Rants on Cycling and on Life


so many BLOG ideas... so little time!

this morning I had these profound BLOG ideas that I needed to share
work was such that I did not have a minute to even jot these ideas down
this is a bit of a metaphor for my life
actions versus intentions

good intentions will get a person no where
ever tell your wife that you were going to get her flowers?
you are permitted to say that once...
after that... either bring flowers or say nothing...

what were those dam ideas?
trying to retrace my steps
trying to retrace the path I took to work on my bicycle
trying to pan through my brain for any hint or clue of the ideas that seemed so vital earlier in the day

oh well....


this basically sucks

here it is the last minutes of my work day
working late...that happens sometimes... sometimes we have to work late
today was a beautiful day
the day was beautiful and now it is gone
sure I walked around the corner to grab my lunch
sure I stood out front and made small talk with a coworker for a few minutes as we took in the spring air
but that was about that
for the most part I was prisoner in my cube
well... a prisoner in my diminutive back office with a view out the window that hardly reveals night or day much less temperature or climate
a view of a brick wall 20 feet from my window showing many windows of seldom occupied many furniture-less offices

my day was spent in anticipation of a quick post work ride
yesterday I took a little urban trail across town on the Karate Monkey
the trail is less than technical
but car free
the absence of cars makes for a much more enjoyable post work bicycle experience
the feeling of dirt under my rubber tires makes for a much more enjoyable post work bicycle experience
it was a great little ride on my rigid frame with 29 inch wheels and its one single gear

the short trip from my office to the trail is enough to almost justify my scoff law behavior
but not really
so I take my excuses and rational to the next level...
the cars making their fast and aggressive maneuvers never looking for menever seeing me
never noticing until they feel that I am in their way
they got to pass me....
why are they angered when I pass them?
I know I only get angered when they pass too fast.... when they pass too close... and when after their pass, they swerve cutting off my line on the right side of the road
too often the cars pass within inches of me... when they have a few feet to move over to the center line
why do the car driver's feel as if they need to pass me so that they can file into the queue at the next red light?
like a ghost I drift through traffic
let me go my way
I am here and gone
my passage will not alter their destiny
if I am in their way... it is my right
my being in your way is similar to you being in my way
we are traffic
my taxes are spent on these pot hole filled roads just like yours
if I do slow them down for a few blocks or even a mile... they can make up for it with a push of the pedal
but... if they had been going the speed limit all along... they would still be miles back

to justify things more I look at the trail,
I look at the trail use and the trail users,
I look at my impact and their impact and make my decision

on a dry day... my impact on the bike is no greater than a hiker and their dog
on a wet day... I stay away... that same hiker with their dog, well, they march through making the trail wider
as they move around each puddle as they walk on the outskirts of the soft center of the single track trail
they kill the vegetation making the trail wider
their leashless dog runs off trail crushing fragile ground vegetation at their feet and brushing against fragile low lying bushes and young saplings trying to grow to be trees
runners and hikers going around obstacles rather than over them
runners and hikers taking the "b-line" bisecting the curve instead of taking the trail
those are the ones that are causing the greatest damage
not me on my bike
it is the soles of running shoes and hiking boots not air filled tires that are causing the greatest impact and damage
it is the small little leathery paws of our furry pets that break down the brush that thin out the woods off trail
but... they are allowed to be there
well, the hikers are allowed to be there.... the dogs.... they can not read so they do not know the law
I am not supposed to be there

I go there just the same
the speed limit says 25 MPH... the cars modify that little rule with a standard deviation of 10, 15, 20 and even over 25 miles per hour
the STOP SIGN says STOP.... the cars roll on through making less than a pause
so.... I get to make my own little modifications
only my modifications are not putting anyone at risk
I yield to the blue haired lady with the blue haired dog
when a runner approaches and the trail is not wide enough for both to pass... I slow... I stop
everyone gets a polite and sincere greeting
most people do not mindmost people are walking with their dogs off leash
but there are a few who are aggravated by my bike cruising past it is always a tad ironic when a leashless dog walker can get all "uppity" about the law when they themselves are doing a tad bit of scoffing

so what is it that is such an issue?

the issue is that the bright sky with the warm breeze has been replaced by a dark cloud filled sky a sky that has started to rain on my bicycle parade
puddles visible in the alley bellow show that the rain is falling and starting to collect
that little urban adventure that I had looked forward to all day has now been canceled
sure... I may still take a spin on the pavement... but I was looking to go car free on the dirt

oh well...April Showers!
guess I will race straight home
not just in time to change my young boys' clothes and leap into bed to read Dean a story
but to get home in time to aid in the whole "off to bed" process (and it is a process)
tonight I plan on reading Dean a new book...
we have been reading SHREK by its original author
now we will move to The Amazing Bone by the same author

no time to read this over
time to get in my gear and go home
straight home
do not pass GO
do not.....


I stole this list off of FAT GUY CYCLING's BLOG
it is a list of The Top Ten Ways Not to Get Hit While on a Bicycle


Mountainbikers and their countless groups and subgroups
broken down more simply in Greek Mythology

there are too many groups
way too many groups
way too many subgroups
not enough solidarity
too much focus on "in groups" and "out groups"
we are all bikers!
can't we all just get along?

there must be a healthy blend of competition and solidarity

with that said... let me break things down to two basic groups of mountianbikers
Centaurs and Minotaurs
Pronunciation: 'sen-"tor
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin Centaurus, from Greek Kentauros
1: any of a race of creatures fabled to be half man and half horse and to live in the mountains of Thessaly
2 : the modern creature is half man and half bicycle often found trying to get out on some singletrack
Pronunciation: 'mi-n&-"tor, 'mI-
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin Minotaurus, from Greek MinOtauros, from MinOs + tauros bull
1 : a monster shaped half like a man and half like a bull, confined in the labyrinth built by Daedalus for Minos , and given a periodic tribute of youths and maidens as food until slain by Theseus
2 : a cyclist too large for the sport and perhaps too large for the world; a beast of a man
okay... sorry
that was the breakdown of the XC (cross country) culture
there is a third group that would be the Freeriders and the Downhillers

Pronunciation: 'trä-gl&-"dIt
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin troglodytae, plural, from Greek trOglodytai, from trOglE hole, cave (akin to Greek trOgein to gnaw, Armenian aracem I lead to pasture, graze) + dyein to enter
1 : a member of a primitive people dwelling in caves
2 : a person resembling a troglodyte (as in reclusive habits or outmoded or reactionary attitudes)
3 : a person who is riding their bike so fast and out of control that they can not stay on the trail; often moving slow on the flat; often wearing full battle armor; always on a bicycle with more travel than most motorcycles and more comfortable than most Lazy Boy chairs
- trog·lo·dyt·ic /"trä-gl&-'di-tik/ adjective

definitions courtesy of
and well... a little addition at the end

and for those that are curious
here is the definition of ROADIE aka GEEK

Pronunciation: 'gEk
Function: noun
Etymology: probably from English dialect geek, geck fool, from Low German geck, from Middle Low German
1 : a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake
2 : a person often of an intellectual bent who is disapproved of
3 : a person who would rather ride their bike on pavement than dirt
- geeky /'gE-kE/ adjective

Pronunciation: 'klIdz-"dAl
Function: noun
1 : a heavy draft horse with feathering on the legs of a breed orig. from Clydesdale, Scotland
2 : a larger athlete, not a beginner, not a fat ass (although they may be), a larger athlete usually carrying more muscle and more mass than the average elite racing weight wennie often taller than 5'11"

Pronunciation: road-ee
Function: noun
Etymology: probably from English dialect road rider, road racer, from the White Colar World roadie, from European descent
1 : a cyclists who fancies themselves as an elite road cyclist
2 : a road cyclist traveling with no gear, no lights, no pump, no patch kit, and no know how to fix things anyway... in case of breakdown calls wife with Volvo and drop bike off at local shop
3 : the roadie does not see the mountainbike as a sport, but as an activity similar to the view of beach volleyball or frisbee
- see also road snob

Pronunciation: fred
Function: noun
Etymology: probably from English dialect fred, fred backpack , from Hanna Barbara fred flintsone, from early animated cartoons
1 : a cyclist with a utilitarian machine usually adorning his or her body with a backpack
2 : a cyclist with backpack, lights, and the proper gear to fix their bike on the roadside when needed
3 : a person often faster than a road cyclist, but without the pretty pedal strokes and the expensive gear
- geeky /'gE-kE/ adjective

this image of a female Centaur may make up for any hurt feelings
oh.... open this page out of view of your wife, kids, and boss
if you think this is offensive... you should see the cartoons I tried to draw!

guess with posts like this I am not going to aid in creating more SOLIDARITY

no more excuses
it is warm and dry
in case you have not heard.... Spring has Sprung
time to get out on the bike
everyone else is out running, walking the dogs, riding their bikes
time for me to pick up the pace and start to increase my miles

if the flowers poking through the ground and the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom to not offer inspiration
maybe a glance at the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame may act to get you going
follow that through a little tangent hopping and see what you come up with
people just like you and me doing things...


Frank Hart
I do not know who reads this BLOG
it is not clear if this is an appropriate way to present this information...
but I figure I should just put it out there just the same
if an old friend of mine had passed away... I would want to know about it

so here it is...
Frank Hart is dead....

Frank was a good friend of a good friend which made us.... good friends.
during our misspent youth we had countless missadventures together
there were countless nights at various punk shows and various clubs
I can not tell you how many thursday nights we spent at Tracks, mondays at Poseurs, and any night at 9:30, the old 9:30 Club
and of course... we crashed parties... we raged and we raged hard

Frank had a big heart
Frank always greeted his friends with a big hug... a big very sincere hug
when he shook hands he made eye contact and connected
the loss of Frank saddens me as I think of all the friends and family that will have to exist without him for the rest of their lives

here is something that I wrote to my friend Jason after he emailed me this grave news...

the death of Frank is now just starting to sink in

it has been so long that I have seen him

it is hard to appreciate that I will never see him again

death is abstract
that is one of the merits of a funeral
it makes at least part of the process tangible
it makes things a little more real and a little more final
it aids in preventing people from expecting that person to come
walking around the corner

for Frank there are no more moments
no more perfect moments
no more painful moments
just no more
all of his moments are now just memories

Frank and I shared many wonderful and exciting moments
Frank was part of the misadventures of my misspent youth

perhaps the passing of Frank will aid us in appreciate our moments
our moments with friends and our moments with family
this can help us to endure those painful moments knowing that we will
later experience perfect moments or at least near perfect moments

I have been blessed
sure there have been broken bones and payment plans with the IRS

but look at the big picture....
my life is charmed
I live in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife, two beautiful
children, and two dogs that sometimes obey me
I have a job that does not pay as well as some other jobs
but that job does not have me working as hard

my life is nothing shy of charmed

so this week when the car passes me too fast and too close while I am
on my bicycle I am going to think of Frank, life, and the big picture
when my children are crying and my head is aching I will seek

patience as I think of Frank, life, and the big picture
when some mother fucker pisses me off for whatever reason, I will think of Frank, life, and the big picture
life is far too short to sweat the little stuff

as the master of my own destiny I will do what I can to avoid broken bones and payment plans with the IRS
but by all means..... I will not stop living... I will not stop having moments

let the world bless Frank and his passing
my thoughts go out to Frank, Frank's family, and any and all people who were ever close to Frank

I do not know how or why Frank died
but I do know that Frank will not be walking around that corner
there may be a moment where I think I see him...
but it can not be
Frank is gone
now I am sad

right now I would love to proof read this message
but Dean has his PJs on and it is time for me to read him a story
I am about to experience one of those moments, this much like every evening is one of those near perfect moments
I am truly blessed

I ended up rereading this and making a few alterations... I think I made it worse

Buffalo Nickel
yesterday as I got my change from Mohammad at the corner hot dog stand I found my first 2005 Buffalo Nickel

I would like to be torn on this issue... but I am not... I think it is a pretty cool coin

certainly this coin is not as cool as the original... but what is as cool as the original?


there are some sentences that should be outlawed
as these statements are nearly impossible to be true

last night after our mountainbike team meeting a few people migrated from coffee house Tryst to Asylum the local biker bar (motorcycles and track bikes)
it was early, so I decided I would go along
when showing my interest in attending I said....
"sure... I will head over for a drink"

sure enough
one drink added up to be two
two added up to be three
and well....
my head hurts too much to continue with the math
but there was most certainly a drink or two after three
whiskey... I love ya.... I hate ya

needless to say....
I woke up in the dog house belching up the flavor of a heavily garliced slice of pie from PIZZA MART
life being me
isn't life grand


maybe this greasy steak and cheese will soak up some of the pain


another weekend has passed

another weekend came and went
if only the weekdays could pass as fast

as anticipated I was unable to attend the mountainbike race that was held on Sunday
with no regrets... the excuses and alibies were not unfounded
Sunday was not a sun day.... it was a rain day and the race had no rain date
I had no choice... work demanded my attendance

the weekend had its moments just the same....
there was yoga for lisa
there was yoga for me
while lisa did yoga.... I did dad things
there were trips to Target and lunch at the IHOP
serious bonding with Grant
serious bonding with Dean
there were multiple hikes with the dogs

at Target I was able to exhibit some self control
dog food, toilet paper, and one toy/game
once home Lisa and I introduced Dean to Chutes and Ladders
we all had fun playing
Dean sort of got it... but really just wanted to move his character around
then got great joy in finishing ahead of me

the rain stalled long enough for us to leash up the dogs and head into Rock Creek
it was a long healthy hike for all....

Dean was hesitant about a journey into the woods
there was no rational there was no reason
Dean just did not want to go
there are times when a child is not permitted to have an opionion
once again... "father knows best"

it was a good weekend
even with having to work
it is always best to have to work on a rainy day and save the days off for the sun

after the afternoon of work on Sunday I contemplated riding my bike late to a children's birthday party in Silver Spring
but instead I ended up riding the single speed.... spinning for roughly an hour 45
ran into a few people on the way home... made small talk not feeling rushed
only to get out with the dogs at sunset for one last hike
no photos to tell the tale
just my memory

Each year Lisa and I take a quick little winter migration trip to Florida

it is awesome

each and every year we miss a little bit of winter
while getting a little sample of summer
did I say... it is awesome!

it is nothing short of awesome.

our annual migration has been going on long since before we got married...
long before we had children

now that we are within the "cult of parents" our trips are that much valuable
after a long cold wet winter of putting on gloves and mittens it is great to go to the beach
nothing more than a suit and some sunscreen!


over the last many years our migration from DC has overlapped with the migration of a family from Canada

the interaction with this Canadian family is something that we have grown to look forward to each year

upon arrival to the inlaw's condo we said our hellos to Pa and Miga and refamiliarized ourselves with the surroundings
as we got acclimated to the settings Dean and I went to the porch to see whose voices we could hear by the pool! sure enough it was our friends the Canadians!

although they are much older than Dean... there is still a great opportunity for interaction
in the above picture you can see a section of the sea serpant that we constructed together
int the family pictures below you can see the brim of the older Canadian girl's hat as she took the pictures with our camera
fun shots just the same! these are just a few images... the rest of the time we were having too much fun to take pictures!


Velorution is Back!
Back in Business!
Back for actual Business!