Rants on Cycling and on Life


My Mom.
My mom should rest at ease...MISSON ACCOMPLISHED!
I may not worship god in the same fashion that she does
but I do believe in god
today I freaked out as I thought that I may have an unrealistic relationship with him
sure I saw Bruce Almighty the other night
it was more thought provoking than blasphemy
but it did not explain my situation
then tonight as I rode my bike home from my dad's
I had the trailer behind me and was curious why cars could not treat me with the same respect all the time
I may not have a child in the trailer now, but I have a child trailing behind me where ever I go
so I talked with god
I thanked god for my family
I then asked god to protect Dean and his wild ways
then I asked god to let Grant be just as wild.....and to protect his as well
god gave me no response...
then I got home
there was George Burns in Oh God
the movie explains it all

Dean is not a month past 3 years and he is amazing...
his language skills are not what I am talking about
but he is advanced
walking and riding a bike.....climbing....even swimming
there is no 3 year old in town that matches his skill or achievement
but that is not what I am talking about
Dean has a highly advanced personality
he has so much personality
he has a sense of humor
he can be dry or sarcastic...well, maybe not dry or sarcastic, children are too literal, or so literaly that they can not be dry or sarcastic
but he is funny
and funny
much of what he does is mimicing lisa or myself
but where does he get the rest of this stuff
guess he just picks it upand he picks it up likea magnet
he blows my mind

RACE REPORT: Human Race Report
Today Saturday was fun packed....
After sleeping late this morning, 7:45, I brushed my teeth, grabbed my coffee, and took the dogs for a half loop in the woods across the street. No desire to risk allowing lisa to be late for yoga. Back from the woods, loaded Dean's bike his helmet and our yoga matts. As I am going for a second load, lisa is headed out the door. Being an Olympic level multitasker she has Grant in the car seat, a bag packed with diapers/food/fixens/anything needed, and Dean fully dressed and already in the full understanding that he is headed to the car. We load up and pull out. Lisa is dropped off at the Ashtanga Yoga Center at Tenley and I am off to Turtle Park with the boys.
It is early, just minutes past 8. We are not the first set of kids there, but there is no one there riding their bikes on the basketball court, so dean does a few turns, crashes once or twice, rides some more, then gets lured to the toddler area. There are more kids there since we first arrived. But for the most part the kids all play indepenently, they play with greater intensity and greater creativity with other kids around, but they rarely share play at this stage...paralell play. Dean amazes me, he has an adgenda. He thinks some stuff through. The bigh wheels are gone from the park, that is what initially drew us to this park, but there are still various other cars and toys take up the hard packed dirt mound. Dean heads up with this large plasitic car, the wheels are funky, he considers the downhill ride, but choses against it wisely after a test run. Then he opts to take this same car into the jungle gym...
Okay enough cute dad shit. Even I got bored/
I was leading into something about one week after Snowshoe I was unintentionally on the bike at the same time as my first lap. Trying again to break an hour, this time I did it. Only not on a muddy, rocky, rooty, course in West Va, but rather on my rigid commuter with Dean in the trailer. He was asleep in under 10 minutes, but I had a good ride just the to my dad's and we swam!
We swam and we swam....I grilled...then we swam some more.
I am exhausted....
some many ideas
but not fast enough fingers
and not focused enough brain
guess I will mix another drink


this team's synopsis and experience was what the 24 Hours of Snowshoe is all about
but honestly...
they are selling themselves short by not racing sport
they had the spirit that is needed in a 24 hour race
all that other stuff can be learned

not only do these guys have the spirit of racing
but they also have a certain clarity in vision

these guys really got the spirit of the race

check it out

The 4th of July!
This weekend we clebrate the 4th of July, some sort of birthday celebration for this nation. There is no town in the country that clebrates this day with more flare....the fireworks are just the candles on the cake.
We are not sure what we are planning to do. Initially Lisa and I had considered heading to Harpers Ferry for a 'dry run' of the fireworks display. It is rumored that they do a complete run of the DC fireworks display in Harpers Ferry the Saturday before the Fourth, but this is the second year in a row where we have been told it is not happening. I was not sure if Lisa's Yankee accent caused them to tell her a little fib to keep the tourists out (yes, I know that West Va was on the side of the Union, but it does have a sligt southern feel) This day was also intended to have a strong taste of Americana as we went 'tubing.' Good sense has got the best of us, maybe tubing is not the activity of choice for 3 year olds and 4 month olds, maybe Dean could hack it, but whoever was on the shore hanging with 4 month old Grant may be a tad grumpy as the others float down the river at a mules pace.
I have not checked, but in my misspent youth we use to gather down by the reflecting pool for a punk rock extravaganza called, RAR; Rock Against Reagan/Rock Against Racism! It was full of all sorts of fun stuff; multi colored hair, frisbees, and anything else you can imagine might happen at an experience so pictured in the Chicago song, " the park...I think it was the 4th of July"
I have not been joining in on the Malls' 4th of July event for a few years, it was a tad disturbing as I stood beside local folk hero Steve "Squint" and I thought outloud....we are old enough to be the parents of some of these punk rock kids. I don't mind being old, I just don't like feeling old.

We will see what we do this weekend...
I hate the crowds, but there is the chance that I will put Dean in the trailer and take him to a location where we can catch some of the fireworks display. All this of course, after an American BBQ poolside in my dad's backyard.

Hopefully I will blog about the reflection of the fireworks in Dean's wide eyes.

It is interesting...
Well, actually it is not very interesting at all, it should all be very simple. In actuality we should not need laws. If everyone followed the basic notion of common courtesy towards other than we would not needs laws. Now I do not want to start quoting the bible or some commercial for The Church of Christ, but that whole "do unto others" thing does make sense. Think about any crime....pick a crime...any if you were going to commit that crime but thought first...."hey, I would not want someone to steal my bike" or "man it would suck to work hard, save some money, buy a bike, and then come home and find it stolen" well, quite simply you might slow a step and not do it.
I have had bikes stolen, had my truck stolen, had my house broken into, and I have been held up at gun point. At no point do I think that the criminal put a human face onto my side of the equation. I have talked with bicycle thieves when I managed a bike shop on Capitol Hill...these guys never grasped that there was a human owner to this bike, that this bike cost X amount of dollars, several paychecks, savings, them this bike was just a vehicle, and not a vehicle of transport, but a vehicle for some quick cash. (which may have bought them drugs or put them through college, but that is not the issue) Now I have never bought a stolen bike, well, I bought one once when I was 21, but I tried to find the owner via the bicycle registration once I got home, but that was not possible, so I got rid of it and swore that I would not perpetuate the "cycle." Bad Karma Bikes are BLOG for another day.
This basic notion of common courtesy is so simple...
not just for the idea of theft (and not just bike theft; see The Bicycle Theif, but for everything, even for driving a car...
The speed limit is one thing, but the thought of common courtesy or respecting someone else's right to safety is so basic, but people just do not get it. People can drive as fast and loose as they fucking care, but please do not put others at risk. Get drunk and drive off a cliff! I don't give a fuck, but please do not harm anyone else in the process. We should not need a sign that says....PEDESTRIAN HAS THE RIGHT OF WAY. People should just yield to those crossing the street. If I had DT's heartrate monitor on we would be able to see that my heart rate is going up. This shit really pisses me off!
The cursing on what was pretty much a cuss free blog is flowing! When I cross the street in front of my house and someone nearly runs me down and says, "cross at the crosswalk!" Man, the words from someone who more than likely is speeding after taking a turn with a red turn arrow while ignoring the sign that says, yeild to pedestrian traffic...right in front of my house no less! GO BACK TO VIRGINIA! (oh, sorry, that is a rant for another day as well, see Ken Burns The Civil War)
I can not contain it!

this article from the owner of KELLY BIKES got me going....

his tale of his father riding down that narrow double lane road is my everyday....

anger overwhelms me each and every day
the bike experience can calm and enrage me

words leave my mouth
I yell things and wave fingers, well, middle fingers
I chase cars down
and I spit on little old ladies
just because they are constantly passing me too fast and too close
it is maddening...
at times I try to read their minds
figure out their motivation
this is making me insane!
Most people pass me too fast/too close without thinking. Whether is the Asian woman this morning with the broken muffler or the fucking mormons in their glossless honda civic that politiely asked me to move over as they passed me too fast too close and nearly forced me off the road...
they are not realizing that passing six inches from my calf is too close and too dangerous
they are just not thinking that deeply
empathy is not part of the equation....
there are cars putting my life in harms way with roof racks
explain that....
do they buy these things to move mattresses?
ohhhh....I am getting steamed
this is part of the reason I have started to ride the bike paths more frequently...
but then I get on the bike path I there are these jokers that think they are riding for the Discovery Channel
they are lined up in a pace line
zipping past women with strollers and geriatrics with oxygen tanks
sure I ride the trails fast
but I know that if I crash I will get hurt
I think that some of these loser/jokers/and freaks have lost touch with their human frailty as well as others rights to have a placid time as they move down the trail
this forces me to go one step further and take the dirt trail
I try to act courteously
I try to act as an ambassador to my people; what people are those?
crazy I guess.
what was my point?
this BLOG had the inverted effect of therapy....
I can not risk proof reading this
grab a soda and get a breath of fresh air so I can make it through the rest of the day


Joel and A Thousand and One Excuses....
Today my boss and I switched shifts....I will be staying late through the show. This gave me time to get of bed slowly and to go for a quick prework ride (well, only after hanging with Dean before he headed off to pre-k and entertaining 4 month old Grant while Lisa hiked the dogs.) I miss riding more than 15 minutes before work. It is such a refreshing way to start the morning and puts a different 'spin' on the day.
I went north up Rock Creek towards Bethesda and took the Capitol Crescent Trail past the Chevy Chase City Bikes shop into downtown Bethesda towards Georgetown. I moved the bike at a healthy clip, always passing other trail users with respect and courtesy, even having to slow and stop for gathering of trail users that I would have been spooked or injured had I dashed in between.
Not far into the trail I caught up to an older female rider on a road bike. She was moving at a steady clip with her helmetless head and her headphones blaring. I passed with an audible warning that she did not hear, she courteously asked to draft, I asked that she did not and explained why, her headphones were too loud for her to hear what I was saying, but the slowing of my bike and eye contact aided in her grasping my point. She matched my speed and we worked our way down the trail. At this point my rate of speed was above what I usually travel at, and my legs which still have not recovered from the weekend past's 24 hour relay event were feeling sluggish. She passed me and I passed her back....then ahead I could see a Park Service truck on the paved path, now running parallel to the C&O Canal and the towpath I made a tactical error. Thinking that the truck was stopping I thought I could pass the truck on the high ground and pull away from this lady roadie. To my dismay my speed dropped as I hit the soft beige gravel path of the towpath, while the truck and cyclist pulled away. I accepted my loss, dropped speed, dropped down a short grassy hump back onto the paved Crescent Trail and let my legs spin and cool down.
Soon enough, I was 20 yards behind this same female cyclist, her pace had dropped as well. The game of cat and mouse was behind us. I had bonked, she had won. As we meandered down K Street under the Whitehurst Freeway along between Georgetown and the Potomac River we began to chat. It was a friendly exchange. We each smiled as we talked. Then it happened. As I flattered her for her being fast and dropping me she then added..."and 20 years older than you no less!" "57?" I asked. ""not quite" she responded.....then as our conversation continued I felt the excused stacking up in my head....all mouth started to unleash them one by one.....
"had this been a time trial, I would still be ahead of you"
"I am on a mountainbike with fenders and knobbies while you are on a road bike" (I actually did not say that)
"my body is still recovering from a 24 hour relay race last weekend"
or something to that effect
then I caught myself
and changed the tone
it was still pleasant
and she was enjoying it all
then I said...."none of that changes the fact that you are a fast cyclist and that you dropped me"
she said thank you
before I peeled away I commented on her helmet and headphones, but her being an adult and having a right to choose
we said our good byes
and both look forward to SHARING THE TRAIL (and the morning and a ride) another day!

some techie stuff for the single speed/fixie crowd

I love my family
my family loves me
the dogs love me
I love them back
yes, they are part of the family
they are what made lisa and I a family
before we had Dean and Grant
Roscoe and Brutus not only made our couple a family
they made our house a home
a dog stinking
hair ball ridden
hard wood floor worn out
paint fading on the wall at dog hip level


did he get lost on a night lap?
did he get eaten by a mountain lion?

I got to know!


accessories make the outfit
What is this new trend?
Or was it a trend before Reese Witherspoon starred in the First Legally Blonde?
I do not know....and I do not get it
Has anyone else noticed these little furballs with a heartbeat that these high maintenance chics have been shopping around town with?
I have seen these little dogs stuffed into Burberry, Coach, and Gucci Bags.
Calling them dogs is a loose use of the word, but they are not cats, some of them look like rats
I am distracted by JACKASS
I need to get another drink
even as an old man....I sort of get this whole Jackass thing
but not really
sometimes they are JACKASSES while most of the time they are ASSHOLES
just as I do not get various breed of dogs I do not get why people continue to breed with certain types of people

(read only those with the patience to have read the entirety of the previously posted section on the 24 hours of all others it will make no sense)
after sending out this race report I got a message from Rich
he must be a speed reader because he responded with such rapidity
upon receiving his message I felt bad
although I could not recall exactly what I had written I knew from his message that I had offended him
after I took a break for lunch I sat down and read, well okay, I scanned down to the section that made mention of Rich
and I did in fact feel bad
as I am easily annoyed it is not fair for me to stress or state that anyone annoyed me
and Rich made it clear that his intention were not for Brian to slow so that his team mate could reel in and pass our racer and take the third place slot
guess I misunderstood his intentions
I have no problem with the shifting of the rotation
that is just a good racing strategy
we have pulled such things (the racer switch, swap, or skip, not the gentlemanly...."oh, you can slow down, we are not racing to catch up and pass you." thing)
now...I have started to sound sarcastic
in actuality I did feel bad
my intention was not to hurt Rich's feelings
my intention was to entertain and amuse, not at the expense of others
perhaps I misread his intentions at the top of Cub Run when he spoke with brian
as for his list of excuses...

This report is neither clever nor cute. There are not any anecdotes about me running into Yoda thumb wrestling Jesus along side the trail on one of my night laps nor do I get abducted by aliens at the start line and returned to the finish causing me to have a slow night lap. At no point in this report to I get all ramped up and get graphic about jamming down the powerline a mach speed over rocks splashing through mud with beer bellied rednecks cheering and trying to make me crash nor will you read about me hammering up the climbs in hyperspeed passing anyone and everyone that stood in my way (although that did happen.) The use of Red Bull in implied, Gator-rage was in a water bottle for all laps. The Karate Monkey with gears and shock was the bike of choice, the rigid single speed Monkey came off the bike upon arrival and returned to the roof rack for departure…never did this bike get to see the rocks, roots, or mud that makes this race what it is. Read on or hit delete, I may try to comprise a Readers Digest version that is more intense and more graphic. But as this has been typed out I might as well hit send (well, only after I do a little Control-C; Control-V and Publish and Post on my Blog

Race Report: 2004's 24 hours of Snowshoe

There was no need to wait for the dust to settle before I wrote this report, but I did give it time for the mud to dry...

I had watched the reports at WEATHER.COM on and off for weeks leading up to the race, then finally resigned myself that I was racing either way. After some talk with Kemler (Brian Kemler) it was decided that the healthiest outlook would be to expect the course to be wet and get totally psyched if it were dry, thus not allowing ourselves to get depressed if the course were wet and muddy when we raced. The race weekend approached, each member of the team took off Friday from work, my brother Marc, former City Bikes Mountain Bike team captain Brian aka Kemler, and I shuttled down from DC in two cars as the scooterless British Mod Dave Wotton came up from the south, Charlottesville, VA. Our two car convoy headed from clear skies in the metropolitan area into heavy rain clouds in the Shenandoahs. We drove through heavy patches of rain through Harrisonburg and we arrived at Snowshoe only to be greeted by rain, cold, and a well relaxed Dave Wotton. The DC team members were nearly 3 hours later than scheduled; Dave did not say a word about our late arrival. At this point I was pleased with the team's decision to take a condo; we checked in and accepted that it is just as well that we don't preride, as we knew that we would each ride the course plenty before noon on Sunday.
There was potential drama....there was confusion on the actual departure time from my Mount Pleasant home, the directions to Luigi's Pizza in Harrisonburg were not only vague, but turned out to be completely inaccurate, and our two rented rooms were minutes away from each other rather than side by side as promised by reservations. We adapted....with little hassle we drove down in tandem (yet there were miles and miles between each car), had our late lunch when we finally found he hippie dippie pizza parlor, and we managed to have our rooms changed to rooms along side of each other, with a room upgrade at no extra cost. Rather than scrambling to set up our tents, we were making pasta and accessing our rain and cold weather gear. Kemler and I each purchased some roadie leg warmers (basically cycling tights legs that when worn with shorts, they make any shorts act as long tights) and I purchased a windstopper gortex jacket. There was a flurry of activity as unprepared racers swarmed around these tents selling a variety of cycling apparel.

It was a mellow evening, outside it rained, while inside it was cool and dry. We ate our pasta and plotted our race strategy. My brother Marc had already decided our race order and explained that the race order dictated who would be bunk mates. It was all well thought out and completely logical as most of Marc’s thoughts and actions are. After few Mike’s Hard Lemonades (also known as Mike’s Headache Lemonade) I was ready for bed. The next day started slowly. Everyone even rider number one, Brian Kemler, of the Gwadzilla squad was meandering about with no real agenda. The race order was verbalized and we all got estimates of our schedule. Brian was headed out first on the run, then Marc, then me, and rider number 4 Dave. We had estimated hour long laps which made for easy estimation for rendezvous times in the START/FINISH tent.
Noon arrived and with the sound of a canon the racers were off and running in the classic Lemans style to their bikes. The race had started and the rhythm had begun, butterflies took flight in my stomach. Each racer set out onto the course unsure what to expect. Each lap was the same loop, but each lap was very different. The combination of the rain days prior and the changing climate of the day and the racers pounding the course changed the contours each lap, making no lap anything like the one prior. While the moisture or the heat altered the texture of the land and the consistency of the earth.

The mud and slick roots were the greatest issue. The wet roots and slick rocks made certain sections of the course unridable. The thick deep mud changed consistency at different points in the race. At some points it was thick and peanut butterlike, clinging to the bike and stacking up on the V-brake and front derailleur. The use of non-stick Pam was helpful to a degree, but the mud was stubborn. Making already heavy bikes painfully heavy and forcing racers to stop and clear the mud so that the wheels could rotate again. There was clearly a disc brake advantage with the mud pile up issues. The sections in the woods that were ridable could not be taken too fast, as there were still more roots and rocks to cross. A fast crash can be far more brutal than a slow one. Crashing is part of the game, but in a 24 hour multi-lap event like this it is more important to be safe and consistent, than reckless and speedy. Damage to the bike or body can not only slow a lap but could take a racer out of the game. Racing smart is definitely different than riding fast and having fun.
The absence of a preride proved not to be a factor, especially since I have raced here several times before, and many laps at each race. The course had been shortened since my last attendance two years ago, but very little was added or changed. I knew the climbs well enough to know that the middle ring was more important then the granny, and I also knew that in the hike-a-bike sections it was more effective to walk/carry the bike than to try and mount up and ride. So much time can be wasted by trying to mount up and pedal only to be forced to dismount and carry the bike again 5 yards later. Memorizing the unridable sections is vital. It can be a bummer to be off the bike rather than on the bike, but it is more important to have a fast lap than to have the glory of claiming that you rode the whole course. This after all was a Cross Country event, not a trials course.
Our team worked well together. Everyone was operating efficiently; I was the only member of our squad who was late to the tent for an exchange. Dave and I battled it out for the title of our team’s fastest rider. Dave’s first lap was faster than mine by ten seconds, I set out on my second lap shooting to break 60 minutes, I returned to discover that my second lap was slower than my first. On the laps to follow I would resign myself to go out hard and accept the time that I achieved. This way I was never disappointed by my time, okay, I was a little disappointed, but I had to accept that the absence of fresh legs was more of an issue than I had thought.

It was an exciting race. For the most part I was disattached from the team standings. Not racing as a Clydesdale I had not thought that our team was going to be competitive within our class. But as the morning laps were added to the tally we accessed our position. We were solidly in third place of the Men’s Vet (35+), we had no chance of beating the number one Vet team, All American. The All American team proved to be a powerhouse that finished not just first in our class, but number one over all. We rode fast and consistent, but not fast enough to threaten the number two spot, but we did have to be aware of the number 4 team that was fast on our heels. They were sending their fastest rider out every other lap as we got closer to noon, and they removed their slowest rider from the rotation. It started to become more of an issue as one of their racers started to get a tad annoying. At one point he even gave misleading information to Brian Kemler on his 6th and final lap that he could slow down….seems that getting third place ranks higher than ethics in Richard Felicianos mind. And once the race was over we all got to hear Rich and his One Thousand and One excuses as to why he and his team did not finish in front of us.

The whole event is a blur. It is hard to distinguish one lap from the next. The event was an awesome experience. It was a pleasure racing with Brain, Marc, and Dave. We all got along really well and everyone had very similar lap times. On a course like this there is always great pleasure when it is over. For me there is also great pleasure in walking away from the event unharmed. My laps had a fair number of crashes, but nothing that injured my body or my bike. The powerline was a hoot, a holler, and a scream. I rode it three of my five laps, and took the grass ‘cheat’ line that developed after the water from the bike wash took the powerline to a dangerous level.

The rumor that Laird Knight is moving his West Virginia 24 hour event from its Snowshoe location is a great relief. During one of my night laps I promised myself that I would not race this course again.

Team Gwadzilla managed to finish 3rd in Men’s Vet out of 11 teams and tied for 16th overall in a field of roughly 170 teams. I have not had the time to play with the numbers and test the fate of the JOEL CLONE, but as our team did more laps then the winning Clydesdales and I had the fastest average one could then infer that the JOEL CLONES (aka GWADZILLA-GWADZILLA-GWADZILLA-GWADZILLA) would have won the Clydesdales. But honestly, those guys that won the Clydesdales were smoking fast, but they had one slow guy that altered their fate and their final lap tally, so it is a waste of energy crunching those numbers and toying with that non-existing hypothetical.

Perhaps I can draw up a more interesting and less lengthy synopsis of my race this afternoon

Men’s Vet Standings

Creator of the 24Hour Mountainbike race format in the Mountainbike Hall of Fame; Laird Knight


this afternoon my boss let me off a few minutes early....I love when that happens
and boss is pretty cool and it happens fairly often, although not often enough, yet still often.
so what do I do with a few extra minutes before Lisa gets home from picking up Dean from school after a her full days work?
well there is the deck project...
the basement is a mess....
that side project for the business cards....
yard work, okay now I am getting silly
yes, you guessed it
I went for a ride
it was not even quarter of 5 and I was already suited up and peddling down M Street into Georgetown
unsure of my path I weighed my options...
M Street to Key Bridge? over the Potomac and onto the Mt Vernon trail towards the airport? (the trail itself goes to George Washington's house, he is not home, but it is a nice ride along the river, passing Bell Haven Marina where Bennett and I use to kayak and swim on summer nights at sunset after we closed the Big Wheel shop in Old Town Alexandria)
or drop down to the C&O canal towards Cumberland? it is a hundred and eighty-six miles, I did it in a sucked...but I did it
but not sure if it will happen was one of the worst sensations of my life...and dreadfully boring at times (the rain and mud made it ultra painful)
or ride with the commuters on the Capitol crescent trail towards Bethesda?
okay...I am on the Karate Monkey single speed
none of those stated options appeal to me
so I turn up 28th street passing my friend Andrew's childhood home above Shiffely's Market, then on up to Dumbarton Oaks, pass the cemetry, down the brick path, past a few sun bathers in bikinis, and into the woods along side of the gardens
yes I know bikes are not on the guest list
it is early...people are still at work
it is dry
and I am friendly and full of smiles
okay, I will not justify one asks the car driver to justify their ignoring that the speed limit sign says 25 MPH
okay, I am not trying to rationalize my skoff law ways
the car modifies that law that says that no car should go over 25
and I modify that law that says no bike should go down this path
I will break this law courtesously and without putting anyone at risk, well no one else but myself
the greenery has grown since the last time I was in here
the path is beaten and clear
but the grass is high
not the pleasure of a frozen winter day, but the bikinis make up for it
I do a loop through one section, I do not encounter any hikers (bikers/horses/police/workers/kids/....anone for that matter)
after that loop I shoot towards a winding climb, but I can see a women with a newborn in a baby bjorn so I opt to take a less familiar trail
giving her space
as I climb there are logs and obstacles I can not clear
I dismount
several times
then once back on the bike with a little rhythm
and then I hit an off camber log and my bike slides out from under me
still in the clips I fall into the brush along side of the trail
a large stick the diameter of making a circle with your index finger with your thumb jams into my neck
slows my fall
luckily it is brittle enough to snap
amazing how strong the human neck is
I check
no blood
no piercing
sure there is pain
and almost a little panic
I am a little shaken up
with the sign of the cross I shake my head
thank god and thank my lucky stars
I could have been bleeding to death gasping for air
rolling on the ground and quoting Nancy Karrigan with "why me?,,,why me?,,,,why me?"
but instead I am back on my bike and rolling further up the hill
the trail ends at a small clearing with pile of trash
well, trash to you or me, but some bags, some long pieces of tin, and other random stuff
obviously the dream home of some homeless resident
must be male, as it is a work in progress
I turn the bike around and head back down the hill
again it is more dismount and remount, dismount and remount
then on the bike
and out of Dumbarton Oaks and right into Rock Creek
still on dirt
with more time before lisa and the crew will be home I continue to pedal
even with a sore neck I have a window of opportunity
so I use it
from the dirt path I am on a bike path
through a tunnel on the sidewalk
and then along side of the National Zoo
no time to see the pandas
especially since that is one no bikes sign that I can clearly see
then in moments I am up a curb and climbing a fireroad towards Klingle Mansion
a spot where DC's own Keystone Cops searched aimlessly for Chandra Levy's body
rather than going all the way to the mansion which is used as Department of Interior Park Services offices I turn down some single track and get back onto the bike path
a few minutes of spinning and I am on the bike path
and convinced that I am too tired and lacking the technical touch for the woods
as non-technical as they may be
opting not to climb the hills on ross road, not much of a hill, but up just the same
I head down Beach Drive
the single speed is not the machine of choice in traffic
even maxing this machine out I am going slow enough to force the cars to pass aggressively on these thin winding roads
a few miles into it
just past the Park Police office
I am tired of the commuter traffic passing me too close too fast
so I dip into the woods
not rationalizing things
just getting my wheels and my body to some place where I feel a tad safer
this trail is wide and smooth
sure it is just a path
but it is a dirt path without cars
I sprint through having to wheelie through a number of mud puddles
a mile or two of this same type of trail and I am headed up over water bars and getting closer to some roller coaster single track
the only other trail users I have encountered have been leashless dog walkers
again I am struggling with some technical spots and the climbs are more than I can muscle
I do a little rogue maintenacne
clear a fallen tree
try to add some logs to make a tall fallen log ridable
I try to test it
I crash as I tenatively raise my front wheel onto the first log
with no shame I turn my bike around
and start getting a rhythm on the dirt
I slow and stop for another leashless dog
this one did not chase me like the last two
rolling fast
I look forward to the two drop offs
the first drop off is sweet
the second is taken at such speed that I feel air around me
before my rear wheel touches down first
I zip up a side path and skretch to a halt before a fallen log too high to even dream about clearing
as I disount I glance at my watch
and plot my course for home
back out of the single track
onto the wide smooth flat fire road
veto the option to take the alternate single track back
and get back onto the road
it is more of the same
battling the commuter car traffic
so many cars passing so fast and so close
some on cell phones others trying to teach me a lesson and still others too stupid to know that they are putting my life at risk while others still just don't care
up Park Road and heading home
as I pass my own house
cars pass me
still too close and too fast
my ride never ends at my house
I take my bike around back
and I always take my bike to the top of the hill
since I do not ride often or long enough
I try not to cheat myself of this hill
sometimes I do it several times before I put the bike into the basement
I get home
and hang with lisa grant and dean
plug the iPod into the auxilary slot
and before I know it Lisa and Dean are dancing in the center of the room
it was fun
I hike the dogs
we order some thai food
lev comes over to fix the dinning room light
I finish that business card job
put the last of my laundry into the wash
blow off recharging my light
pour myself a glass of Absynthe
and turn on the tube and start to blog

but I think I had another objective
this blog may not have circled to the point i was seeking
the intro becmae the full tale

Blogathon 2003

Funny stuff....It would seem that 24 hour events are not just for Mountainbikers!
BLOGGERS are doing it too!
maybe there are 24 Hour Bowling events too!
I have also heard of 48 hour Indy Film Competitions....
I love the 24 hour format...
but for me it has always been about biking or partying!




this is on brian's mac page
click on the first image and it will open a slide show
then scroll on through to see all the glory that is the podium at Snowshoe
(if you listen closely you can hear fully loaded cars and trucks squealing wheels as they pull out of the parking lot thus leaving the ceremony for those receiving the awards,and only first and second place were on raised platforms...third in all classes stood at the same level at the deck)

in hindsight I am not sure if I fully appreciated the moment
it is pretty cool
our team was solid and we finished strong
there were those that were faster
there were even more who were slower

I would have to say that I am curious about the future of Granny Gear in West Virginia
Laird is crazy loyal to that state
he may be leaving Snowshoe resort, but he will never leave West Va

((if you bother to look at the images you will get a kick out of me in the shot where all the racers raise their arms and cheer....the cycling apparel is less than flattering to my Clydesdale gut rolling right out))

Back from Snowshoe!
Race Reports and anecdotes to come, first I have to let the dust settle, or in this case let the mud dry before the event is clear in my head.

Gwadzilla Results

In short....
It was a classic Granny Gear Snowshoe event...
Well put together with no control over what Mother Nature has to deliver. Seems that Laird Knight may have pissed her off some time ago as she has rained on 10 of is 13 West Virginia 24 hour events in the past 13 years. Although it did not race during the race time itself, it did rain violently the Thursday before the Saturday noon time race start. This year I left my class of choice, Clydesdale, to race with my brother's Vet team (men 35+). It was a good group of guys; my brother marc, former City Bikes team captain and team founder Brian Kemler, the British Brain Dave Wotton, and myself. A good mixture of different personalities with very similar finishing times. The race was hard, there was a mixture of technical riding, long climbs, and long hike-a-bike sections. Too much hike-a-bike for anyone's tastes....deep mud....slick roots...and boulder size rocks....almost dangerous to move through on foot while carrying the bike. Each person independently said to themselves during their night laps that they would not be doing this race again. As for me, I was crossing my fingers that this race would not be held here again as I feared that I would race it out of some strange fear that I would feel like I was "pussing out!"

Check out the Results!
My Team's Results! Complete with laptimes etc.
We managed to get Third in Men's Vet and 17th overall. A finish that I was very pleased with. The winning Men's Vet team was also the top finishing team overall! Their efforts were nothing shy of impressive, yet perhaps not as impressive as the Solo Riders

The Clydesdale field was small....part of me was sad that I was not part of the Clydesdale competition....but I enjoyed racing with my brother's vet team more than I would have enjoyed

Laird Knight's bio in the Mountainbike Hall of Fame
there is no question that this man deserves some great credit for his contribution to the sport of mountainbiking
after my first Canaan many years ago the 24 Hour race format became part of my yearly objective, most other races had no appeal to me
Since that first Canaan I have also raced at Granny Gear 24 Hour events at Donner pass, Moab, the first Snowshoe event and now the last Snowshoe event
and if things go as planned
I will race next season at the new West Virginia venue and perhaps make a trip to the west coast venues again in the future!