Rants on Cycling and on Life


Public Service Announcements

announcement number one:
I have heard talk that within the next few weeks cell phone numbers will be released to TELEMARKETERS
These calls can be blocked by registering with the FTC and the NOT CALL LIST
Call from your Cell Phone


or Register on the Web at

it only takes a second
so even if it is a false have only lost 10 seconds of your time


(or worse yet....stratch your pretty car)

(tip courtesy of Rocco)
ooooopppppss.....this all may turn out to untrue HOAX?

Off Road to Athens

Here is a film by a local film maker Jason Berry......
if the film is half as exciting as the trailers it will be awesome
take a look a the tour dates and locations

Off Road to Athens

originially titled TREK to Athens, as in TREK Mountianbikes
but they did not aid in sponsorship
and the TREK athletes did not meet the Olympic mark that they thought
so they broadened the title and the scope of this film

Jason Berry has also made a few great films about the Shenandoah Mountain 100

(tip courtesy of Rocco)

Last Nights Walk With the Dogs and Tom...

Last night once home from work I went into the living room to greet my family; lisa, dean, grant, and roscoe and brutus. Everyone was happy to see me. Especially the dogs as it was nearly 7PM and they needed to "GO!" So, I got my gear ready and called Tom to see if he wanted to join me in the woods with his greyhound mix, Hutch. We met in the alley behind the house and discussed various things with a concentration on two topics: the state of the trails and bikes.

Tom and I walk in the rain and watched the different paths that the water was taking as it drained down the various alleyways into the stretch of woods behind Ingleside Terrace. This eroision process has been going on for years, stripping this patch of woods of nearly all of its fertile topsoil. Of all the local paths this one is perhaps the most urban and the most heavily weathered. It is a dog run mecca, STARBUCKS would do well to have a coffee stand at its widest point. Each morning various dog owners gather to stand around while their dogs romp, play, and occassionaly fight. The damage to these areas by the leashless dogs is obvious as well. I know.....I know these trails from before I was a dog owner. I have seen the trails decline steadily as the dog owner and the dog owner trail use has increased exponentially. Every year there is a new freshman class, dogs enter the dog culture faster than they exit. Everyone few giving back.

Tom is a stand up chap. Tom and I have worked together on some minor impromtu anti-erosion barriers created by deadwood that was in the immediate area. As well as frequent trash removal. I remember a year ago when Tom and his former housemate Brendan gathered up a car load full of bottles and cans.

Tom enjoys sharing my dreams and visions of what these trails could be. We walk through sections and debate about a more logical switchback for the path or the battle between various trail groups. There are other rogue trail maintenance workers other than Tom and myself, but there are those that misunderstand some of the terraced stairs and steps as well as the various anti-erosion barriers.

got to work
may remove this rant
as it is about a cold wet hike and nothing more

something called PPPS
(who knows....some techie kid named Rocco was telling me to clean up my act and add it to my system)

Finally dropped the HALOSCAN code that created the Comment Section on my BLOG
thanks HALOSCAN you were good to me
but I wanted to get email responses when people COMMENTED on my BLOG
so I dropped the old HALOSCAN along with all the old comments
now I have the clean and crisp BLOGGER COMMENTS and the JOY of getting an email message from any and all comments, no matter how back in the archives someone chooses to comment upon

my next move is to CHANGE MY TEMPLATE

I lost some names in the shuffle
if you want to be added to the LINKS or WANT to be REMOVED from the links
drop me an email

comment away
I am waiting


it is funny to have the news (?) playing on the TV at my desk
seems almost silly to hear this handsome talking head without a hair out of place talking about LUDACHRIS and DIMEBAG as if these are their real names and as if these are real news stories

now....the God Father of Soul having cancer....that is news
hope the doctors caught it early
JB is too BAD too die this young

Lindsey Lohan states that her breasts are real!

These little stories should be the garnish on the side of the plate, NOT THE MAIN COURSE. The Scott Peterson trial is like a watching a basketball game on TV. A Total Waste of Time! There is no reason to tune until the final minutes, all the stuff leading up to the final minutes is fluff. Plus you can catch HIGHLIGHTS and REVIEW after the final minutes come to a close. I did not watch a second of the OJ Trial nor did I care to watch a minute of the Scott Peterson trial, sure I caught tid-bits on the news or in the paper, but I most certainly did not concern myself with the whole circus side show. I did develop an opinion on each case, but it was more on feeling than facts.

As far as sports on TV go....

It is all entertainment.
It is not there for you to watch the game.
THE GAME is there to get you in front of the tv so that you will see advertisements so that you will buy product. It has nothing to do with sports, has a little to do with entertainment, it has entirely to do with MARKETING. It amazes me that these ads get people to buy product. Guess it lets us know it is out there. McDonald's commercials let me know that I am hungy, or more likely, that I would like to eat, but they do not send me to McDonalds. Various car commericals may grab my attention, but it makes me crave the golden grassy hills of Northern California or the Mesas of Moab, but my opinion/attraction to various cars has very little to whether Lance Armstrong or Wilt Chamberlin are plugging them.

Sports at the water cooler....spare me!
I will spare you on long winded tales from the trail. That is why I created my BLOG. So that I would not corner some disinterested person at a party and wax on poetically about miles and miles of singletrack.

that's enough now
I need coffee and a real topic to BLOG ABOUT


(not a gimick....the real deal)
((and no...they did not just cut up a tube from a 29 incher and etch in the lettering))

and so people don't think I am the GRINCH
here is a beautiful Nike/Lance ad*
it is artful
it is cute
it is even touching
I laughed
I cried
I have replayed it twice

*ad shown courtesy of Chris Redlack

I think the root of the LIVEWRONG bracelet is THE DRUNK CYCLIST
careful what you click on when visiting his links
his site links to all sorts of questionable stuff
attractive photos
but not the type of stuff that you want to view with the boss (or wife or child) walking up behind you

I just emailed some folks at 60 Minutes that I know and then the Web Contact address for Andy Rooney to plant the seed for this story on all these different colored bracelets
I can see him trying to replace his vaccuum cleaner bands with oneof these
GREEN (I know it is out there, but I did not find it)
and yes; YELLOW
oh and BLACK

and THESE GUYS make them in case you have the next idea to try and catch this wave that has almost crashed

I emailed Andy response back....maybe he will be ranting about these wrist bands one Sunday night in the future

there is a story that the YELLOW BAND on the wrist in the hospital is a note to the hospital staff; "Do not resuscitate!"

I am so lazy about my TEMPLATE
and about other things BLOG and NOT BLOG related

Bicycle Links
and a place to submit and post your link

Hypocrisy, Consistency, and Common Courtesy

This could be a rant of all rants
My Blog could be restructured to talk about this all day and all night!

Those who have been to my BLOG before know that I tend to discuss certain basic topics over and over and over again. But, I bring them up because there are issues that I contend with as a father, as a cyclist, as a car driver, a member of the community, and as an everyday person. At times I have to put myself in check....take myself off auto pilot.... shut off cruise control....and be entirely conscious of my behavior. It is vital to me that I do not do things that I am hyper critical of others doing.

Driving a car would be one of the simplest examples......

Don't expect to see my car double parked or parked for hours in front of the hydrant especially if there is a legal space just feet away. Yes, I have unloaded my car a few times from in front of the fire hydrant right in front of my house, but this process tend to take no longer than 30 minutes and can save considerable foot steps as well the anxiety of trying to cross the heavily trafficked road that my family lives on. No I will not sit in my car in the NO PARKING/NO STANDING during RUSH HOUR ZONE and block traffic, yet there are those that do this same procedure every day with no concern about the negative impact that their selfish behavior has on the flow of traffic. When officer friendly comes along and asks them to move, sure they move, but I would prefer for the tow truck to just TAKE EM AWAY....check their records while in transit to the holding lot....if it is found that this person has a habit of such delinquent behavior....then go ahead and crush their cars into one of those little boxes with them still in the driver's seat. That will change behavior better than officer friendly tapping on the glass and asking them to move or that little pink ticket under the wiper blade.

It is important that I do not drive around town in the manner of which I am so critical of others for.

So when I drive my car I am always trying to be hyper conscious of my behavior. Always paying close attention to the speed limit on the road, the speed of my vehicle, and speed of pedestrian and vehicle traffic around me. Don't get me wrong! It is not like I am out Driving Mrs. Daisy! But, I do try to put efficiency above speed. Always watching to make sure that I do not exceed certain speeds when accelerating and trying to glide at a more rational speed than traffic tends to go. For instance, On Rock Creek Park the speed limit is 25 MPH, okay, that is a tad slow, but cars are usually speeding along between 35-50 miles an hour, which in my mind tends to be a tad faster that they need to be traveling. Moving about the city via bicycle teaches people some basic things, one of those basic ideas is that moving at high speed does not get you there any quicker, the lights are timed, try to get the rhythm of the Progressive Light System and just roll with that groove. The 0-60, panic stop, 0-60, panic stop of your average Taxi driver is not only unsafe, but it is also uncomfortable.

Sure i tried to go the speed limit. But cruising along at 25 miles per hour just had people getting angry behind me. Passing me and swerving aggressively as they passed. So I try to keep it slow and rational, not obnoxious, not trying to teach lessons, but if I act as a pace car....well that is just fine with me.

Each day as I cut across Columbia Heights to get to the Trinity College campus to drop Dean off at Day Care I move with the hectic pace of traffic, forgetting that this is not just a through way, but it is also a neighborhood. Just last night as I ran into a random girl who I went to college with. She told me where she lives. I told her that I drove past her house everyday and asked if she wanted me to slow down. As she engaged and without children, such notions are not yet to surface. I told her that she best get out on the sidewalk with a rolling pin in hand and start waving that thing around and demanding cars to slow down, otherwise they will still be flying by in the years to come while she is trying to keep her children safe. Even though she does not feel she needs me to slow down, I am going to try to drive through all neighborhoods just as I want others to drive through mine, RESPECTFULLY.

more on this in a bit
need to chew my food

this rant wander and wained
"I did not leave the house with a plan so I ended up just walking around"

Cell Phones should get short mention.
I am not that interesting and I do not have so many friends that I feel I need to be talking on the cell phone each and every second I can, especially while driving. Something has to give. People must either concentrate on the phone call or the road, shamefully, they tend to concentrate on the phone call. Yes, I do take the occassional phone call while driving, but I try to keep it short and to the point. And yes, I have used the phone as a tool to keep me awake while driving back from various endurance mountainbike races, where I was driving solo and did not have someone shotgun to entertain my brain. So yes, I am a hypocrite, but I am trying.

DC recently passed a law forbidding the use of non-hands free cell phones.
It has not changed a thing.
People are still driving down the road at top speed with their nose to their BLACKBERRY or their pointer in their PALM.
we need to educate people
people are just being stupid
behavior needs to be changed
"sorry" is not going to work after they run someone over because they were not paying attention to the road

Blanket Statements

It seems that I have been using a BLANKET STATEMENT when I talk about NPR.
Perhaps I am a tad confused.
Perhaps I am not concerned with the specifics.
Perhaps I just did not care enough to create subgroups when discussing the topic of radio.
Perhaps I am just not that bright.

In the comments sections a few days ago I was corrected on my of NPR when I was actually referring to PRI, then there are times when I talk about NPR when I should really be talking about WAMU.

In any case....I will try to be more clear about such things, if for no other reason than to not have to have people correct me all the time. It may seem like rectangles and squares, but to some people the differences as subtle as they may seem are important.

This American Life aka TAL
All Things Considered (NPR)

and of course everyone's favorite CAR TALK
I have always wanted to create a bicycle version of CAR TALK ; BIKE TALK
of course there would have to be guests and experts and all sorts of stuff
it could be real fun
people could call and talk on and on about the sound that their chain is making
and I could have Eric Welp Chain Reaction Director tell them that their kick stand is loose and needs to be tightened and that it is not their chain, but rather their crank hitting the kick stand on each rotation of the pedals



who would have thunk it?
Showtime Delivered!

Last night I tunned in for two EPIC Documentaries!
STOKED: The Rise and Fall of Gator
Tribute a Rockumentary

both fall under my MUST SEE LIST!
well, that list does not really exist, but these movies are definitely excellent

and this one
well I have never seen it
but on NPR I heard a great piece about it
The Beaver Trilogy

while we are on the topic of FREAKY POP CULTURE STUFF
there is the story of Michael Alig aka the Club Kid Killer
Party Monster (the movie) starying Home Alone's Mic whatever nobody now
Michael Alig from Prison
not unlike Gator....Michael was the product of the excess of the 80's
and a little quiz.....Which Club Kid Are You?

where did my post go?

Rock Creek Park and the National Park Service

This morning I had the pleasure of taking a long hike with the dogs at my side and with Grant in the backpack, we did an extended hike along the creek on the Melvin Hazen trail. It was a great hike in the unseasonablly warm weather. Must have been at least 60 degrees out this morning. ( Global Warming? I am not sure. that is a rant for another time) As I hiked the Melvin Hazen trail I thought about the state of the trails, the decline of the trails, and the creation of a bridge that makes little sense to me. So when I got to work I made a few phone calls to various offices at the NPS Rock Creek. Ended up speaking to a few people only to be redirected then redirected again, only to be redirected again then finally leaving some messages, don't expect anything to come of it. But, I still feel that my voice should be heard. I also went ahead and send some electronic messages on two topics to the same offices.

Here are those electronic messages that I sent to the NPS ROCK CREEK DEPARMENT.
here is a link to the NPS RC CONTACT page
maybe other Rock Creek users may have similar issues to raise

Map of Rock Creek

rant one:

The Foot Bridge from Beach Drive to the Valley Trail
I was curious why the NPS has decided to spend money to rebuild this bride that goes to no where.
The bridge is a foot bridge near Pulpit Rock on the Valley Trail. It would go over the creek from Beach Drive to the horse free Valley Trail. Ironically, which ever direction the bridge user comes from they would have to pass a trailhead to access the bridge.

There is a TRAILHEAD for the Valley trail not even 100 yards in either direction. One trail access for the Valley trail is at the junction of Beach Drive and Bladgden Road while the other trail access point is on Beach Drive just on the other side of the old stone bridge which the road travels over. (pardon me if my naming of these roads or trails is innaccurate, I am writing this from a map in my head)

This bridge will be an expense that is not needed and will only act to confuse the situation. There are only two parking spaces there. It would lure more people to walk on Beach Drive along with the bicycle and roller blade traffic, when they could have already been in the woods and safely removed from the faster moving traffic. In my experience there is already a natural segregation of the three main trails at that section of Rock Creek Park. On weekends when the road is closed to car traffic there are three basic areas for travel. The horse trails, the paved road (Beach Drive,) and the more remote lesser known Valley Trail. The separation of these three trails works well. Dogs and dog walkers do not do well with horses (on the horse trails) or fast moving bikes (on paved Beach Drive), so many dog walkers use the more isolated Valley Trail. Beach Drive is multi-use, but tends to make more sense for pedestrians looking for a flat surface, most often with wheeled vehicles (ie. bikes, roller blades, or strollers) And the horse trails are also less conveluted, which make them good for hiking, but not so great to have the dogs encountering the horses.

My feeling....
Money would be better spent repairing the trails. Bringing in fertile soil, thinning out the trail in spots where it has grown too wide, removing short cut paths, planting some indigenous plans to aid in holding onto the soil from future erosion, and perhaps either putting in switchbacks or terracing the areas that have grown to be steep and slick.

Just some thoughts from a trail user who not only users Rock Creek Park, but LOVES ROCK CREEK PARK.

thank you

Rant 2: Car Traffic on Beach Drive
Two Issues: Commuter Speed and Car Speed on the Closed Roads during Weekends and Holidays

As a resident of Washington DC I use Rock Creek Parkway to travel in and out of my neighborhood of Mount Pleasant whether I am traveling by my usual mode of transport, bicycle, or when I make that occassional drive in the car. In my many years in the district I have found that the speed on these roads have been consistently out of control. The daily commuter car traffic rushed through the park ignoring the 25 MPH speed limit, frequently doubling the set speed limit on the more straight sections of road. Cyclist are at risk by tailgating drivers, cars passing too close/too fast, and cars passing other cyclist but failing to pay attention to the cyclist coming the other direction. The fact that there are not more frequent car on car accidents in Rock Creek Park astonishes me. Cars are frequently taking the winding curves so fast that they can not maintain their lanes and are dipping into the lane of on coming traffic.

I am not asking for the Parkway to be closed to commuter traffic.

All I am asking for is that there be some rational limits set on the speeds on these roads. Enforcing the speed limit. No, I am not asking for officer friendly to hang out with his radar gun and issue tickets. It seems obivous that tickets do not change behavior, tickets generate revenue and piss people off. What needs to be done is something that will change the behavior of the car drivers on Rock Creek Park.

What needs to be done to slow commuter traffic?
I am not sure.

But I am sure that we need to put some limits on the speed of the drivers who are using the sections of Beach Drive to access the various picnic groves on weekends.
I think that the SPEED LIMIT SIGNS should have a hinge on them.

On weekdays when there is regular traffic the Speed Limit would post the normal 25 MPH, while on weekends the sign would be flipped and changed. The sign would have a hinge where it would flip and there weekend or holiday speed of 15 MPH would be posted. It is dangerous for cars to be speeding through at the usual 35-50 MPH speed when there are joggers, roller bladers, cyclists young and old not anticipating a speeding car to come flying by them. People drive through the closed section of Beach Drive on weekends with complete disreguard for the fact that the road is in fact closed and that they are permited to drive on that road to gain access to the picnic groves. This too is a danger that has been going on long enough. Behavior needs to be changed to make the use of the park more safe and more pleasant.

Car drivers often fail to realize that the cyclist is a person and that person is not causing traffic, but rather, that cyclist is part of traffic just like the car is part of traffic. It is dangerous when the car driver fails to see the human element of the cyclist and only sees them as an obstacle.
just a few thoughts from a friend of Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Park is a wonderful resourse
just making a few comments to try and make it an even more wonderful place for everyone


all theory as I am married and glad to be out of The Game

Over lunch today I was having a conversation with some coworkers about the protocol about buying a woman dinner and what is expected after such a gesture. There are those that are of the school that say that if a man buys a woman dinner than the woman should reciprocate physically. This may have been true in the dark ages when a man provided a woman dinner and than dragged her back to his cave by her hair, but things have evolved a tad since then. (in college I had lengthy discussions with one of my philosophy instructors who believed firmly in this dinner for sex transaction, I was always curious what lunch at the sidewalk hotdog stand would earn someone) Yet, I have always felt that there are some conventions that are not so broadly understood....most important what is owed to a person when that person buys someone else a drink.

I have always felt that when a person buys another person a drink it is not entirely dissimilar to a business lunch. No matter the intentions of the purchaser or the sex of the recipient converse to the buyer the rules should be the same. The drink has been purchased in an effort to purchase the recipient's time, just as a business lunch. If the person has no intention of sharing conversation with the person who is offering the drink, then they should politely refuse the drink and excuse themselves. It is in no way appropriate for them to accept the drink and head back to their corner of the bar with their friends. Or if they accept the drink and the conversation is either not interesting to them or is bothersome to them then they should thank the buyer for the drink, excuse themselves, and depart without the drink in hand. Leaving the empty glass or the unfinished portion of the drink, as we do remember the drink was purchased in an effort to buy the time of the person while they drank their drink. Slamming the remains may or may not be appropriate. If that person wants to call things "even steven," well....they could return the favor and buy that person a drink calling it even and making it clear (in the most polite manner possible) that their is no need for them to communicate any further.

I for one was never into buying anyone a drink other than myself. Sure we would exchange who purchased the pitcher of beer, but it was all Dutch Treat. There were some random occasions where I had the waitress/bartender send someone a glass of water, this never got me laid, but always made for an interesting introduction and a pleasant exchange. Perhaps since it cost me nothing....I got nothing. Who knows? I was never so smooth in the bars and never so suave with the ladies.

and yes
even if you get a glass of water for yourself
or send one to a stranger across the bar
it is important, even though it cost you nothing, that you tip your waitron staff person

on that note
here is a classic site where a few ladies discuss similar topics in detail
The Bar Bitches



a article on about Bill Deputy of
and the future of mountainbiking

and something completely not bike related.....This American Life
my favorite contribution of NPR



Emotions in a Bottle

Just wonder if we could capture emotions in a bottle to be stored and opened at a later time. Not just anyone's emotions, but our own emotions. Sure there would have to be a generic brand to fill the void, but nothing is stronger than our own emotions. As we all tend to be selfish beasts and put out needs, wants, and experiences higher than all of those around us. This Emotion in a Bottle would not be something to be taken lightly, but rather an "In Case of Emergency" type of scenario. Just imagine a couple having a fight could break open a bottle of "love for their partner*" and recapture the reason why they are together; they could get past the arguement and get their relationship back on track.

Just as we have spice racks and medicine cabinets people would have a place in their house to store their emotions in a bottle. And just like medicine and spices everyone would keep and use a differnent variety of emotions depending upon their unique needs and wants.

Guilt and Remorse would be a great little package that we could all use. With a little taste of Guilt and Remorse each time we consider doing something that we know is wrong may keep us in check. Just imagine a husband with a wandering eye....when he starts to contemplate an extramarital affair he could break open a bottle of Guilt and Remorse. His stomach would sink, he would stop in his tracks, and contemplate the affair no longer. That great hollow feeling would overwelm him and he would realize that infidelity has an impact far too great that it is not worth venturing. This same would go for simple petty crimes. Of course there are those who are moraly bancrupt, perhaps we could loan them a bottle or two of each emotion and direct them when they should sample each one.

The list goes on and the potential is never ending. We could experience a full range of emotions without having to go through the experience. Ephoria? Sure we got it, but please limit your dosage as it can become addictive as well as it may dullen your senses over time. Too much of any thing, even a good thing, will have the potential for a negative backlash.

One of the most special emotions in a bottle that I would want to capture would be "The Emotion of the Moment." You could capure various types of joy or pain....
a child's early Christmas
a person's first crush
young love or first sexual experience, sure everyone would like to feel that tingle again
a father's pride when his son rides his bike without training wheels
the sensation of seeing a child succeed above the rest
a mother watching their daughter get married
yes, the possibilities are endless; certainly your mind has created a short list of your own

We could change our own personal futures as well as the future of the world.

Just imagine if everyone who voted for John Kerry could capture their emotions from the day after this year's recent election. Hold onto that bottle, tuck it aside, and break it out in three and a half years. Crack it open and share it. That sickening ill feeling that encompased a wide range of emotions with a random mix of depression, anger, and disgust would be quite powerful. I know if I were to break out such a bottle I would end up doing more than just going out to vote. I would try to get others to vote, I would volunteer my time where I thought I could help. I would do an effort to prevent the risk of feeling that emotion again.

I guess in some ways it is better that we do not have such an ability as to capture an emotion in a bottle as some emotions are a tad too painful. Who wants to relive the pain of experiencing the death of a close friend or an intimate family member. And that guilty feeling of is so strong that it could be torture to feel it without having done something to deserve it. So maybe it would make a little more sense to do more than make a mental note, but perhaps we could all write a note to ourselves and stick it on the fridge, make the outside of the note read; NOT TO BE OPENED UNTIL MONTHS PRIOR TO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2008.

Just a thought
Just another rant

*some of these bottles would need to contain warning labels or survival kits paired with them
maybe this bottle would need to come with a few condoms while another bottle such as "Bottle of Hate" would have to come with a list of instructions on how to deal with such a powerful emotion such as tuck all guns and weapons away.