solid event. Without the Dan's Races we would have far fewer races in the immediate area. If you do not want to do his races, well, that is your choice. But, to try and start a BOYCOTT is selfish and short sighted. And to bash him on the team sight is a dangerous thing to do as well. The 'readership' of this Yahoo Group stretches further than just our immediate team. I only know Dan from his races. He has always been very kind and friendly to me, he is always open for suggestions. At each event he takes time away from his set up to say hello and catch up. Sure his website could win awards for being one of the UGLIEST SITES ON THE WEB, but that is insignificant in the scheme of things. I look forward to his races, and hope that he will be able to continue offering races for mountainbike community in the many years to come. Try to be a tad more realistic or perhaps even grateful, and if you can't....well listen to your mother, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!"

As for me...
I try to be thankful to the promoters of each event.
At the Greenbriar event I met Vince, he was busy, but he gave me a minute to hear my thoughts on a Clydesdale Class, laughed about my harassing him via email and I think he and his crew all enjoyed a little thanks after the event (whether in person or via email, from me they got both) We all like a pat on the back for our efforts. So, lets try to put it all in perspective, these guys are not getting crazy rich off this stuff. They are contributing to the sport that we love. Cut them some slack. And if you can do better, I welcome you to try. But until then, let us all try to be a little more constructive in our criticism.

(which is funny cause I can be a real jerk some times, but I am trying to change)

thanks for listening

trying to step off my soap box and get back to work

here is the link to see Dan's race schedule
and his ugly site

Dan's Races

and a link to the
City Bikes Mountainbike Team Photos