Rants on Cycling and on Life


or in my case....A PAIN IN THE HIP!

Earlier this week I took a turn too fast and felt the leaf covered world get pulled out from under me. The whole experience was painful, the injuries were far less than I could have been. I walked, well pedaled, away body and bike in tact, so I am not all that worried about it. As a matter of fact I am thankful to have the occassional humbling experience to help me to keep things in check. It is good to be reminded of the frailty of the human body and the risks of riding a bicycle, such small accidents can aid in avoiding larger accidents in the future.

Days have passed since this event and I am slowly on the mend.
My hip is swollen and tender with a large rasberry the size of the palm of my hand. This rasberry demands all sorts of attention. I am constantly forced to clean it out, apply Neosporin and a gauze pad, and walk in a fashion that does not aggravate it. Sleeping offeres me one hip to sleep on. And any contact to the area sends painful sensations throughout my whole body.

It is raining outside.
Glad I got a few short rides in this week.
Not riding as much as I would like, but it is difficult to ride without a definite goal in site.

How does this work?
I hate Tom Hanks and Kevin Costner, but they are in some of my favorite movies

Kevin Costner fulfills this equation to a much higher level than Tom Hanks, yet Tom manages to do some of the same.

How can it be that I hate these actors.... I hate the sound of their voices....I hate their inability to have a tonal range...
yet I can love a high number of their movies.

Perhaps the answer is "casting."
Maybe it is the "machine gun approach;" they are each in so many movies you are bound to like some of them.

Honestly, it is beyond liking some of these films.
Some of these movies are carried by these actors end up being some of the best movies of our times.
Many of which are in my personal collection to be viewed again and again.


Here is a short list for Costner:
(it looks like he has not done anything worth seeing in 14 years, or maybe I have missed something special in his list of new films; somehow "The Bodyguard" did not catch my eye!)

Dances with Wolves
Field of Dreams (sure, Bull Durham)
No Way Out (definitely)
The Untouchables (most definitely)
American Flyers (just because it is a cycling film)
Fandango (a lesser known MUST SEE!)

And for Tom Hanks:

Bosom Buddies! (need I say more?)

okay, realistically
I have missed a good number of his recent contributions that the film world is all crazy about
so I will only list the ones I have seen and really enjoyed

BIG (eating baby corn and jumping on the bed is not tough acting....that is everyday for me! A fun movie just the same)
Toy Story (1 and 2)
Cast Away (he was silent for 50 minutes of it, which was GREAT! a great film)
Forrest Gump (any joker can play a retarded person, but somehow he fit the mold perfectly)

okay...guess he is not as big in my list of "Personal Favorites" as I had thought
but I did enjoy a number of his movies, although they may not qualify as "MUST SEES"
here are some other good ones
just as I vowed to never see TITANIC, I have a strong aversion to Tom Hanks
so I have missed some films that may be epic or at least grand

Catch Me if You Can (cute and clever, like that 60's thing, the same way I loved Castaway and its ability to move at a seemingly slow pace...Castaway was nearly artful)
Road to Perdition (a very good film)
You Got Mail (good for a Meg Ryan fix)
Apollo 13 (never saw the IMAX version, but I am sure it rocks, Our little Opee Taylor sure can direct a film!)

okay....HATE is a strong word
I do not HATE either of them
but I do question how this can happen
Sleepless in Seattle (a great Sunday matinee when you are hung over and it is playing for the 1,000 time on television)

no reason to go on with Tom Hanks....
my feeling....
if you do something for 30 years....I hope that you are good at it!

where does this rant come from....
Tom Hanks does the voices of 5 characters in this film
Will it be tough to distinguish between them?
Lets see if he can pull it for me...even with two kids and the approaching holiday season....I will more than likely wait for DVD on this one and spend my trips to the theater to see the INCREDIBLES!


I am just one piece of many puzzles.....

In Washington DC I am just a tiny little puzzle piece that fits into a puzzle of Mount Pleasant
which when complete fits nicely into a puzzle of DC
which fits into a larger puzzle of the United States
which fits into a puzzle of North America
and so on
and so on
and so on
(I have a copy of this puzzle to scale, actual size, but I lack the space to assemble it)
I am just one piece that fits magically into many puzzles
(we all are)
puzzles of the past, present, and future
for each puzzle that I am a piece of, I have a different level of importance
in the puzzle which is my family I am a moderately significant piece
while in my immediate family which consists of a wife, two kids, and two position of vitality increases
while at work I am just a small piece of a corporate puzzle that consists of many many small pieces to manufacter a massive puzzle; a puzzle piece that is pretty much expendable
in the world of cycling I am an even smaller piece of the puzzle
whether that puzzle be the puzzle of cycling in the past, present, or future
my contribution is still small
but, that puzzle can be broken up into smaller and smaller and smaller, yet complete puzzles
in the mid atlantic clydesdale mountainbiker puzzle I have a larger piece than when in the puzzle that is mountainbiking as a whole

it is important for us to keep the priorities of these puzzles in order
while making sure that our pieces always fit in cleanly
it is foolish to try and get yourself to fit into a puzzle by force, that is not fitting in at all
may cause more harm than good

no matter how you look at it I am still just one puzzle piece no more no less
expendible in some puzzles while vital in others
so many puzzles could be completed with a part so similar to me
only the puzzle of the family is incomplete without me

if I stopped mountainbiking or quit my job...
another piece would quickly take my place
I would hardly be missed
no one can take this puzzle piece place in his family

just as I am a puzzle piece
I am also a puzzle
I am a husband, a father, a dog owner, a computer guy, a mountainbiker, etc....
all these pieces and more combine to make me the puzzle piece that I am
as insignificant as I may be in the scheme of the world

Also on the Granny Gear tip.....

Granny Gear has an article making mention of Keith Bontrager turning 50 and completing his 50th 24 Hour Mountainbike Relay!

Well worth a look....
as each of us complains about our getting older
those 50 plus guys can help us to look in the mirror, check our birth certificates, and shut the fuck up!

Granny Gear has a West Virginia Location for its 24 Hour Relay Event!

24 Hours of Big Bear!

there are those of us who care
while there are others who can not be bothered
for me....this is very exciting
24 Hour Mountainbike Relay Racing is what really got me into racing more than just riding
there is something about the 24 Hour format that is just nothing shy of fantastic
the team work
the camaraderie
the emotional input
the intensity
the competition
for those of us who do not have the pleasure of going to war....these are our trenches

I do not know about you...I am definitely going to sign up for this event!
Looks like I will try to build a Clydesdale Team to slug it out with some of the podium winners of years past....
looks like I have Chris lined up...if he can make weight!
my brother is more than likely not going to qualify as a Clydesdale this year, which is a bummer as I enjoy racing with him (he brings a great deal to the table not just as a racer, but as a team leader, as a self proclaimed alpha dog he immediate takes the reigns...someone has to do it...why not have it be him)
jon from Ohio has voiced interest...hope there are no conflicts with auto racing
not sure if Aaron from Idaho is up for racing....he has been a good friend who I always enjoy riding, racing, and hanging with....but...well we will need to talk

we need four over 200
hmmmm...maybe Phil Rice?
who else is there....
it is not just about stacking a team
it is about riding fast and hard with some friends
some friends who all happen to be fast Clydesdales!


apparently Freddy is not Dead

here is that goop that roadies throw on their legs instead of knickers or tights
remember for cold weather usage
or else your ride may turn out to be A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET!

Cars Suck!

we have grown dependent on them, but cars still suck
many years ago when I was touring europe via bicycle with my buddy rob hardesty
we realized one thing
the use of the car and bike are reversed over there
as we driver our cars each day and ride our bikes on weekend
they do the opposite
riding the bike each day and driving their car recreationally on weekends

certainly there are many car drivers in Europe
there is certainly a significantly larger pedaling population in Europe than the states
just take a tour through Amsterdam! (thank me later)

here is someone's post on 50 reasons why cars suck!

if we could only design our lives in such a fashion that the bicycle became more practical for everyone!

I actually heard an advertisement for bicycle commuting on the radio the other day
wonder if it will make a dent
work of mouth and peer pressure tend to be the best ways to get others to commute via bicycle

I own a car
my wife owns a car
I drive as little as posible
ride my bike or walk where ever and when ever there is the option
currently I am using my car to drive my son to school in the morning
as hip, cool, or enviromentally concious as it may be to get him in the Burley Trailer and go across town
it is entirely unsafe, thus impractical
that cross town trek is dangerous enough for any rider
but with that 3 foot wide trailer in tow!
forget about it


Reefer Madness!
Downhiller Tests Positive for THC
a drug that is banned not in the sport of cycling as a whole
only in the sport of DOWNHILL!
is THC considered a Sports Enhancement Drug?
you tell me!

let me try to bring this BLOG back to the BIKE!

The seasons have started to change (finally.)
We had a wonderfully prolonged INDIAN SUMMER, nothing shy of epic. The warm days carried us all the way into November, who knows, there may be a few more warm days to come. Then comes the cold damp freezing, just above freezing cold; Rain, Sleet, and Hail.....with very little snow always bordering on snow but giving us icy cold rain!

When the weather is in that awkward in between stage where it is not hot and not cold it is not always clear what is the best gear to wear. Especially for the bicycle commuter, where the early morning ride may have a very different temperature than the late afternoon/evening ride. One of the best investments that I have made in the years past has to be the ARM WARMER and LEG WARMER purchase. Sure this is ROADIE GEAR, makes sense! So lets all drop our hang ups and borrow ideas from any and all subcultures, whether they be friend or foe.

The Arm Warmers and Leg Warmers are great!
Your basic Arm Warmer expands the practicality of wearing a short sleeved jersey longer into the year, up until a jacket is mandatory. When gearing up, less is more. It is best to get on the bike with a tad bit of chill rather than all toasty and warm. Because once the movement starts, the body heat increases, the sweating starts, and if the rider is over dressed...they will be wet and uncomfortable with sweat. The leg warmers do the same thing for shorts that the arm warmers do for jerseys, the great thing about this out on a ride and the sun starts to warm the day...then all of this stuff can be peeled off or down. As unattractive as it may be to have arm warmers or leg warmers rolled down and bunched up at the end of each appandage in an 80's FLASHDANCE sort of is highly practical if you do not want to slow down the pack by having to stop and entirely remove the gear.
Now go out and get yourself some arm and leg warmers....I even have knee warmers; these turn any shorts into KNICKERS!

(BTW: Knickers Rock!)

An old college friend who went from being a fringe skate boarder with a passion for anything Ian (Ian McKaye of Minor Threat onto Fugazi with many quality bands in between and after) to being a conventional lawyer dad with a love for the road bike (who knows what is on his iPOD now or why he chose the road over dirt) has been telling me about various gels that can be applied to the outer surface of the arms and legs as an option to tights or leg warmers. I personally have never tried such gels, but would be curious to give them a shot. The price on these are a bit of a deterant, not to mention that once the gel is applied it has to run its course, nothing by a milk bath will neutralize this heating power (okay, I made that up, never used the stuff, so I am embellishing all the way.) The college friend who asks not to be named had a story of such a gel warming his legs during the cold morning, but when the sun started to bake the days his legs got FRIED!

In addition to the mid weather gear there is also the need for colder weather gear as well as RAIN GEAR.
For raingear nothing tops GORTEX! Also from our friend from the north, MEC, there are some great outer shells that can make the winter riding experience not just endurable, but pleasureable. I have a GORTEX jacket and a GORTEX pair of pants that are tailored specifically for cycling that I purchased from MEC. The style that I have may not be carried this year, but these products may be an improvement on the previous designs. MEC is a co-operative (just like REI) The US to CANADIAN exchange is also in our favor.
Ontop of all is cool to buy Canadian! (hope no Union friends read that statement)

When riding at night there is one simple rule....LIGHTS EQUAL LIFE!
Everyone needs a light, reflectors are great, but they do not take the place of lights. Everyone needs to have a few of the inexpensive battery operated blinking lights and also a rechargeable headlamp system. For the blinking light most anything will do....I have had good experiences with VISTA LIGHTS and BIKE PLANET, but for the more expensive (not expensive over you save so much without having to buy batteries or an ICU bill!) headlamp I would recommend some comparitive shopping as well as some advice from some sources that you trust. Personally I have gone with the NITERIDER SYSTEMS for years, faithfulness has taken me down that path, but in recent years I have not been satisfied with QUALITY CONTROL. Too many brand new systems were glitchy out of the box....for the high price you would think that things would work. Sure they have a great return policy, everything came back fast, but...I would prefer for everything to just work.
Sure you may look like a Christmas tree with all of these lights, but it may help keep you alive to see the next holiday!

Yes, the light systems are expensive with the initial investment....but over time the per use cost is actually pretty low. Once a rider has used a decent light system they will ask themselves how they ever rode at night without a decent light.

I have some GORTEX Socks....
tend not to use them as often as I should.
I need a better system.
Cold feet lead to short unpleasant rides.
I need a better system.
Share in the comments section.


Here is the last and final commuter "must have," FENDERS. The fender comes in as many design options as the bicycle itself. It is a matter of preference and taste. For some riders the "clip on" style is preferred, while others choose to have a set of fenders that are sturdily mounted on the bike in a permanant fashion. To each their own. But to those without the prepared to become more wet from what sprays up from the road than from what falls from the sky. I have never known a time when a long spray of mud on a person's backside is fashionable.
Even after a rain, the rider can still get soaked without fenders.
So if you are a commuter and you use your bike strictly for yourself a favor and get some fenders!

more in a bit
gotta do that work thing



Some more light humor on that whole BUSH/KERRY thing

just heard that Ashcroft is stepping down
not sure what this means



here is the BLOG PAGE from my partner from the Panarama Paranormal

maybe we can get him to write a race report from that event

or one of the other events that we have done together
or against each other


This morning....last night...

It is tough for me to realize that not everybody wants to hear my anecdotes of parenting
not even other parents want to hear someone go on and on about how great or advanced their child is
or how little sleep they are functioning on each day

so I have deleted this previous entry and started from scratch
removed all the banter about Grant's cold and Dean's nightmares
no one cares about Lisa and my having to alternate getting up mid night to talk Dean down from hysterics
sure Dean and Grant are cute, but no one wants to log in for a daily play by play of a child's growth

so I will bypass the tales of 9 month old Grant's endless climbing of the stairs
Dean's expressing his 3 year old version of adolescence by not wanting to do anything and definitely not wanting to go to school

in an effort to keep things cool at work
I have swapped for the late shift at every opportunity; every Monday at least
it is tough to make it in to work at my set 9am in time with my duties as a father with both kids before Soledad arrives to watch Grant which frees me up to take Dean across town to his daycare facility on the Trinity College campus, only to return to walk the dogs

with a 11 am in time I have the freedom to do these things without that classic Dagwood Bumstead spastic acceleration
and if I am hyper efficient I am also given some time to take a quick spin on the bike before arriving at work
with the early darkness morning rides are key, although last night I dipped into the woods with a single head lamp mounted on the helmet

the fall weather is cool and crisp
nearly all the leaves have fallen from the trees which adds that extra interesting variable when mountainbiking on single track
sort of a mystery of what is under all the leaves

with only 50 minutes to make it to work I had to move briskly
I headed down Park Road towards the trail
made a hesitant shortcut on a path I had never taken before
it bisected a switch back on the road that would all add up to making me late
even if it was only 30 yards; it cut off what may be a half mile in a direction I need not go
it was an exciting 30 yards as I had no idea what was hidden under the leaves
cautiously crossed Rock Creek Parkway and got onto the bikepath
once on the bike path I started to spin vigorously in an effort to assure that I could make it to work on time
failure to make it into work by 11am would defeat the purpose of switching shifts
I crossed a foot bridge over the creek and started in on a turn
not sure if I tapped my front brake too hard
or if I was taking the turn too fast
but it felt like someone had pulled the world out from under me
once second I was an invincible super hero
the next I was a lost lonely child crying out for his mommy
it was a painful slam and slide
I was back on my feet leaping around like a drunken kangaroo as I accessed the damage
no dislocated shoulder
no broken wrist
both legs seemed in tact
no damage to helmet
no damage to head
still doing what may have appeared to be an Indian Rain Dance to any onlooker
just as I was about to regain composure another commuter made the turn on his bike
only with a little less speed
a whole lot more control
he slowed, stopped, and offered me some assistance
I felt that I had not been terribly injured and was confident that the bike would still roll
we chatted as I mounted the Surly Karate Monkey Single Speed and started to pedal along side of this Czech Republic stranger commuting to work at the late hour of 10:10 in the am

we rode along side of each other
I bailed on the cultural exchange for a romp into the woods
the fellow commuter on the road bike moved along the path
I turned uphill onto some dirt

I made the cross town ride through half mile section of trail only to cross the road
and link back up to another three quarter mile of trail
and so on
and so on
until I was in Georgetown back on the city streets
wrestling with traffic
running the lights
racing the train

I arrived to work at 11am sharp
ran up the back stairs put my bike away
then went into the office
showed my boss the raspberry on my hip like a third grader shows off his loose tooth or his black eye
my boss was not entirely excited to see my peel down my tights
as he is a tad conservative and such things make him uneasy
(the photos of me wearing the cheerleader outfit gave him nightmares)

the urban woods ride had been moderately mellow
the crash had stolen some of the wind from my sails
to be humbled is vital
we need these little speed checks in life to keep up from getting too cocky
confidence is one thing
arrogance is idiocy

even with the crash
the raspberry on the hip
the sore shoulder
the bruised shin
it all adds up to what it means to be a mountainbiker

such is life being me

the work day went well
most of the day was spent at a remote site on Capitol Hill in the Capitol Building
it is fun to get out of the office

A country divided

things are getting ugly
real ugly
this election is really splitting this country in half
it scares me
I fear that people (individuals and groups, politicians and news people, coworkers and friends) are going to say things that they are going to regret
just because we feel it does not mean that we should share it....
unless of course.....we write it on our BLOG

I say...keep it to yourself
we will not change each others minds
it is too late to change anyone's vote
don't do it
don't start that conversation
don't let your blood start to boil
don't risk making enemies out of friends
now lets see if I can take that advice

I voted and I voted for Kerry
no, I do not have a Kerry/Edwards sticker on my car
don't want to cut someone off and have them hate me for two reasons
as I drive cross town or more frequently when I ride my bike around town
I check out the different types of cars with the different type of stickers

I have no real stats
no facts
no figures
just an impression

it appears to me that the W TYPES are more prone to SUVS
while the KERRY TYPES are more likely to drive more economical cars, not necessarily hybrids, but the Subaru wagon or VW Passat rather than the Navigator, Explorer, or Four Runner

a friend of mine from the west sent me this link
Correlation between Average IQ of a State and the Selection of their Canidate
not sure of its accuracy
take a look
see what you think

time to suit up, mount up, and roll on into work

maybe I will do a quick little pass through the park on my way to work
soothe my mind
avoid bumpers and bumper stickers
let nature distract me from the tense issues at hand

more later or course
maybe not until tonight
need to control the BEAST WHICH IS THE BLOG!
(THE BLOG: the next Steven King best seller!)


I admit that today has been a total BUST
perhaps I took advantage of my boss calling in sick....oh well....tomorrow is another day
perhaps I can compensate for my Obsessive Blogging Behavior(OBB)

in addition to BLOGGING I also like to waste time taking various quizzes
here is a quiz that is pretty good....
good for the sinner
good for the saint

What sort of Spirituality Type are You?

the quizzes can take a few minutes
the greater the number of questions
the greater the accuracy
this one got me right on the money, as have many other of their quizzes

Active Spiritual Seeker – Spiritual but turned off by organized religion

for anyone who is curious about such things this may be worth a look

I once heard Granny Gear Founder/Mountain Bike Hall of Famer Laird Knight quote an unknown source, "I would rather be on my bike thinking of god, than in church thinking about my bike."

beliefnet quizzes

without the seriousness or the religiosity

and of course QUIZILLA

Roscoe and Brutus

If I did not have Dean and Grant I would be BLOGGING endlessly proud of my dogs; Roscoe and Brutus. They are a Golden Retriever/Austrailian Shepard mix, brothers; same father, different mothers....born five days apart. Yes, it was a wild night. On that night that little Aussie used his handsome accent to work his ways into the hearts of a Blonde and a Red Golden (both obviously in heat.) I feel that everytime I tell this story that this Aussie is barking over the fence telling the story himself. The dogs next door must be sick of hearing about it by now.

Roscoe and Brutus are good dogs with a little bit of the devil in them.

Having dogs is an odd way to live your life to those who do not have a dog or have never had a dog. These guys demand a good deal of time and energy. They tear up the house and they are always under foot. On top of that they hog the bed!

To me our house would not be a home without the dogs.

Even with all of the work that these dogs demand I would not trade the enriching experience for anything.

They get me out and show me the seasons, twice a day, every day, and I thank them.

The dogs have also been an excellent metaphor for childhood. These dogs arrived into our lives at the same time. We raised them with escentially the same about of love and affection. They grew to be as identical as they are opposite. Roscoe is as mellow as a dog can be (well, until the postman comes to the door) while Brutus is a tad anxious if not neurotic. Roscoe loves food and his body style shows it. Brutus is thin an wirey, I think his anxiety burn calories and helps to keep his thin figure.

the local news is messing with my head
they are doing a piece on teen driving accidents
I say take away the right to vote until the kids are 18...
then ontop of that add an IQ test for adults

parents get sick of playing taxi driver to their over achieving kids
so they toss their kids the keys
is this the way things should happen?

how can the kids learn to drive when their parents are speeding around town with the cell phone glued to their ears while they roll through intersections rather than stopping

who am I to talk?
I ride through the city on my bike taking all sorts of calculated risks...
the difference
I risk my own life
the kid in the SUV...they can kill themselves, their passangers, and whoever is unlucky enough to get in their way

I ask for very little in this world

I am not asking for the winning lotto number, but it would be nice
I am not asking to be rich or famous, but I do want to live comforatbly

I want to live a long healthy life, staying active for my whole life
most of all I want my children Dean and Grant to live long active lives filled with enriching experiences
I want to witness my sons achieving their goals, living their dreams, becoming who or what they want to be

Dean and some friends....

these are good times to be a parent in Mount Pleasant

lucky for me when I started in Mount Pleasant in a group house....
then it was a good time to be young and in a group house


our block has far less group houses than it use to
there are far more families trying to stay in "the hood"

here is a shot of Isaiah, Dean, and Leo all enjoying a Capri Sun

and yes, Peter Parker is mistaken...Dean is Spiderman!


I really need to get back into a rhythm with this GWADZILLA BLOG
once again I have let compulsion take control rather than creativity

and where are the resources and the information and the IMAGES!


here is a link page, it is someone else's link page....but it has some excellent bicycle links just the same


check it out
now for some images
let me get something from my camera and I will be right back (that is BRB in GEEK SPEAK) are some images.....

these images were taken this morning before work

I had the original intention this morning to ride my bike for an hour before work
when I got home my pager started going off
started to really go off

it was one of those minature angel/minature devil on the shoulder experiences
only in this case the angel had a pocket protector and a laptop instead of wings while the devil had spds and a mountain bike instead of a pitch fork and cloven hoofs

I was torn

the weather outside was crisp
the sound of crisp leaves on the trail was calling me


I had to listen to the little angel and head in straight to work
lucky for me I had
it was a mess
all sorts of server issues this morning

got it settled

guess the devil will have to speak up more next time

at least I got into Rock Creek with the dogs after dropping Dean off at pre-k
(Dean who did not feel much like school today was sporting his ANARCHY IN THE PRE-K t-shirt)

It is nice to be appreciated.....

I hate to say it but I am not Mother Theresa
when driving my car in traffic and I let a car slip in front of me
I like to get "the wave"
when I hold the door open for someone
I like to get a thank you
guess that I am not altruistic

it is just nice
it is nice to be appreciated

at times on my bike or out walking my dogs I cross the street and someone yeilds to me
most of the time I give them a little wave or a nod
even if I feel that I was in the right
that there is no real need to thank someone for giving me what is rightfully mine
I know that I like to be thanked
and a little positive reinforcement may have them repeating the action
having them feel good about what they have done may lead them to repeat the kind behavior to the next cyclist or pedestrian

this weekend I got this strange message in my email box

Hey Joel,

Can you email me....... I wanted to ask you about your Granogue Clydesdale race (Classic Series presented by TREK)

This is from Gian's interview (1st Place Clydesdale):

Joel Gwadz, who was in front of me, stopped to assist a racer who had crashed hard and was lying in the weeds about fifteen feet off of the trail. It's great to see that kind of sportsmanship and Joel should be commended.

Would you consider coming to our awards banquet and accepting an Andrew Mein Sportsmanship Award - Trophy????

Let me know, thanks!

Appreciate it if you can shoot me his email or phone number as Nov. 20th is the banquet and Nov. 12th THIS FRIDAY is the deadline for signing up……..


I remember this race and that moment in time
it was a great race
I was in first
my efforts may not have been what caused me to fall into second
as I got the second place clydesdale racer (who ended up taking first) to aid me in pulling this guy out of the weeds (or off camber gulley, if I remember correctly)

in any case

I was doing what I would hope anyone else would do for me....lending someone in need a helping hand

it happens all the time
someone with a broken bike or a flat tire
someone who has crashed and is either injured or just a tad shaken up
we have all been there
and we all know it is a place that is managed better when you are not alone

I contacted this guy
I think I will head up to this awards banquet to accept this award
by no means am I a model citizen...or am I...perhaps in comparision to some
all I try to do is give a little more than I take
try to live my life with a little of the old Golden Rule
(that whole "do unto you would wish others to do unto you)

it seems quite simple to me
don't be a hypocrite!
don't do the things that piss you off!
don't piss off everyone else!

don't be that guy who double parks rather than taking the space twelve feet up
the chap who lets the door slam in the women's face as she follows through the door closely behind you

don't try to be a lone wolf
but rather live by a simple rule...


it is the simple truth
what goes around....comes around
we all would prefer good karma over bad

if a dog walker does not pick up their dog's poop....well....they may have a guest walk into their house with a shoe coated in poop

(okay....enough ranting....just that the boss man called in sick and this morning was crazy so I am taking this opportunity to get out some BLOG)

all are invited to this AWARDS BANQUETnot sure who I expect will be in attendance
if nothing else
it will be an interesting experience
hopefully I will recognize a few guys from some of the races


we all need outlets
some of us more than others
clearly exercise is vital to my mental well being
it is not just the breaking of the sweat, it is is everything that goes along with it

these last few months I have had a hard time balancing all the tasks of an adult
something had to be sacrificed
time on the bike has lost out the most
even my post work rides have been cut from the routine
(well, I still ride home, but directly not pass not collect 200 dollars)

luckily last week my boss let me out early on friday
the weather was grand
an odd thing happens when I do not work out...
for some strange reason I no longer want to work out
this can snowball into a grand overwelming sensation of malase
the best thing to do....just ride through it
ride....even if you do not feel like it
just like my 3 year old son Dean not wanting to go to school
at the end of the day he is glad he did
even if he is dragged and dropped off kicking and screaming
so....on friday after work I got into my gear and pedaled in the opposite direction of home
it did not take long before I was pleased with my ability to not give into the feelings of apathy

I was on the Surly Karate Monkey single spinning along
ended up heading down old faithful.....the C&O Canal
the Canal very seldom lets me down
fall is such a great time for the canal
the towpath tends to be hard packed and dry
and the sections of canal with water in them act as a mirror to the trees and sky above
the water itself holds a mysterious blackish brown color, perhaps from the decomposition of leaves
(ask dave means....he knows such things....I just wonder)
so I pedaled west
not 186.5 miles west
more just a matter of duration
as much as I wanted to ride, I also wanted to get home with some daylight left to play with the boys and walk the dogs
the sun was setting early
nearly blinding me as the bright light cut through the trees
managed to ride out past Glen Echo
only to turn it around to pedal back with the bright light at my back
and the wonderful autum sites around me
the turtle count was a matter of fact I did not see one
but the birds were our in numbers
and I got to experience a vision that does not happen enough
as I pedaled along at the Karate Monkey's maximum rotation I found myself going just slightly slower than the gliding of some odd exotic bird
this odd bird looked like a large blue jay with a colored beak and some unique markings
the bird dipped and turned as it glided, perhaps chasing an insect that I could not see
I soaked in the image of this rare bird that may be on its migration or may well have escaped from the national zoo
then just as I wished that I had a 8mm camera mounted to the bike for such a site
the bird arced around back towards the direction from where it came
the show was over
then I realized...the medicine was starting to kick in
I was starting to feel better

more in a bit
work is calling

nothing to add
the message was made clear enough
I must ride
you must do what you must do
we must all stay mentally fit


End of the Weekend....

Another weekend comes to a close
another weekend without riding the bike...
well almost without riding the bike
managed to spin the single cross town to go to a Saturday Morning Ashtanga Yoga Class
that was needed
deeply needed for my mind, body, and soul
would have loved to get out and do some of that cyclocross thing, but it just does not seem to be in the cards for me this fall

the weekend was spent balancing hanging with the boys and working on the deck in the backyard
Dean and Grant are healthy and strong; wore me out, as per usual
my arms are raw from tossing them in the air and pushing them on the swings
my sides are sore and my voice is hoarse from laughing and screaming
those two guys make it a grand pleasure to be a dad
they are always asking for MORE
and it is a pleasure giving it to em

my dad and I managed to make some serious progress on the deck
the board on board fencing is nearly complete
the post and frame for the kids clubhouse is nearly complete
ontop of all the finished decking and stairs from my dad's hard work in weeks past
if things go as planned my dad will take a few days off this week and it will all be ready for action this weekend
Dean is already stating his claim on the top level, using some sort of protective logic, claiming that Grant is too little to go on the higher levels
he is correct
but his motives may be suspect
Dean is a good sharer
we hope that his clubhouse is a highlight to the block
our single block in Mt Pleasant has 15 kids under 5, all boys!
Dean has a playmate to choose from to suit most any mood
most of the time he chooses Elijah
they are on the same level
both large for their age
both very active...very very active

Grant at 9 months is still not too interactive with the other kids
but he chases lisa around like a little blonde shadow
aside from laughing
climbing the stairs has to be his favorite activity
he gets great joy in climbing up the stairs
I can not wait till the boys get a little older a climbing wall will have to fit somewhere into the equation
just a low bouldering wall
but to a wee one....that should be enough

Dean has hung the bike on the rack for the last few weeks
kids really binge on activities
and not unlike many cyclists at this time of year
he seems to be a tad burned out on the bike
wonder if this advanced three year old will want to try to put that thing on rollers this winter?

all things considered
this was an excellent weekend
the weather was pinicle
the amber lenses of my glasses made the fall day even warmer than it was
it was unseasonably warm
the hikes with the dogs were short
saturday morning at the Zoo with Dean and Grant was awesome
and this morning I risked having worlds collide by having Dean's favorite friend Elijah meet up at the park at the same time as Dean was meeting up with his favorite person in the whole world, cousin Eric
they all got along famously
my greatest fear was that Eric and Elijah would link up
thus ostracising Dean
as a parent I can be a tad protective
even of my child's emotions
my fears were unwarranted
there was no visible competition
there was too much fun chasing around the neo-balsa wood planes around
James (Elijah's father) purchased a kit of several of those fragile little planes with the rubberband powered propellers
shockingly the planes did not break at first contact with a 3 year old hands

on top of all the activities of the day
even managed to go out drinking in Adams Morgan
went out with an old friend, Hounddog
The Dog was in town from his new home of California
it was great hanging with him and catching up
met his girlfriend and got a window into his world
had a few too many drinks
but that is what happens when you get together with old friends

our evening was closed by a trip to the PIZZA MART
the DC City Paper has a story on this marvel of modern convenience
The Big Cheese
the article sums it up
all the way down to the drunken aggression
as I mistakenly almost walked into a couple as I starred at the name change of Cafe LaTrec