Rants on Cycling and on Life


Weather Channel?

why not call it

Guess Channel?

with such confidence they spoke about these weather fronts and what was going to happen
they were right
it did snow
as usual
they were way off base

glad I got to get out on the skiis today
who knows what will happen tomorrow... certainly not the weatherman!
how does someone become a weatherman?
doesn't know enough about cars to sell them?

no time for excuses

just put Dean down
"putting someone down" is parent speak for putting a child to sleep
we read several stories from that same Maurice Sendak "little bear" collection
he was tired
it was a full day
snow days go that way
snow days are high energy for everyone, young and old
everyone sleeps better after a long day in the snow
(Dean did not go to sleep..... will check with lisa, but I think he was up after I left for my late night adventure... we spoke while I BLOGGED... he was playing with his dinosaurs)

this was our long day
long in a good way....

the snow began as lisa left the house this morning sometime around 8am
the dogs needed to be walked and I was watching the boys
we hiked in the woods of Rock Creek with snow at our feet and snow in the air
the snow was dropping fast and stacking up faster
it was a snowy adventure
Dean was a good sport hiking in his snowsuit with his snowboots
Grant seemed content in his snowpants stuffed into the backpack face poking out of a baby balacava
we managed to do about half the loop across the street
it was not far
but with snow we moved more slowly and had more reasons to stop
Dean asked to go home without whinning or crying... just asked
the dogs were a little annoyed by the mini-hike
oh... well... sorry pups
everyone popped back into the house just to drop the dogs off and then grab my random survival bag

time to multi-task
packed into the Honda Element
the Aqua Pets frozen in their snow globe like homes
I drink coffee as I drive
dean and I split some gatorade (I get the lion's share)
we all split bananas and raisins (grant seems to be getting more than his share)
this is all done after a 4 minute cross town drive to AYC where lisa is at an Ashtanga One class
just zip from Mount Pleasant to Tenlytown
lisa comes out to the car after all bananas, all raisins, and all the gatorade has been devoured
I pass off the Element with two young boys..... lisa passes off keys and directions to her VW Passat wagon that she has parked around the corner
it is my turn at the AYC..... I am going to an Astanga Open One class
class rocked.... I suck at yoga.... but the feeling rocks
don't need to be good at yoga to feel results
just need to try.... push yourself... and enjoy
after class it is back home for fun in the snow
lisa hikes the dogs with grant in a backpack
it is a short hike..... Grant has had enough of the backpack.... she joins us soon enough
we are out back with a neighbor Leo (Leo is Dean's age)
then neighbor Alec (roughly Dean's age... a tad younger) comes through the fence
as the boys play I fire up the chimeria
saved the christmas tree for just such pleasures
there is some hectic playing in the snow... mostly with trucks
snow makes the world a massive sandbox
Alec grows cold and goes home
those that remain roast some marshmellows in the chimeria
I think I am the only one that eats any roasted marshmelllows...... I eat may
the boys are thrilled to see them burst and burn and grow in the fire

then inside to dry off, regroup, recharge, and prep for the afternoon sledding experience
there is talk of heading out with Elijah
tentative plans were made with a shout out the window after our morning session

more on this
I think lisa is going to hike the dogs
then I am doing a night session on the xc skies

hours have passed since I started this post
back from a night session with the petzel headlamps and the cross country skiies
I feel like I just got back from playing tackle football with the boys
set out for a mellow trip on Beach Drive
well... went out for an hour this afternoon on the skies where I scoped out Beach Drive.... it was fast and fun
perfect grade for the absolute beginner
so as my lights illuminated the land around the corner I could see that the plows have done the unthinkable....
they plowed Beach Drive... not well enough for anyone to safely ride a bicycle
but they plowed it well enough to send me "swoooooshing" elsewhere
so I headed for the horse trails....
early into my horse trail journey I got humbled
humbled hard
realize I did not know how to ski as I went downhill towards a slight turn and a water bar...
I think I leaned back but not sure
I am sure that I wiped out and wiped out hard
total "yard sale"
headlamp and hat somewhere in the snow
poles still attached to my wrists
planks still attached to my feet
all pointed in different awkward directions

slow speed
yet somehow super painful

after that crash I moved back towards the xc equivelant of the bunny slope

it is good to experience the sensation of being a beginner again
puts things in perspective

pushed it up on the road
followed other skier tracks

had the iPOD pumping
just the right amount of gear
was working a serious sweat
yet not overheating
had to swap out to a lighter hat
knowing that was a risk I had my Mountainsmith fanny pack filled with alternate gloves, alternate hat, water, and some sugary snacks

an hour in I fueled up then turned it around
the trip back took nearly half the time

home now
body sore
out of the shower with a glass of wine where a bottle of water should be
reflecting on the day
thinking the highlight of the day was having Dean and Leo sledding down the path across the street each with a petzel strapped to their heads
good gear rocks!

no time to blog

it is saturday morning
if snow comes as planned there will be little time for BLOGGING

lisa has just left for Yoga
I need to dress both Dean and Grant for cold weather
put Grant in the backpack
Roscoe and Brutus on leashes
then go for a walk... walk as long as Dean is entertained and Grant is comfortable
that is an immeasurable amount of time to be determined by their moods
then... off to the switch... my turn for YOGA

the snow is starting

purchased two Petzel headlamps for some evening XC skiing

wanted to link to this page
will blog on it later

The Door Zone= The Death Zone


Inagural Bullshit....

last night I rode home on the bike as many people were going out to one of the many Inagural Balls
the roads that were open were clogged with all sorts of limos
the limos were filled with old men with slutty young women
the sidewalks were jammed with men in tuxedos and women in sequen-coated dresses
old republicans I could understand
young republicans freak me out

the limo drivers are as professional as the cab drivers
totally oblivious to the world around them
add snow....
their already below average IQ drops even further
not sure if it is the cold... but their necks are frozen... not a twist or a turn
just pull out and hit the gas

it was somewhat interesting

there were search lights scanning the sky

there were police on every corner

motorcades rushing through the streets
cars and people parting like the Red Sea
some motorcades with important people
most motorcades with people who consider themselves important
security for people that no one knows who they are

it was madness

I was relieved to finally get out of the madness of downtown
it was a pleasure to exhale and ride up 14th Street where I only had to worry about the usual drivers and the crack heads on the corner
never know what crack head is going to see my bike and see dollar signs

as I moved slowly up the hill I watched and anticipated the worst
always look for the worst
waiting for the worst may help to prevent the worst
there was brawl on the corner... but not my concern
not sure if that burley man was hitting the other burley man or if he was hitting that fat women who looked like she was begging for something...
car alarms were going off....
jaywalkers stepped off the curb without even looking
lucky for them I can anticipate them
young kids doing young kid stuff at Clifton Terrace... do they know that they are living at ground zero? do they know that the president just got inagurated for another 4 years? what does the future hold for them?
I run lights past police officers.... thinking that they have greater concerns than me... hopeing that they have greater concerns than me
finally the home stretch
cars past me fast and close....
I grit my teeth and think... I live on this street... I own a house on this street....
you are on my street....
go back to where ever you came!
would you want me to drive down your street passing you as you passed me....

but that is another issue for another blog
the car driver does not see a person
they see the bicyclist which is just another obstacle

boss just walked in
best get with the program


bitter sweet

snow is magical

I pity the poor folks without a window to stare out at the snowflakes

I could stare at falling snowflakes all day long

and I have

as a kid I stared at snowflakes in the day watching and waiting for the flakes to stack up
then in the night I would stare out the window towards a street lamp where I could see the falling flakes

calculating the potential accumulation
while plotting the course of my next day


will there be enough snow for school to be canceled
will school just be a few hours late

should I wax my toboggan
should I dig out the shovel

(usually I did both)

shoveling walks was a pleasure of John Henry proportions

there were regular customers and there was plenty of work to do

it was a work out that gave me extreme pleasure
as well as a pile of cash
I recall sledding in that pre-snowboard age

there was the "skurfer" and some other semi-skateboard-esque apparatus

but Burton and Sims had not yet come forward with the metal edgeless snowboards
so we stood upright on our Flexible Flyers and even our toboggans

the local hills got smaller
as I got older
eventually we were old enough and we had the luxury of options options created by the freedom that the car could offer
a car and some secret knowledge would broaden the perspective of where the best place to sled would be
some claimed it was Congressional Country Club

others had a secret spot out near Potomac

in my mind there were only two choices; Battery Kimble Park and Howard Law at UDC

lucky for me my BLOG is not well read or I would protect this information like a map to a secret fishing spot

on some days we would go to both as well as back to the other
one spot was crowded
maybe we wanted to try and get the fresh snow

one could be better packed

while the other may be revealing grass

it was not science
it was good clean fun that often offered a pit stop at Booey Mongers or Popeyes
those were the days that made high school great

man.... working on a snow day sucks

I wanted to be at home with Dean, Grant, Lisa, and the dogs.....

I managed to get something almost as good

worked the main office this morning but had to be at a remote site for the rest of the day into the evening

rather than catching a cab I crossed town on my bike

the bike choice that day was the Rocky Mountain Blizzard with knobby tires
a little air let out.... a little squishy in case I needed extra traction

sure enough... I needed extra traction

it was a blast

all the right gear to stay warm and dry
to get to ride around in the middle of the day in the middle of a snow storm is a pleasure I did not want to be denied

this is not Colorado... I must grab the pleasures of winter while they are here
as tame as they may be

it was an interesting day to be on the roads
the street closures for the Inaguration were starting to come into effect
red and blue lights flashed on top of police cars blocking off roads as utility trucks with yellow flashing lights worked to assemble viewing stands, fences, and bleachers
it was confusing...
Metro buses were parked as if broken down to create barricades

people from all over the country have come to support and protest

not sure which group appeared in greater numbers
(tonight I watched a fireworks display over Lafayette park from the snow covered roof top on a building at the base of Capitol Hill........ a beautiful perspective but it did not feel like a celebration)

I managed the cross town ride on the snow covered streets
dodging potholes, patches of ice, and frantic drivers excited to have a reason to speed around in the snow in their SUVS
it was chaos

it was anarchy

it was pleasure

and happily there was no pain...

not a slip or a crash

maybe a slip and some squirrelling about

but no slam

the rant is rambling
and I think I need some downtime note to self: if you drink.... don't blog!

remind me to
oh shit
I will just link to it
last two nights I had the timing and the opportunity to sit down for the full two part two night presentation of a PBS Jack Johnson documentary
what a great story
what a great documentary
those burns brothers and their story telling ability

got home late to be greeted by the foot prints of Dean and family's back yard

it made me happy to see the tracks of Dean and whomever all over the deck and clubhouse
then glanced at my watch and picked up the pace
shined my helmet mounted headlamp into the dining room scanning for Dean or Grant

stepped down one level of the deck down to the next

all the while scanning the upstairs bathroom window wondering if the boys were in the bath

then down into the basement
out of my snow covered winter cycling apparel
feet still warm and dry in those LAKE shoes
threw on some underwear and a t-shirt

up the stairs
through the kitchen smile as I spot pizza delivery boxes hungry as I was there was not time for snacks.....
dinner would come soon enough

then into Dean's room
there was Lisa with Dean and Grant discussing Dean's next step before sleep
I picked up Grant and gave Lisa a kiss
volunteered to read a book to Dean

Dean and I talked about the "SNOW DAY"
Dean gave me an update while Lisa shared in the explanation with specific facts and a tad more accuracy
then Grant was off to bed
I read several Maurice Sendak Little Bear Stories

it was just what I needed

not sure who enjoyed the book reading session more..... Dean or myself

I need to put my feet
no time to proof read
no time for spell check

hmmmmm..... reminds me of college

except there was more alcohol

I will try to dig up a copy of the Washington Post

more specifically the front page of the Washington Post that displayed me with a few friends crashing a landing with the four of us and a toboggan
what was the date....
February 1984?
let me think that one out
where would I have a copy.... would be worth scanning and posting or even better if I had the full front page in tact...
I could have it framed and hang it in my home office
that was a great memory documented for the world to see

dogs love trucks
kids love snowdays
lee likes bikes is an amazing resource

check it out
all sorts of opinions and information that may aid or inspire!

Lee's book that is just hot off the press!
"Mastering Mountain bike Skills!"

and then this also from Lee


this is something that I would love to see in the Washington DC area
but where?
I would love to see the NPS embrace mountainbiking and offer up a little land
there are horse trails.... why not bike trails?
the C&O canal has land stretching from Georgetown to Cumberland
some small stretches would make for some great little single track loops!
recently I have been daydreaming about FRIDAYS AT FLETCHERS
down by the soon to be CLOSED Fletchers Boat house there is some land that would make for a great little man made loop
maybe a larger version of a the PUMP COURSE
or maybe something similar to WAKEFIELD PARK in Northern VA
(Wednesdays At Wakefield aka WAW)

another Fletcher's article

work is calling
blog must go on the back burner



well... not all Clydesdales
not even most of the Clydesdales
just the Clydesdale Mountainbikers
well.... just the Male Clydesdale Mountainbikers
more specificaly the ones that are fast and fit and of course legit
lets break it down a little further
just a tad more specific
the ones who would be interested in joining my Clydesdale Team for the 24 Hours of Big Bear in West Virginia
currently I have three slots fillled
things are looking like I like it
I am going to be the slow guy on a fast team!
chris and john are going to make me look good

any and all interested feel free to contact me via my yahoo email

gwadzilla8 at yahoo dot com

what is a CLYDESDALE?

according to

Pronunciation: 'klIdz-"dAl
Function: noun
Date: 1786
: a heavy draft horse with feathering on the legs of a breed orig. from Clydesdale, Scotland

in the world of mountainbiking it is a racer who is above 200 pounds
(I have heard that out west the measure is 220.... either way I make the mark)

Granny Gear has moved again!
Their once Canaan..... then Snowshoe... is now Big Bear West Virginia
their site is down
I hope that is not a symbol or a statement!

it would take more than chris and john to make me look good
but we will have fun and we should be fast