Rants on Cycling and on Life


one last thing.....
we all need to spend more time policing ourselves
less energy trying to police others

so I am headed back from Yoga class this morning
driving my wife's VW Passat, not riding one of my many bikes
I am flowing down the road the same speed as traffic, except I refuse to break 40MPH when driving around the city... it just does not get anyone anywhere any quicker
when some bonehead in an SUV who does not have the balls to put his W sticker on his car
yet we know how his cigar smoking ass voted busts a move
this poindexter passes me on the right and sneaks between me and the car in front of me
then we all queue up a hundred yards later at the light
at which point he hogs two lanes when at the point he passed me there was really only one lane
frustrated with him I put myself is a position where I can see him in his rear view mirror
we make eye contact
but before the light can turn green or I can plot some sort of road rage revenge I breathe deeply
I let him go
I let it go
I let it all go....
where can I go with this?
what can be learned?
what am I doing?
what am I thinking?

blocks later, still on the same street, my street, I am parking in front of my house.... this loser in the SUV with Maryland tags is still the car in front of me, again stuck at a red light.. still the same SUV driving asshole that he more than likely will always be

I am still trying to let him go

as I go to get out of my car I get buzzed by my friend Justin in his custom pastel faux paint job on his Honda Civic beater
Justin pulls into a space a few spaces in front of mine
we get out of our respective Hondas and walk over to greet each other
then Justin tosses a still lit cigarette butt to the ground

one of my many pet peeves!

me being me
I can not resist but I say something
really, I do not have to say anything, I just make mention of the action
maybe even a gesture
Justin goes through a revelation....
as just seconds prior the car in front of him had tossed a empty bottle of YOHOO onto the side of the road
Justin was angered and frustrate by the actions of this other person
He was angered to such a level that he considered chasing this car down and giving them and education
but somehow Justin was not able to see the errors of his own actions

we laughed
and I told him my story about the obnoxious SUV
and how I just wish that such things did not bother me
as I know I can not change other people
as I have a hard enough time changing myself

Justin stomped out the cigarette butt and tucked it into his pocket

it all comes back to the notion of looking in the mirror rather than at others
leaving the policing to the cops unless we are policing ourselves
we should all spend a little more time policing ourselves

I better get dressed or else I may end up giving myself a ticket for indecent exposure

sore in a good way

it is saturday afternoon
Blogging for a few minutes before I shower to wash away my body's natural ESSENCE
I most certainly do not want to go to a one year old's birthday party smelling like a pack mule

right now I am ripe, quite ripe, maybe past ripe!

after a good night's sleep lisa and I were able to get out Saturday morning routine off without a hitch
lisa was able to make it out of the house in time to make it to her Ashtanga I Class at the AYC a few blocks away in Tenleytown

lisa left in a flurry....
she escaped without Grant watching which was good for me

there were boys that needed to finish dressing and dogs who still needed to be walked

none of that needed to happen until after the boys had breakfast
options were presented
options were rejected
options? forget options
we are making eggs!

eggs are easy to make
eggs are good brain food (or so my friend john means tells me)
eggs can be cooked with the assistance of Dean which keeps him entertained
eggs are something the dogs will eat once they hit the floor
eggs are perfect for the morning

Dean and I cracked some eggs, stirred them up in a bowl, and scrambled them up in a pan
it was funny to see Dean's grasp of the the process.... knowing to add milk and some salt

Dean really loves to help in the kitchen
the quantity of each ingredient may be unclear to him
for a chef who is still months younger than 4 years old.... I am impressed
but being impressed by these kids is my job... after all.... I am their dad!
Grant waited patiently in his high chair snacking on some cheerios as the main course cooked and then cooled

with the boys fed I finished dressing them

dogs devouring all eggs that were uneaten as they get to lick the plates
dogs devouring all eggs that were tossed to the floor
dogs are good for something

Dean finish dressing himself on his own as I went to load the dogs into the honda element
with roscoe and brutus on leash I walked down the stairs with baby backpack, baby bag with diapers and food, and my Timbuk 2 Messenger bag that has been demoted to Yoga bag
odd that the modern man needs more gear to go hiking and yoga class than a pioneer needed to cross the contintental divide centuries past
oh well.... such is living on credit in the age of iPods and GORTEX

with the dogs sitting tight in the back of the Element
I rushed in to grab the boys

sure enough
grant was playing in the dog bowl
kibble everywhere and water all over him
the clean clothing I had just put on him was now wet
Grant now needed to be changed

once changed we were in the car and headed down the road to the Melvin Hazen trail in Rock Creek Park
the trail is close enough to walk to.....
we are going cross town to yoga class after the hike so we park in the lot at the trail head
rather than hiking in through the back end

once there we see the parking lot is nearly full..... just two spaces remain.... one handicapped and one for me!
there are running groups stretching and countless dog walkers doing their dog walker thing
the park is a flurry of activity
people are unloading their bicycles from on top their cars and getting ready for various group rides of various demands and ability
I joke with a long and lean roadie about his yellow jersey.... he laughs when I mention that I ran into Lance and he wants his jersey back then we talk about the frame size... looks like a good fit... I offer 20 bucks for a multi thousand dollar ride... he laughs again
he says his polite goodbye and the sound of his cleats click as he rolls away with his legs spinning

we do our hike, Dean complaining that his legs hurt
Dean gets to take a short break then bursts away into a sprint
I am able to get him to hike forward and further
even though he is shrewd enough to know that we are not taking the fastest way back to the car
the notion of going home is often present in a childs mind and being voiced by their little mouths
there is a time to respect this little whine
then there are other times when you take the soccer coaches approach to taking one in the nuts.... "walk it off!"

time is running out
Dean no longer wants to go home
yet it is almost time for the switch
where I pull up in front of the Yoga studio with a car full of dogs and kids
and have lisa come out hand me the keys, blow me a kiss, and point me to where her car is parked
a few words pass...
"how was the class?"
"was so and so there?"

the Ashtanga Open Class is also filled to near capacity
the spots by the heaters are all taken.... DAM!
no worries I will break a sweat just the same

it is a good class
my arms may have been worked from my time on the trails
the inversions were hard for me
the inversions did not happend for me
a combination of my arms being tired and my mat being slick with sweat kept me from having the confidence to get vertical on either the hand stand or the head stand
either way it is a good class, a good work out, and I walk away with a good feeling

a good start to my saturday....
that was the morning all before noon
lets see what the afternoon has in store for us!

this evening?
my mom is coming over to babysit?
we have no idea what we want to do
maybe we will go to a restaurant and take the time to chew our food
it is seldom that a parent gets to chew their food

Broke a Sweat and Broke a Spoke...
and then some ramblings about my bikes in general

A month or so ago I decided to take the Rocky Mountain Blizzard out of retirement...

last year as the 24 Hours of Snowshoe was approaching I looked at the Blizzard's needs and made the decision that his bike would no longer serve my race needs
the many race season old bike had served me well, but was in need of some basic maintenance as well as some upgrades...
after pricing out cranks, bottom bracket, and disc brakes for the front I decided that money would be better spent on a new bike
a simple equation known as "the law of diminishing returns" otherwise known as "a moneypit" came to surface*
*if neither of these concepts make sense to you.... reflect back on my 1984 Toyota Landcruiser that is now out of my possession... FINALLY
the search for a new bike was an amusing panic as the 24 hour relay was just 2 weeks away
I experienced a rushed of impulse purchase ideas that were guided by availability... nearly immediate availability... availability by what City Bikes carries, as they are my sponsor "hook up," as well as what the market has available mid season

early that race season I had introduced myself to the concept of the 29 inch wheel bike for my single speed
another 29inch wheel bike seemed like the only option
so I worked with Manager Mike at City Bikes to have a Surly Karate Monkey built to my needs and specifications
this second Monkey was set to be out fitted with gears and a front suspension fork.... weighing in at a weight that I try not to think about

once the Monkey Landed there was little notice paid to the Blizzard

there were thoughts of taking the Blizzard to Pittsburgh so that I would have a bike up there just in case I ever wanted to ride when I visited the inlaws....
but... I am sure that they are not looking to trip over one of my bikes
lugging a bicycle up would be less hassle than having them step over and around a bicycle that they do not want or need in their house

then a few weeks ago the snow came and rather than putting knobbies on my commuter I just dragged the Blizzard out into the blizzard and the snow covered streets of Washington DC
it was refreshing
of all my 26 inch wheel bikes this one fits me the best...
all the others are awkward for my 6'4" body
so even after the snow melted I was still riding the Blizzard
the clip on fenders were enough to keep me happy and dry
during one of the post work snow rides I broke a spoke

so the afternoon of the morning where I had broken the spoke I left work early and headed over to the City Bikes shop in Adams Morgan....
there mechanic Mark let me borrow the trueing stand as I replaced the spoke
although I have a trueing stand there is something about working on a bike in a "shop"

with the spoke replaced and the wheel brought back to round shop the Adams Morgan shop manager Sean Smith floated through the area and scoped out the wheel
commented on the nice downhill rim on my cross country bike
but questioned the use of 32 hole rather than 34...
I understood his logic and expressed that I wanted to reuse a perfectly good XT hub which happened t be 32 hole
Sean is also an XXL type himself... he understands our needs
he was curious how I broke the spoke
shamefully I admited that at some point I over shifte and go the chain stuck between the cassette in the back and the spokes on the wheels
it happens....
a rookie mistake...
yet it still happens....
he commented that I may need to replace a few of the other spokes that were damaged
being the idiot that I am I ignored him
continued to ride on those old damaged spokes
then sure enough
broke another spoke... which will be replace.... when surely I will either break another one or be proactive and replace any other spoke that may look suspect....

this weekend I should head over to the shop with my wheel....
grab some spokes for that rear wheel.... some spokes for my Jamis Nova cross bike's rear wheel.... look into a new bottom bracket for the Karate Monkey Single Speed...
and get to work in the basement....
the cycle of grabbing another bike when a bike breaks is soon to bring me to the end of my bicycle rope

time to get busy


If there were ever two things that would drive my BICYCLE BLOGGERS away from my blog it would be my never ending long winded rants about nothing and my pictures of my family....


but I can not resist....
please scroll down and try to find something that interests you

I do aim to ENTERTAIN, INFORM, and use THE BLOG as the cheapest form of therapy there is

me with stevie g

lisa and grant....

dean and grant...

this morning...
not to different from last night's post work ride
today I was scheduled to work the late shift
my coworker needed to leave early
so to balance the scales we agreed that I could come in a few minutes late
a few minutes late for the late shift would grant me enough time for a solid prework ride
a ride that would take place after a morning with Dean and Grant which included dropping Dean off at school
lisa had walked the dogs
I had taken Dean to school... I passed Grant off to lisa as he had come with me for drop off
we blew each other kisses and I blew out the back door
well... after I got suited up for another wintery day
layers upon layer of expensive gear all made from old two liter bottle of Coca Cola
with a helmet on my head, a backpack on my back, and bicycle under my bum I headed down my alley away from the street
the alley behind my house dead ends into a very eroded plot of park land that has a very well worn path... it is too short to ride, but it gets me to street in front of my house faster than the street route
not to mention it aids in setting the tone of DIRT better than pointing out the same direction I point out every morning
there was all the time in the world for any and everything that I wished to accomplish in roughly 2 hours time....
for these two hours my intention was to spin up roads and down dirt
well.. the dirt tends to be more roller coaster than a downhill grade, but the path I had intended to take would allow me to ride up paved roads rather than hiking along side my bike on terrain that is either too steep or too moist for my current pre-season conditioning
it did not take too many cars passing me too fast and too close for me to feel guiltless about ignoring that little brown sign with the little white bike all covered up by and ugly red anti symbol
each car adding fuel to the fire
rationalizations pumping through my already corrupt mind
just as the sign says "no bikes" the signs on the road read 25MPH
just as the sign says "no bikes" the double yellow line clearly states no passing
just as we know the law is no bikes, we know the law is no cellular phones while driving unless it is a hands free apparatus
just as we know the law is no bikes, we all know that a dog must be on a 6 foot lead
I know the law
we all know the law
things have become anarchy
if the law will not protect and serve me...
if the law leaves me to grit my teeth and fight for my 3 feet of road when I pay taxes like everyone else
if I am forced to take this.... then I might as well take that
when stepping away from the very weak attempts for justification I fall back on a simple thought that makes a little more sense
it is said that I could lose my bike for riding on the trails marked "no bikes"
well... that would suck
but not as bad as losing my life to a speeding SUV that failed to realize that I have just as much right to the road as they do
so opt to take my chances with the random chance of meeting up with officer friendly rather than taking my chances with some soccer mom speeding to make her nail appointment at the mall
so as the last car brushes past my left side just oh so close I move closer to the right and hop the half curb onto the grass, over onto the trail, and into the woods
this section of trail runs along side the road
as I ride fast and hard on the less than technical trail I am at ease that the obstacles before me are not driven by some executive checking his day planner on his Blackberry
this stretch of trail brings me to a short single track loop
I enter the single track and quickly reminded that this is winter time and I am not in race shape
my legs and lungs are failing me as much as my technical
small obstcales and even smaller drop offs are causing hesitation and reluctance
rolling in rather than dropping off nearly sends me over the falls.... with my 26 inch wheel and a shock that is far too squishy for my 235pound body
the short climbs that were sprints become slow grinds and even slower walks
this is just the humbling that I need to make me realize that race conditioning does not come with the change of season
such things come with work; work being something that I tend to try to avoid
a few loops here bring me to a point where I can see my effect on the now thawed mud sections of trail
I pause and wait as a runner comes by with his leashless dog
I give a smile and a good morning and get a lecture and a tongue lashing
both from the runner as the dog knows he is in the wrong and keeps his mouth shut
to the "no bikes on the trail" I respond, "dogs must be on a leash"
"no bikes on the trail"
"dogs need to be on the leash"
knowing we will go no where with this arguement
yet it may have gone that way a few more times
this guy yells something about who knows what when I then reach into my bag of smart ass responses and quote scripture..."let he who is without sin cast the first stone"
for this the older maybe mid 50s gentlemen considers coming back...
but stalls and says "so... you are a good christian... bet you voted for Bush"
to this I say "No and NO! can't you tell that I am mocking you?"
we go our separate ways....

over a beer I think I could be this guy's friend
I like his spirit and his self centeredness
he reminds me of myself
he goes his way
I go mine
I get back onto the road to climb up and hit another loop
that loop is done twice encountering another leashless dog whose walker has no response for my pleasant good morning
eventually I am at work
refreshed and revived
feeling like a million bucks, tax free!
coffee or no other drug can give a person this feeling
this feeling is earned
all that other stuff is just a cheap immitation
the ride was great
just what I needed to show me that I need to not only get my ass in shape

also I need to learn to keep my mouth shut and "turn the other cheek"

Like Father Like Son....
Nature or Nurture?
You Decide!

Dean with his sled after a night assualt on the wooded trail across the street
(a trail that makes the kids scream, the mothers shut their eyes, and fathers like me debate about wearing a helmet while sledding!)

and Dad pretending that he is cool when out in Santa Cruz last year

everybody dreams of being a surfer!

Here is Grant out back going up the clubhouse ladder
then down the ladder
see how he bypasses the "kiddie" slide!

somehow I managed to forget to send the image of Grant at the top of the slide
but here is the basic point....

he is one cute little monkey...
and so ahead of his time
what other 11 month old cruises with a Petzl?

last night

last night after a frustrating day at work I really felt that I could use an aggressive spin on the bike
when the quitting time whistle blew I was into the supply closed where I go through my not so superhero transformation
computer guy morphs into COMMUTER GUY!
far more clothing is changed than letters in two characters names

out the front door with red lights blinking and the headlamp off as the daylight remains later these days
not sure where to go as I followed the flow of traffic down M Street into Georgetown
the usual hassles with arrogant and ignorant drivers muscling me about with their engines reving... all rushing to the next red light
with the red lights in front of me I am able to leave the car commuters behind and sprint ahead onto an oddly carless M Street only to make a quick decision to take the Capitol Crescent Trail to Bethesda and back....

as I pedaled down K Street under Whitehurst Freeway I could see a few cyclists ahead
no need to change pace
my current pace reeled them all in
squishy tires from the days of the snow covered streets creating drag
while the once dirt only knobbies whistle away
passed the first cyclist with a friendly nod from within my balacava
then when I caught the second we fought the wind along side each other and shared our frustration with the wind and the cold
my will was weak
with my house in the opposite direction I found my ambition to ride head on into the wind and the cold to be rather defeating
yet I pushed forward
only to crumble to the lack of desire
the wind did not let up... so I let up
with my speed dropping I re-evaluated my course
sure enough
the shelter of the trees and the feeling of dirt seemed far more attractive than a bicycle path spin
the second cyclist that I just past passed me as I prepared to take the exit to the right
so I went through a crusty old tunnel with moist walls that goes underneith the C&O Canal

in seconds my attitude was reformed
just as I had suspected the wind and the cold had dried the trails
the trees offered shelter from the wind which made it less cold
sure there were a few patches of wet earth
but I had to get cross town and this seemed like the most healthy option
the urban trails are short stretches of wooded territory
broken up by streets only to begin again on the other side of the road
the path through the woods is a well worn overly tracked out path
less than technical
but car free and pretty much wind free

and car free sounds pretty good to me.... just crossing the streets is a reminder of the car driver's lack of respect for human life.... even their own

on this day I encountered very few people
there were maybe 8 or 9 people.... 6 or 7 with their leashless dogs
my efforts to be polite to the dogs and their owners was apprecitate by some and ignored by others
three of the dogs rushed me in an attack that was more bark than bite
an elderly gentle men told me that his aggressive dog thought I was a "deer," to that I cleverly responded that my wife things that I am a "dear" as well.... he laughed and we went our separate ways
two of the dogs scurried off with their tails between their legs
in each case I remained still in one spot allowing the dog to regain composure while the owner could regain control of the dog
while the remaining dogs could not be bothered... sniffing and running about with no care for me or my bicycle
my effort to yeild and my friendly hello did not effect the behavior of the other trail users
it is clear that each and every trail user all ready has a pre suposed emotion to the cyclist on these trails

although I understand their point I can not deny myself the occassional assault on the urban trails
some of these people I have seen time and again over the past many years
each encounter as it if is the first

for the most part each encounter was moderately ambivelant
although ambivelant is less than friendly

in the end I felt that my impact on the trails was slight even if there were a few patches of mud
my impact was right down the center
not much worse than if I had been running right down the center of each puddle
while I would like to point out that most of the erosion on these trails is caused by hiker and runners, not cyclists
the trail widens as each pedestrian avoids the slick or deep mud
which in turn widens the puddle
which takes the trail from thin single track to being a sidewalk wide patch of liveless earth

it may sound like I am trying to justify my behavior
which I am not
I know the laws....
we all know the laws
each driver knows the speed limit, yet they modify that law to suit their needs
there is a hands free cell phone law in DC, yet there has been very little visible change
I feel that my actions are virtually victimless.... yes when the trails are wet there may be a slight impact, but no greater impact than is created by the average hiker or runner
add in the idea of the mountainbike taking the line straight down the middle.... the scales then balance

it was a short ride
pleasant just the same
something is always better than nothing
glad there was no incident with any hikers or authority
the face of the women with the skidish rodesian ridgeback was a tad grumpy
but.... as a dog owner and a father I understand the protective instincts
as I turned on a switchback on my last stretch of trail I thought I may have heard a voice calling out to me
the voice was not familiar and I was not feeling so lonely that I cared to turn around and make contact

it was great to get into the woods
and as always
it was great to get out on the bike


Time to say yes.... Time to say no
well actually a few rants about this evening
all the energy I should have spent blowing steam in the bar was directed to slaping the keys to my laptop... I am such a geek.. okay loser.

the scales tend to be tipped and the answers often seem predecided...

when the request is for soda the answer is no, while almost always the answer is yes for milk
which is not to say that there is not the occassional sip of soda
when the request is for candy the answer is no, while almost always the answer is yes for fruit
which is not to say that there is not the occassional acceptable piece of candy, most anything or everything in moderation
we know that each situation needs to be reviewed with a case by case basis
I try to keep the list of answers ready in my head so that I know the right choice even if I am leaning toward the often easy or lazy answer

There are always going to be times when it is right to say yes and others when it is right to say no...

when I am headed out with the dogs in the woods after a long day at work

sure I may want to zone out and relax as I move at my own pace
but when Dena has asked to come along.... this is a time to say yes


this happened tonight
this was a time to say yes... and I did say yes
just as I leaned over to leash up the dogs Dean ran up to my side and asked me where I was going
I told him I was going to walk the dogs to which he said without hesitation that he wanted to go along
without asking if he really has the energy or if he understands that we are going for a long walk... I agree
I have Dean put on some winter boots then his jacket as I run down to the basement so I can grab an extra Petzl
with boots on our feet, hoods and headlamps on our heads, and dogs leashed up
we cross the street once it is clear of fast moving post work commuter car traffic
in seconds we are free in the woods
we are out for a hike with the dogs in Rock Creek Park
the dogs step a few yards off trail to lift a leg and release
I bend over to tighten the laces on one of my shoes
Dean looks at me and says, "I want to go running in the woods."
with the same freedom I have given the dogs I tell Dean to run ahead but to be careful
He knows the rules.... stay on the trail, stay out of the street, and be careful
the Petzl Headlamp on Dean's head lights the trail ahead of him
while my headlamp lights his blue jacket and the reflective strip that runs along his midsection
Dean turns around to see where I am as I accelerate my pace
Dean stops and allows me to catch up
It is cool and windy... actually it is cold and windy, but not frigid
I turn off my light then I show Dean how his lamp is set to light the trail in front of him
then I turn off his light so that he can see how dark it is in the woods without his bluish white halogen headlamp
Dean seems to understand
but I am a dog owner who thinks my dogs understand when I talk to them
we turn our lights on
I congratulate Dean on his turning on his own headlamp
He smiles proudly, not for what he has done, but because of my praise
I hold his hand as he jumps off a massive fallen tree
then continue to hold his hand as we negotiate down a very muddy and slippery section of trail
there are some makeshift stairs that exist there somewhat by my creation
as we are past the stairs I continue to hold his hand as we march up a patch of trail that we have named "slippery hill"
as we walk Dean makes an observation
actually he has been making observations all along
he has already pointed out the moon to me and the swooshing traffic
but this reaction is more subtle
Dean tells me that my hand warms his hand and his hand warms mine
I contemplate that
he is right
I think about it some more.... it is scientific and magical all at the same time
our body heat exits
but rather than dissipating it enters the other person's body

Dean has grown tired and expresses this by telling me that his legs hurt
I remind him that he came out to take a hike with the dogs
Dean asks to get on my shoulders, honestly, that is exactly what I do not need after a long day or work and a short but aggressive spin on the bike
so I distract Dean by reminding him that we were going to hike to a higher spot for a better view of the crescent moon

so we move forward quickly
Dean is again running off ahead
it amazes me how he stays on the trail
he is really good at reading the trail and anticipating the trail
this loop he is particularly familiar with
so he moves not only with the headlamp but also with second nature
as we make a turn paralell to Beach Drive Dean makes mention of the cars

from where we stand we get to see the cars buzzing down the parkway... white lights coming red lights going away, we get to see the dogs chase each other through the woods... but only when they pass through the glow of our headlamps, we get to see the moon and the star up in the sky only when the trees do not obstruct them, most of all we get to be outside and we get to be outside together

we finish the loop encountering a few dog owning residents of a street that deadends right into the park, just a block away, almost in view of my house
there we have a near incident as a German Shepard who likes to say hello by bum rushing and barking
which makes my dogs behave in that parental bumper sticker fashion where "they do not start fights but they finish fights" luckily I had anticipated people at this point where I exited the woods
after all this is an urban trail in an urban setting
urban more than anything means people
Dean had all sorts of questions as he moved confidently between the swarming dogs
Ajax the Golden goes in for the face but pulls back either by chance or by response to his owner.
Kona the Burnese mountain dog circles around in a strangely awkward slow motion pace due to the massive fur and the never been shedded puppy fat. While Brutus is eventually set free on the leash as Barnaby has said his aggressive hello and Roscoe was able to be retracted with a verbal command. Brutus is released to be free for the last moments of human exchange where we leave being dubbed "the cyclops family" due to the lights that adorn the heads of Dean and myself.

we were both glad that I said yes
having to put him on my back to complete the loop would have made me wish I had said no
so sometimes you have to say no
this was a good time to say yes

there are also times to say no....
daddy can I watch a movie
daddy I want to watch cartoons
there is a time to say yes and a time to say no
there are books to read and bedtime is close
so this time it is time to say now
most of the time it is best to say no
when Dean or Grant watch television we usually watch it with them
the movies or shows we watch are enjoyed and discussed
it is not just a case of the blue baby sitter
it is a time to bond, a time to entertain, and a time to interact at a different level

and even watching tv are things that we can do together
all are good to say yes to
but not all the time
there is a time to say no to wrestling and yes to reading
there should be options
there should be structure

on many occasions it is late and I am tired
there are times where I have already read Dean a few short little children's book
Dean asks for one more book.... one more story
there is a time to say yes and a time to say no...
exhaustion does not effect the choices
it is just a matter of the right thing to do at the right time
most everytime is the right time for one more book
unless it is like tonight.....

tonight Dean started to splash as I started this post
as I started to type Dean started to splash
as I started to think about what I wanted to read to Dean this evening
then Dean started to splash more
then I started to remind him, "Dean keep it in the tub. You know the Rules."
the splashing continues
then I repeat to Dean, "Dean keep it in the tub! You know the Rules!"
not only did the splashing continue but the intensity increased
then I was forced to stand up, raise my voice as I headed over to get control of the situation
with more parental meaning and a tad more serious tone I got Dean's attention by saying, "DEAN KEEP IT IN THE TUB! YOU KNOW THE RULES!" Ending in eye contact with no more splashing and water everywhere
all over the rug
all over the bathroom
all over the walls
out the doorway
into the office and down the hall
with eye contact remaining I began to show Dean the water and explain the potential damage
Dean listened and repeated as if to show not just understanding but evolution to a higher level of understanding
sort of that same way that you or I would act if we had just been pulled over for speeding and were trying show changed future behavior through remorse and understanding in an effort to dissuade the officer from writing the ticket
during my explanation of the types of damage that could be caused to the walls, floors, and ceiling I had told Dean that he was going to be punished and would have to go to bed with no books... no books read to him... no light on so that he can read to himself
Dean's little heart rate changed, his little lip grew big.... but before he form a tear I gave him a hug and gently explained
it is difficult
but it is important for him to realize the seriousness
the only way to do that is to remove something that he likes.... something that is special to him
he understood
discipline can hurt on both sides of the equation.... both giving and receiving
temptation was great after tucking Dean in and exchanging a hug and a kiss Dean again gave affirmation of his development, "daddy, I know I shouldn't splash in the tub. I won't splash in the tub any more"
again Dean is trying to get off easy
Daddy is an old softy
daddy's daddy was an old softy
but sometimes you need to stick to the plan
the enforcement of the punishment is best for everyone involved
a good night and a stay in bed

he is a great kid with a great deal of energy
I don't blame him for his splashing
yet somehow we need to try and keep order and control
his behavior in the tub is not unlike my actions in my father's backyard pool
I love the power of creating waves
it is not uncommon for me to create a pool of waves by working the foam raft
the waves are so great that the pool feels more a river or the sea
water splashed in great amounts over the sides
so I understand Dean's curiosity and his expression of his powers over the water
yet we need Dean to understand that he can not do what ever he wants when ever he wants
but that he should slow down and understand consequences
after all... he is going to be 4 this June

now get this...
this is so wacky
so wacky.... but only wacky to other parents.... so any non-parent or anyone who was bored by the previous story.... let me warn you that this story is my version of a story of a cat.... a story of a cat should only be told to cat lovers as no one wants to hear a story about a cat! Well, only a parent cares about a story about a kid....

Grant is going to be 1 next week. His birthday is on Valentines Day. We have been so proud of our little man and his lack of concern or interest in walking. It makes it so easy on us that he prefers crawling... we do not have to lean over and walk.... holding his little hands as he takes his little steps.... nope.... he has no interest. Try it. Grant takes one or two steps and plops down to a crawling sprint. Usually a crawling sprint to the staircase, Grant loves the stairs. Grant has been going up stairs since he was six months old. His love for vertical climbing has extended to the 6 foot ladder that goes into the kid clubhouse so that he can crawl over to the slide. YES! I HAVE PICTURES! So, Grant is active, but has never shown any interest in walking or even doing much cruising. Sure he crawls to a location and stands but usually crawls to the next location. He has yet to do that beginner adult skater at the public rink clutching the wall anticipating the next fall.

Walking early is great. But the only real advantage of a child walking early is bragging rights. Yep, that's it, bragging rights. As soon as a child learns to walk, especially boys.... it means mobility and mobility means trouble. Sure... Grant can crawl.... but when he walks... I am sure that the excitement will double and so will the trouble. So that is why we have been letting this whole walking thing happen at its own pace, when Grant wants to. And up until now Grant really did not show much interest in staying vertical while he moved forward. That is right UNTIL. Until tonight while Lisa, Dean, and myself are finishing dinner. Grant is out of his high chair moving freely about the floor. He crawls up to me and eyeballs a piece of my lemon chicken from City Lights Chinese restaurant. Then in a very strong and steady way Grant stands up and reaches out. Sure, Grant has been standing up on his own for some time. So, I reach over to hand him a piece of chicken. He takes it and turns towards the kitchen. As I take my hand away he is fully balanced on his own, not leaning on my hand as he takes the chicken.. not leaning on anything.... he is vertical and moving his feet propelling himself towards the kitchen door. Lisa and I look on in bewilderment. Like watching a flower bloom before our eyes. I catch Brutus as he moves in to try and snatch that piece of lemon chicken from Grant's hand. Six or seven very short steps forward Grant intentionally drops down to crawl over the threshold of the kitchen. My hands release Brutus and I snatch up Grant helping him over the natural wood threshold onto the cold kitchen tile where I out Grant back in the vertical position so that he can repeat his performance. After a bite of chicken in the vertical position Grant starts to move forward, but instead of moving one foot then the other.... Grant only moves on foot as he stands erect. So rather than moving forward he is actually moving forward as if someone had nailed his one foot to the ground so that he can only walk in circles.

I am spent
no time to proof read
no time to try and edit this rant so it comes full circle
no time for anything but putting up my feet and finishing up this jug of water and maybe treat myself to some ice cream
I may not deserve it
I sure do enjoy it

before I forget
DIRT RAG came in the mail today
it looks sweet
the cover is HOT!
the topics look good
I flipped through the pages and the design looked beyond cool and clean
the design is hip and cool
the photography looks beyond journalistic.... some of the photography looks bold
the story on Ray's Indoor Mountainbike Park is great and the photo of Ray is a great shot with a great deal of character
the image has great colors and great depth
it is so above and beyond a snap shot

I read a few other stories and will more than likely go back and read those stories again.
Glanced and grazed over the story about the trails in VEGAS as I am headed that way this fall for one of those "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" type of weekends. Well, bringing my bike is just what I need to keep honest. Can't get so drunk that I can not hit the trial. I don;t know Vegas, but I have an idea about the desert. Riding tends to be a morning activity which would aid me in cutting my evening short. Guess I will have to start drinking early.

Go to the newstand and grab a DIRT RAG if you have no set things up with DIRT RAG to send one to your door!

those photos are at work
I need to post of Dean and Grant each doing their thing with the Petzel
Grant is the cutest little splunker!

was about to proof read and edit this post....
it is too dam long
too dam dam long
guess I should have listened to my own Surgeon's General Warning

CPSC: Bicycle related Recall....

Brake Cable Recall

CPSC main site

completely unrelated... crocs shoes
comfortable and inexpensive.....
and they look great with shaved legs

PHO: Everybody loves PHO!
some people often become PHO snobs.... I like it all... unless it is bad!

Washington Post Article on PHO


The National Zoo Cheetah Cub Cam


Prisioner Abuse or Lap Dance?
Washington Post article



so........ was it one of my earlier posts about the creation of the versitile urban single geared bike
maybe it was the post that talked about the notion of the HUFFY/PACIFFIC/MURRAY Walmart/Target style bikes should be 5 speed internal hub with rigid forks rather than useless metal that looks like it could be a downhill bike from a different planet?
either way neighbor, friend, fellow father, and also fellow City Bikes Mountainbike Team rider emailed me about the ROLLO!

The Rollo is a great little commuter by the folks that brought us the wonderful color celeste green as well as a history of beautiful bicycles. Let me think of other great bikes with a utilitarian sense. And to top it off..... there is this ROLLO GUY who is capable of giving people nightmares like the classic vantrilaquist movie MAGIC or the joke of a modern classic Chuckie movies. I dare you to have a staring contest with an occassional click on his nose with the mouse. He laughs with the menical laughter of a gang of boys who are about to show you that you just walked into the wrong place at the wrong time! It is the only real DARK bike in the list. Some are mod, others are punk, some are punk is a sissy morressy way, there are even the bad boy choppers for the kids and for the adult kids like that Rat Fink bike or some of the Electras.

There are the bikes from ELECTRA! Not Carmen, but equally desireable and potentially as much fun to ride, only these have pretty things far few miles on them! There are a wide variety of styles... some cool and others inventive! There is the comfort and funtionality of the Townie, then the hip and cool Rat Rod, and the ultra ultra cool Rat Fink Bike! ah... big daddy roth!

India Bike
... NAMASTE... need I say more?

Then more fashion than function.... the bicycles with a soundtrack... from the other side of the pong (then a little north).... ladies and gentlemen BIOMEGA!
(I have never seen one of these bikes other than hanging on the wall of some expensive NY furniture store)

There is the A.N.T. bike which seems to be asking a great deal of money for my dad's old Raliegh Sprite. Okay..... if I had the money I would own several of these..... guess I am just being bitter. Will you buy me a few of these to make me feel better?

Another link stolen from Gibby's page... the burro bike.... it is an interesting concept.... would like to see one and try one.... to their credit.... like some sort of massive exhaggeration of the mountainbike.

Burley makes some great utilitarian stuff with the family and suburbia in mind
while Joe Breezer went from the hills of Marin and the creation of the mountainbike to the city streets to bring people a great set of commuter options.

some of these more pricey companies makes me want to stress the true utilitarian highend heavy weight champion of the streets has to be SURLY. now this was a list of UTILITARIAN bikes not trying to name cool frame builders, cool single speed bikes, cool 29ers..... even it that is what I just named.... but that was not the intention of my list. I think some mustache bars on one of my next bikes may mold or perhaps create its identity which is its feel*

*back with an edit.... was Blog Hopping and catching up with the Single Speed Outlaw where there was mention of these Jones H-Bars (cool site)

please share more
and I will expand this list
and share not just to expand my list but also to expand my mind
show me things I have never seen or never envisioned

there is something artistic about the bicycle culture
seeing the beauty in function, fashion, and fun

rocco sent me this link to a TATTOO that is bringing up some controversy

Rubgy Fan!

This is a man of his word!
well... he was a man?
read the story
it is short.... unlike my tales

not sure...
maybe too many beers
one too many times taking a tackle
not enough oxygen in the scrum
I think it may have been too many beers

Red Bean Rest in Peace
Last night, the eve of Ash Wednesday was the New Orleans style celebration of Fat Tuesday the last night of Mardi Gras!
So after a night of children and bikes I decided I would march up to the main street in Mount Pleasant and get myself a very very late night dinner. As I walked up Park Road I debated between having dinner at The Red Bean or at Tonic. As I got closer to the Mount Pleasant building I questioned in my mind whether or not The Red Bean was still open. Once in front of the 7-11 I could see the lights were off and a CLOSED sign hung in The Red Bean window... The rumors were true. The Red Bean was no more. The neighborhood bar with a New Orleans theme was not able to tred water long enough for its signature holiday, Fat Tuesday.

The closing of the Red Bean did not shock me.
In many ways I had expected it..... perhaps I had even expected it sooner..... I had even been shocked that things had gotten as far as they did. As a matter of fact.... after going there several times.... I thought that things were moving along in a positive and permanent direction. In my mind I thought that they were striving too hard to be a bar and not a restaurant, but that is their choice. There were weekly chronicals of the life of co-owner Frank Connell in the glossy insert Washington Post Magazine that landed on my door step each Sunday morning. (episode one) I read these artices, I ate at the resturant, I watched from afar.

Last night as I waited for my dinner to be cooked up at TONIC I went ahead and sketched up a little Blog Note....

Here are the complete archives of the ADVENTURES OF FRANK...

If I sound unsympathetic....
we have all taken some hard hits in life
lessons hard learned
I was pulling for Frank and his co-owner Cousin Mike.
I feel for them for all the time and money that they put forward to try and create something good for the neighborhood.

this is the second effort to create this post
the first attempt was a better production
right now I have one eye on the clock and another eye on the door.....

need to check with lisa about her Yoga plans for tonight

Scalping in Idaho....

oh... those crazy punk kids!
the story here

Better Bikes....
and a better bicycle world!

years ago I was trying to find my own personal "niche" in the bicycle world
more specifically in the bicycle industry

there were months that added up to years, but never three hundred and sixty five days consecutively, spent working in a bike store; Big Wheel Bikes (a land of ten thousand stories)
there was also an on again off again relationship with the messenger industry
during these periods I tried to discover how I could fit into this bicycle world... make this bicycle world better and make a profit, yes... make a profit!

with the various bicycle based occupations I researched different aspects of the world and the area
scoping out the consumer's needs and what I could offer
a friend, Gibby aka Johnny G., was a tad more proactive and presented an idea
Gibby had worked in shops in the DC area and while out in the Bay area for college he spent some time in shops there
during that time Gibby noticed something that I had noticed as well
people just don't want all those gears!
(did I hear a single speeder cheer?)
when shopping for a bike people often looked bewildered at the shifters and derailuers
when riding people tended to ride awkwardly in the wrong gear, not knowing the logic of the front chain rings or the rear cogs
front deraileur grinding against the chain as it is either mal-adjusted or not fully engaged in the correct gear
pedaling too hard or spinning way too much
then when it came to the hills.... even the average person who knew how to use the gears... they all got off and walked.
so Gibby and I tried to create a line of bikes.... a more simple bike option
not a beach cruiser... an urban cruiser
there were to be various styles to suit various needs
THE METRO was black with slicks, fenders, and a rack, perfect for the commuter
THE TOWPATH was beige with a comfortable saddle and knobbies
there were a few others ideas with clever names based off different neighborhoods in NW DC
we wanted to offer an inexpensive bike that grandma could use to ride around the neighborhood, where the family could use to go and get ice cream, and still cool enough that the cyclist would want it to ride to class or the coffee shop... allowing their race or training bike to be kept fresh for its intended purpose

we had plans for merchandise...
we had plans for merchandise
we thought about all of the relatives who would have to buy a bike from us just to get it off the ground....

then we had prototypes shipped over from Asia (China, Korea, Taiwan? I am not sure.... much of the brain work was done by the more business savy Gibby)
we were excited and let down at the same time upon the arrival of these bikes

meant to slam this cofffee and head out the door
got distracted by the blog
best I get into work and finish this thought!

back at work
back at the BLOG

the bikes arrived around the same time as the INTERBIKE SHOW
we were no where near that stage of the game
things were still in the idea stages
at INTERBIKE I looked at the industry and tried to see how to develop this single geared product
at this stage the SINGLE SPEED was still more of an idea than an actual movement
a few booths displayed a high end version of our similar concept
talked with frame manufactures and checked pricing
the cheap asian production line was our best bet
but the parts and paint scheme were all wrong
there was no way that we could make a bike to our liking that would be justifiable to the consumer

our business plan with all of its protections.....
the rental side of things
the sales side of things
the guided tour side of things
none of it mattered if we could not get the product that we wanted in the price range that seemed reasonable
there was no way for us to compete....
we were not trying to create a mountainbike... nor were we trying to create a department store bike
our bike fell right in the middle
but our price point could not be brought down to the lower end
volume was an issue
and well
capitol was an issue as well
it was really nothing more than a fantasy
the dream of setting up shop in the old BONFIELDS GAS STATION location on MacArther Blvd. was a tastee part of that flavor filled dream
but.... even that would take capitol
capitol we did not have
we only had dreams
as powerful as dreams may be
dreams will not get you a loan at the bank
(in hindsight.... that place would have been a great purchase... what seemed like an over priced property would have been a great investment on its own... now it is a WILD BIRD CENTER)

I had an idea
an idea of sales/rentals/tours/repair (with housecalls)
that idea was an idea in another Big Wheel Employee of an era long gone, Scott Carahger
also an idea developed by BETTER BIKES
there may still be room in this city for such a business... minus the single geared bike option

back to work
will try to scan this to see if it makes sense later


earlier I blogged on about how police officers and metro bus drivers need an education on the laws of the road and safety in general
(cab drivers may need to have eye tests and IQ Tests)
at another point I blogged on about how everyone should drive just as a parent or the public would ask a newbie teenage driver to drive (full stops at stop signs, no cell phones, more focus on the street less on the radio, keep your speed down, yield to pedestrians, expect the unexpected, know the law obey the law.... etc.)
it has gotten to the point that people need a basic education with anything in life that is not entirely obvious
eating, sleeping, and breathing would be about the full list of "must do" for most people
some people can not even manage that list

the public needs to be educated in all aspects of life
a refresher course on not littering on the streets, maybe bring back that crying indian
then also an explanation of how to exist without destroying out natural resources, perhaps define "finite" for them
recycling and hazardous waste disposal.. seems obvious... yet people do not get it
(I am no saint... my little batteries are often just tossed in the trash... I will try to revise this behavior)

then on a lighter note...
oddly enough people don't realize that the human impact on our local trails is causing erosion at an unnaturally fast level
sure people think they know impact as they unite against the mountainbike presence
things are getting tracked out
and there are no tire tracks to blame
this trail decline needs to be slowed and stopped only to return to a more natural level before it is too late
this is eroision from hikers and dog walkers and runners.... not even the horse trails
(trails here in DC, Rock Creek Park)

there are mountainbike advocacy groups that try to educate
most certainly there are hiker advocacy groups that try to educate
maybe their should be high school field trips to the urban trails
maybe some trail maintenance education and even some trash pick up
if people had to pick up some trash... maybe their eyes would open to that trash
then also maybe these people would grow to appreciate the pleasures of the outdoors and being active

look at this..... there is even a ski/snowboard saftety advocacy group!


Metrobike..... the bicycle version of the ZIP CAR!

at the WABA event I worked the bar with three other volunteers
a happy couple soon to be married comprised of Kim and Billy
Jenn (or was it Kim? all that red wine is confusing my name recollection) works at City Bikes
Billy her fiance is the Crew coach at Wilson High School
both dressed to the letter in Black Tie Letter..... track bikes locked up out front
the third bartending volunteer on our shift was Paul
Paul was the one with all the options

Paul is working to create METROBIKE....
the bicycle version of the Zip Car!
it is a curious concept
I have thought of delivery rental bikes to hotels
house calls.... pick up and delivery for tune ups
(both which are being done by a man with a van... BETTER BIKES)
but not sure if METROBIKE is going to be more self service than rental
bikes locked up at certain locations
not sure about insurance, upkeep, what ever....

I have thought for years that a community would do well to have a "GEAR COOP!"
how often do I use my tent? (tents actually)
how often do I use my thermarest and thermarest chairs?
how often do I
okay you get the picture

the same extends to Baby Gear
these items are used for several months and then no longer needed
if people were part of a Gear Coop they could have a membership
and borrow what they need when they need it
rather than storing it all in their basement for years and years
allowing things to become moldy and unusable

Metrobike is a really cool concept
I would love to see it developed through
I would love to see if work
I would love to see my doubts proved false




the end of the Trek Classic Super Series in the Mid-Atlantic region
the rise and fall of the Classic Super Series in the words of Bill Deputy

just going to put this out here
I am still trying to figure it all out

here is race database at

and here is where the direction Bill Deputy is headed

I wonder if Dan Comber is around and awake and using this opportunity to come back to life with his

Time to start getting on the bike!

the race dates are starting to approach
one of my Clydesdale relay race team mates, Chris Redlack sent me this info today

Sun, Apr 24, 2004 Big Bear Lake MTB - WVMBA Pts. #3
MapiPlayOutside Event ID: 6014 - More Info: [ Details ] [ Coverage ] [ Results ]
Event type: XCountry
WVMBA Point Series
Contact: Bob Vernon, (304) 594-3484 ,
Location: Bruceton Mills, WV / Big Bear Lake, WV

this race at this location falls into my list of priorities
as this is where Granny Gear will be hosting their 24 Hour Relay Race
and there will be a CLYDESDALE CLASS!
gotta love the CLYDESDALE CLASS!

Jason Meggs a two wheeled Rosa Parks?

a little more white...
a tad more male...
(just a tad... )
yet as vital to the cause of cyclists rights as Rosa Parks was integral in the evolution of the rights of blacks and of desegregation as a whole

Jason Meggs is an activist in the San Francisco Bay area who is devoted to the cause of cyclists rights.... his brain child is Bike the Bridge
(okay.... I am not sure if he is the father of this movement, but he is at least the foster parent of the bike the bridge movement)

GOOGLE Jason Meggs if you want to know more about him and the causes that are his passion

in a note from Jason Meggs,
"If you like Critical Mass, you'll *love* the legendary Berkeley Mardi Gras parade, now in its (over?) 13th year!!!"

share this information with your California Connections.... cyclist and noncyclists
let the actions of Jason Meggs inspire you become more active and more vocal in making the world a more safe and more accepting world for those who choose to travel by bicycle

if we all just do a little
and for some
the little contribution that they could make just might be passing cyclists with greater distance and less speed

maybe I will email Jason and do a little Q&A with him so that we can get the full story!


perhaps I can get a little more inspired and learn how I can make a difference in the world around me!

SATURDAY NIGHT: 32nd Annual WABA Winter Gala and Benefit Auction
at the Embassy of Finland

WABA: Washington Area Bicyclist Association
Embassy of Finland

this saturday night past I volunteered as a bartender at this WABA event
it was a pretty high dollar affair
guess I should have paid closer attention to the mention of "black tie" and worn my tuxedo
no worries..... I was the hired help
my sport coat, shirt, and wool dress pants were all shades of faded black
no one but Susan Klassameir noticed my unpolished Beatle boots

the whole bartending process had a mixture of emotions
at first I tried to make small talk with the guests
then I soon realized that it made more sense for me to accept my roll as "the hired help"
it became an assembly line process
tried to keep it simple....
any sissy that needed a spritzer got sent to the kid to my right
I was too busy looking at the next empty glass
and cracking open more bottles of wine whenever there was a break in the action
or which there were few... the people moved in herds like cows to water after too much time at the salt lick
some people tried to flex their culture and worldliness by requesting a Pinot Noir/Merlot/or cabernet sauvignon
when in actuality.... in a blind taste test.... they could not tell one from the other... nor could I
it was no bother
just slowed things down a bit
and got frustrating when they requested the one type of red wine that was not open in front of me

the kid to my right spent a little too much time presenting options
"forget the options..... serve the drinks"
get these folks drunk so that their wallets loosen up
there are too many options in this world... just serve the kool aid
fill it to the brim.... so that we use less glasses and so that they can spend more time at the auction tables rather than waiting in line at the bar

network later... we are in the weeds here
no need for networking or presenting options
we volunteered to serve drinks, not to make friends or to sell our product
their would most certainly be time to work the crowd after we were revealed by the late shift of bartenders

those who approached the bar got....
very very brief moment of eye contact
a quick little smile
a second where I allowed them to access the options in front of them
a polite request of what their drink or drinks of choice may be
a lean in to hear their whisper of a request
a repeat of their request to set their order to memory and to allow them to correct me if I had misheard them
an efficient and clean gathering of requested drink or drinks
a pass of the requested drink or drinks without risk of spilling a drop
a verbal exchange if it is initiated by the guest
a short response as they don't really want an answer
most questions are more rhetorical than actual questions demanding a personal answer
a second smile for the not so witty remark from the same drinkers and they returned for more drinks in an effort to break even on the ticket price
a small window into the world of the bartender.... all those witty one liners
the bartenders put up with so much all for a dollar at a time
then onto the next thirsty guest

it was quite a showing
for the most part I had no idea who anyone was or who anyone wasn't
it was nothing shy of amusing to see various members of the cycling culture all dressed up in their Sunday best and for some even better!

there were mechanics and shop managers looking more like James Bond than Jack Singletrack
there were lady couriers wearing long black dresses revealing more than their tattoos
there were female racers showing that they look as good in cocktail apparel as they do in uni-suits or downhill gear!
there were familiar faces whose bike I could describe but whose name I have never known

and there were many men with various styles of facial hair
and there were many women with a natural and bohemian feel
and there were people who are less easy to identify
and there were not very many people that seemed like the types to smoke cigars and drive Lincoln Navigators with a big fat W sticker on the bumper

many aspects of the cycling culture were represented
racers, commuters, couriers, industry types....
as well as people who may just be bicycle sympathetic

at one point I caught a glimpse of College Park Cycles shop owner Larry Black exchanging trade secrets with City Bikes owner Charlie McCormick
two very different shop and two shop owners with very different reputations

there were random encounters with neighbors and friends as well as friend of friends and friends of co-workers
I got to hear the voices of faces I had seen for years but never stood so close to before
and yet again another night out on the town exposes just how small Washington DC really is
everytime I leave the house the world just seems to get smaller

it was a great gathering and a glorious good time
I shared my card to my BLOG with a few people who I thought would not be offended too much by my opinion
while I refrained from sharing my fringe attitude and ideas with those who I felt would frown at some of my postings

congratulations to the staff at WABA
from my perspective the event was a complete success
I hope that they met their contribution goals
glad that I was able to offer some assistance in some way or another

this is a wonderfully clever little PSA (Public Service Announcement)
I think?
that or I just don't get it
either way
Check it out! ESUVEE
it was a long load
but it is interactively worth it

my only fear..... it is to creative and too nonconventional for the mass consumption of the mind of the average SUV owner


iPod or iShuffle could lead to an iAccident and possibly iDeath
at least in my iOpinion

we all know the right thing to do
we do not always exhibit better judgement
we.... are people and people tend to be lazy, selfish, and self centered and sometimes stupid

don't think that I am not tempted to ride around listening to my latest playlist
don't think that if I am out on a long ride on a less than trafficked road that I may be listening to something that aids to fuel my mind, body, and soul (as well as break up the monotany)

sometimes we do need to be our own personal directors and control the soundtrack to our iLives

random techo or electronica can work for me
the repetition, the bass, and the tempo can work well to keep me at high power and high reps
a little Red Bull adds to the emotion of the moment
a more specific and not at all techno option for a heart pumping riding experience would be Bad Brains I AGAINST I
but... on the crowded urban streets or on the hectic multi-use trails.....
the whole music thing seems like a bad idea
a bad idea for everyone involved
people do not realize how dangerous the multiuse trails can be
more over
how little it takes to crash
how little it takes to break a couple of bones
not to mention fucking up your bike

I like the sound of my bicycle
the sound of the metallic friction of the chain and the rear cogs
the sound of knobbies whistling against the pavement
the soundlessness of properly adjusted brakes
the sound of everything operating properly
as well as the sound of something may be about to go wrong

we have to listen to our bikes just as we have to listen to our bodies

DC Metro Bus Drivers

going to the WABA event this weekend had me thinking of a few things that need to be done to improve the situation on the roads

these days
in my mind it is a sad ugly affair that could be cleaned up pretty easily
we just need to reprogram everyone's minds

no seriously

we just need to reprogram people's thinking

everyone should drive at the same speed and with the same precautions that a person would ask of their 16 year old son or daughter

common courtesy and empathy would have to taught to most people

as far as professional drivers go....

if there is special licensing for the job then that licensing must include some vehicle safety testing and education

there could even due to be some PSA style movies to aid in the education
entertain and educate in the same motion

as I ride around the city I often feel that the metro driver is racing me
racing me and trying to muscle me

when it would do them just as well to drop some of the aggressiveness and not race me to the point of intersection

up 16th
up Conneticutt Ave
up Mass or Wisconsin avenues

any of these local routes in and out of the city
any long commuter stretch is filled with the battle over the right hand lane
cars in no parking rush hour zone... should be ticketed and towed.... clear the flow.... that is a no brainer then everyone

needs to chill a little in that right lane
leave five minutes earlier or just accept that your running late makes more sense than risking someone/anyone's personal safety

I respect the bus driver's intention of being fast and efficient
I think they need to pay a tad more courtesy to the cyclist who are sharing that same lane
it may open some eyes

it may change the next generation of drivers

ouch my head hurts I think last night I had one too many bottles of wine

my hamstring are a little worn
maybe some good yoga and that long hike with my heavy not so little almost one year old grant added up to be a good workout

dean is now downstairs and calling
gotta cruise

started that entry as I sipped coffee with grant in my lap and dean on the floor messing around
lisa was out with roscoe and brutus hiking on the trails before they thawed

this weekend was major
the family man burning the candle at both ends
lots of family
lots of party
got a great deal done, but would not have survived it without a nap this afternoon
way too much red wine and lots of running about
all good
all very very good

I love packaging
sucker for some good packaging
my friends rob and vida suffer the same affliction
they could not help but buy the Red Bicycletta red wine for Lisa and Myself
love the label
love the name
love the product
that there is a good red wine
yes a very loose use of the word love

it is great when the pieces fit

some combinations are obvious when they are put before you
peanut butter and jelly
beer and crabs
snowboarding and powder days
and now.... bicycles and wine
there are a few combinations that still make me scratch my head like.... bicycle cops

actually I am sort of kidding on the bike cop thing...

I actually think that all police officers should do some on duty cycling as an education to the hazards of the road
it they were out there running their routes peddling instead of driving they would benefit on so many levels
the officers would get in better shape
they would get a different perspective of their "beat" as they would move at a different rate which would guide their attention to different things

then as cyclists they would learn the logic of the urban cyclists
they just might learn how dangerous the chaos of speeding and stop sign running by car drivers is a hazard to all pedestrians, other drivers, cyclists, and even themselves

they may have to pay closer attention to the car drivers
as they would learn that the cyclist is always thinking for two
always trying to anticipate the action of the cars around them before the cars around them know what they are going to do
they may learn to see the pedestrian hailing the cab before the cab driver has realized the potential fare which causes them to erratically cross several lanes of traffic coming to an abrupt halt without a turn or the next or a glance in any of the side or rear windows
they would see the jaywalkers before the jaywaker blindly steps out from between two parked cars
they would see so much more than when they looked at their dashboard and their computer screen

then they too may learn to drive more responsibly around cyclists and pedestrians
their empathy would expand
one would hope....

head hurts from a weekend of partying
friday night I crashed a party at a group house on my block
then saturday night I volunteered to bartend at a WABA event
worked the early shift on the bar and got drunk mixing and mingling during the late shift
saturday day and sunday day were fun packed
there were yoga classes
there were hour long hikes in the woods with the dogs running wild and grant moving about in the backpack on my back
there were trips to the zoo
and trips to my dads
dean even managed to squeeze in his first sleep over at Grandma Carolyn's
it went moderately well
but I feel that the unfamiliar surroundings ended up allowing Dean or my mother to sleep
it was a good weekend

there was also the assembly and sale of a old commuter bike to a friend
there was also the start of cleaning the basement..... baby steps

my basement clean up was the superbowl of clean ups
well... it was not pro... actually it was not even olympic
my efforts were nothing shy of amateur
okay benieth amateur absolute beginner
but a start just the same
these efforts kept me from seeing any superbowl
guess I will check out the other the results at the Post website
don't want to be left out at the water cooler tomorrow