Rants on Cycling and on Life


on the lighter side of things.... PEOPLE HAVE GONE NUTS!



and of course

a link to a gwadzilla archive-halfway down the page I rant about meeting Brooke Shields while mountainbiking

Serious Stuff
the attack on London is a blow to the world
the magnitude is no where near what was expericence on that September day several years ago that has become known as 9-11
one life lost to terrorism is too many
each event can not be measure against the other
in each case we have been robbed of our FREEDOM

this attack has to be a bit of a reminder to the people in control

where are our energies going?
are our energies going in the right place?

even if this attack was not masterminded by Osama Bin Laden
it is a reminder that he is still out there
that we are directing our attention in the wrong direction
yes... Iraq is a mess! there is no arguement there
it is a mess we created when we should have been focused on our immediate ememy
we should have finished one fight before we started another

I see this London attack like this....
a bar fight started
then just as the fight began one of the people involved turned his attention away from his opponent and started up a new and differnent conflict with a completely unrelated person
while focused on fighting the second person... BAM! sucker punched by the first party
did not see that one coming..... or should we have?

even if this is not entirely linked to Osama Bin Laden
this should refresh our memory that he is the one we are looking for....
yes... Osama... the Saudi with the Afgans... not the Iraqis
we all agree the Saddam is evil...
yes.. the Iraqis may very well be better off without him (eventually)
but what about Osama

off my soap box

my most sincere grief goes our to all injured or dead from all of these attacks
as a father
as a friend
as a person who loves life
as someone who wants to live a long rich life
it gives me great pain to think how these lives have all been changed
it gives me great pain to think about how the world has been changed
and for what?
someone please tell me.... for what?

our world is headed down a nasty path
not sure what can be done to redirect our future off this collision course with self destruction

Rock Creek Trash, Rock Creek Treasures, and ROCK CREEK TRAPS
living in the city there are certain things I do not like but I have learned to deal with...
trash and traffic are two of my main issues
smokers and their "butts"
junk food junkies and their chicken bones and plastic wrappers
inconsiderate and ignorant are just part of the human way
by nature man is selfish and lazy
always taking the biggest piece of pie and always looking for someone to do their work for them
so I can deal with the idiots and their obnoxious driving
the losers who take a hike and leave a wrapper....
those things I have come to understand as part of our American Way.... Indian crying by the roadside or not.... that is the way people have done it every since I was put on this planet
it is the TRAPS that really irk me
when someone takes things to the level of a trap.... then I really start to wonder about the mind of the people
candy apples and razor blades may be an urban myth
but I have seen a few things in the woods that boggle my mind
on some trails that are unmarked and not designated as hiker or biker I found myself getting a double flat
after getting that set of flats I sent a warning out to my brother to "watch out for nails"
later that day my brother went in on a mission
Search and Destroy!
well.... Search and Discover!
and he did discover
a double flat brought him to backtrack and find a strip of nails tacked to a thin piece of board
placed below some leaves
definitely intentional
definitely a strike against the biker traffic
later that day my brother called the Montgomery County Police and took them into this section of woods
he brought his older son with them....
made an adventure of it
the police observed and did nothing
what should one expect....
if a runner got tetnis or some other infection
or just a puncture from those nails....
what is it all for?
the dog traffic , hiker traffic, child traffic.... all the negaive things to unsuspective victims is hardly worth the intended punishment to the occassional bicycle that rolls through
(these are rogue trails.... not marked... not designated no bikes)
the police did nothing
some Nature Nazi is the only one who knows where to step and where not to step

over in my neck of the woods there seems to be a psychotic cousin to this Nature Nazi
the other day while collecting Rock Creek Treasures for my bottle collection I saw a plastic Easter Egg
knowing that some families have had Easter Egg hunts in these woods in the past I did not find this to be so odd
so I bent over and picked up the small blue plastic egg
to the touch I could feel that there was still a treasure inside
I shook the egg
my mind wander of all the great Cracker Jack style prizes that may fit into such an egg
maybe a Matchbox Car
maybe an Easter Novelty Toy
maybe a cluster of rusty thumb tacks fused together
sure enough... it was a cluster of rusty thumb tacks
without having the lab or Quincy to aid in the diagnosis
I was unable to determine if these rusty thumb tacks were once hidden in chocolate
but it did disturb me a bit
as much as I am angered by the broken glass
as much hatred that swells through my veins for the needle left behind by the loser junkies
this made me more angry than anything
the candy apples and razor blades may be more than an urban myth
there are people sick enough to lace Girl Scout Cookies with broken glass, needles, and pins
and of course
around Easter....
there may be some psycho who is setting little egg traps for little boys and girls with baskets filled with marshmellow bunnies, transparent green plastic grass, and hollow easter eggs filled with various surprises... some tastee and some dangerous


like most of my ideas...
just an idea
never an action

after that whole
Marvin Kalb bicycle bashing on WAMU I devoted a part of my brain towards what could be done
or better yet.... what should be done!

various radio
PSA ideas went though my head
let me see if I can type down one of the ideas that was floating around my head for the last few days.....

The majority of people that are listening to this station right now are traveling in their cars. Those who are traveling in their cars are more than likely commuting to work... commuting on the same route that they have traveled for weeks, months, years, or even decades. These drivers may mix things up with a variety of different routes... each in an effort to bring the driver to work as safe and as efficiently as possible with as little stress as possible.

Knowing that we are all creatures of habit I would feel it is safe to say that most every driver gets into their cars then selects the route in their head and then points their car towards work, putting themselves into a little bit of an AUTO-PILOT scenario.

Well, I ask the car commuters to select one day where they take themselves out of AUTO-PILOT and drive this one day a little more aware.

In life we all need to put ourselves in check from time to time. If we spend too much time in auto pilot we may find that we have drifted off course. I feel that the majority of car drivers have drifted off course. I think that a day or two traveling in a concious state the drivers can re-evaluate thier route and return to thier auto-pilot mode but with a greater understanding of the road. Bringing them to be safer more concientious drivers.

With Auto-Pilot set to the OFF position I want the car drivers to pay a little closer attention to the dials on the dash board, the signs on the road, the markings on the pavement, and the activity around them. Look at the speed limit signs and compare them to the speedometer. Look at the Stop Sign and the Stop Line and pay attention to how you have responded to that regulation. Did the sign say, "slow to a roll and keep on going?" No, the sign said to STOP. Make a complete stop. Access the intersection. Then when safe, clear, and in turn... progress forward. Be alert no just to the other cars, but be alert to other human traffic.

Make a mental note of human activity on your route. When approaching a school or a toddler park be extra alert for a mother and their child trying to cross... yeild to the woman and her stroller... be considerate not just to their "right of way" but also to their right to safety. Look for these high traffic areas. Pay attention to points where there are cyclists or joggers on the bicycle path. Be alert to where the path intersects with the road. Have foresight... anticipate things... expect them to be there... expect them to want to cross. Do not block the box.. do not roll past the stop line blocking the cross walk, blocking the ramp on the curb, if you have to stop... Why not stop where you are supposed to stop? Be alert to your actions obstructing the path of others. If you know that you will be taking a turn.... look at the path of pedestrian traffic. Expect/Anticipate/and Respect those that are not surrounded by crumple resistent side panels with side and front airbags.

In addition to taking the actions and activities that are occurring along your route to work. Take a closer look at your own driving behavior. Are you focused at the task at hand? That task should be driving.... not reading the morning paper, checking email messages on your Blackberry, or chatting away on your phone. Driving should be the main concern while driving... not reading emails or talking on the phone. Something is suffering. Chances are the email is not getting its full attention nor is the road, best to ignore one and focus on the other. Work will still be their when you arrive at your desk.

Try this little task once... maybe even twice... then fade back into AUTO-PILOT. Only after shedding a few of the bad habits. Leave the Blackberry and the Cell Phone in your bag. Make the complete stops at Stop Signs. Go within a reasonable limit of the designated speed limit. Treat the other drivers as you would like to be treated. And treat those that on the road around you with the respect that they deserve... always remembering that they are people, people who deserve to be safe during their morning routine.

no time for a proof read
time to slide down the dinosaur
more on this later

other rants I want to expand upon

The Golden Rule
and let me see what else comes to surface as I pedal home

le tour
we all have it
some are expressing it through riding
some are expressing it through watching
TOUR FEVER is a great thing
I am doing a little watching and a little riding

I got an email from someone asking where in DC a person could go to watch Le Tour
any tips?
any pubs running it live?
any pubs grabbing it with their TEVO?
I was thinking the Capitol Lounge on the Hill or The Diner in Adams Morgan
I really have no idea
been lucky here at work... seen some action in the mornings

there is also this event at The City Bikes Chevy Chase Location

Come watch stage 10 of the Tour de France, from Grenoble to Courchevel. Dana Carson, manufacturers rep for Bianchi and Ridley will be in attendance. He will be talking bikes, the Tour de France and the impact of the new Pro Tour on the sport. Dana has years of industry and race experience. He manages the BMW-Bianchi womens team, and recently managed the Bianchi-Liquigas team at Wachovia Week. Dana has an insiders view to the Tour de France, Paris Rubaix, Flanders and Milan San Remo...and would love to meet the customers and swap stories! Cycling is his life!
Dana Carson
Sinclair Imports Bianchi
Hincapie Sports Ultimate Support Sys.
Ph. 215.432.8571
Fx. 413.638.0081

other than that... I just do not know

I have a brother....
an older brother
it is confusing to my son that he is the big brother yet I am bigger
this whole greater than less than comparision is tough on the brain of a 4 year old
the abstract terms.... like baby of the family is tough for a 4 year old to grasp when thinking of his 6'4" father who is weighing in at roughly 235
clearly not a baby at all... unless their are dishes to be done... then I throw a tantrum

my brother is roughly 200lbs and has a full head of hair
we share the same last name and we share some similar features
to some we look alike
to some it is difficult to tell us apart
sometimes I fear that he may be getting some backlash from my actions from those that can not tell us apart
during cross season when he is duking it out with the fast guys I am amused by the confusion...
similar body types.... same jersey.... but not much more... as I am clearly more beastly then he
since his crash in a road race in Reston VA the other day...
I wonder as the roadies out there glance at me.... thinking that I am him
who knows...

here are a few pictures of a few crashes from that day

Cars Makes Models Drivers and What I Expect from them...
basically... a "W" sticker on a car or SUV is a hint that this is a machine to watch out for while on the bike
at times I am passed by a Subaru with A Kerry/Edwards sticker too fast and too close
at the pass when I see the sticker pulling away.... I say to myself... you voted for Kerry but you drive like you support Bush
recently there was an incident here in Washington that involved a Think Tank Conservative and a woman on a bicycle
this is a Republican leading a Think Tank....
when approached with contact with a petite woman on a bicycle.... this is what he came up with

there clearly needs to be an education
this whole CASTE system dictated by the car a person drives needs to be put in perspective

in DC I fear the most.... the Republican Soccer Moms in their Ford Explorers rushing off to get their dry cleaning and have their nails done and the Boys in the Hood in their Caprice Classics with Paper Tags headed off to do what jobless 25 year old males do.... they are of the same mind set each scoring low on empathy and understanding

in the news today
film clip of the action

actually today is no joke....
the world and its craziness has proven that we are not safer....
TIME ENERGY AND MONEY (lots of money) has been wasted in IRAQ
when the Al Queda terrorists that we should be chasing are drinking Richard on the Mediterranean

yesterday George W. Bush fell on his bicycle
this seems like something I would make fun of
well... George seems like a fit and healthy guy....
this is one place where I do not attack him
at least he is riding his bike
at least he is getting out there
I just hope that all his golfing, all his biking, and all his clearing brush are not taking away from his "tasks at hand"


word is out
forget dopping
get side burns
the word on the street.... SIDE BURNS MAKE YOU FAST
(not sure if this works for the ladies ((atracting them or giving them speed)))

from Dean's Birthday last month


the notion of a broken finger and the healing process is a bit different today than it was some years ago
I know... as I have been visiting the ER since I was a small child
in my youth a break would happen... there would be some talk about how the injury occurred
some X-rays would be taken
then there would be a plaster cast or a splint depending on the break and the severity
then of course there would be follow up visits with more X-rays and more casts or splints

plaster has been replaced with fiberglass, light weight inflatable splints, and high tech adjustable casts with velcro and hinges
the plaster remains.... but only in the art classes and the cut rate facilities
with a plaster cast life sucks... the kid can still take a bath or go in the pool
not to mention the maggots
did I mention the maggots?

in addition to the tools of the trade going through a few advances
so has the philosophy of the treatment changed
the old philosophy was a rather slow process... rather PASSIVE
the new philosophy is much more ACTIVE

rather than putting things in a cast and checking how things are coming together in a few months
the doctor prefers to grab his tools and start cutting
get in their and "set" things right
toss some screws.... plates... rubber bands.... and maybe some duct tape
to make things how they look in the manual
then go from surgery straight into therapy....

I must admit I am torn with this new philosophy...
it is my contention that doctors may be a tad too quick with the knife
now I am not saying this for my case as I believe the opinion of the doctor's that I met with that my break was serious and needed correction through surgery to make things right
that is not always the case

this is how I see it


surgeons cut
that is what they do.... they believe in their product and they push this product
in some cases therapy alone or perhaps some alternative care may be what is needed
I guess that is what the second opinion is for... but they all speak in doctor speak
the fraternity sticks together
for the most part... doctors are just lawyers with lab coats and some shinny tools
they do their work in hospitals rather than court houses

one difference between a car and a man....


again... I have no regrets for the choice to get surgery
the doctors I spoke with all thought that this was a break that demanded invasive care
there is no way to create an Experimental and Control Group
I can not clone myself... leaving myself with a break on the same finger on two of me
treating one of me with surgery then Physical Therapy
treating the other of me without surgery and then Physical Therapy
only to meet back in 5 months, 5 years, and then 15 years to discuss how things are mending...

even with surgery my doctor has not given me the most positive prognosis
there will be limited range of motion
there will be a chance of arthritis down the road
I will have an increased range of motion due to the surgery
as well as having a lesser chance of arthritis down the road due to surgery
I forgot to run my little CLONING EXPERIMENT


my finger is like a little ball of TAFFY
each day I work my stif litte finger (okay... BEAVIS!)
each morning my finger starts off all stiff, almost impossible to bend
then through the day as I increase my passive and active therapy activities
things start to loosen up
things start to bend
then after a long day I go to sleep
when I wake.... I have a stiff piece of taffy again


a post work hike in the woods with the dogs and the boys inspired this little additive piece to something that had been typed up this morning after my prework hike with the dogs sans boys

Additions/Amendments to The Trash and Treasures of Rock Creek Park
there are so many treasures tucked into these woods
some treasures more unique than others
when hiking with my sons my younger boy often marvels at the sparkling and shinning at his feet
so entranced he stops in his tracks
he bends over
he picks up his little treasure
to which I rush over and snag that little piece of broken glass
not that rustic redneck collectable of the ocean known as Sea Glass
but just basic broken bottle.... still sharp... still fresh
then of course there are the less frequent treasures tucked away by the underbelly that travels the park's trails at night
there are the condoms and the hypodermic needles
no back lit DIY shelves for these treasures
those treasures are best collected by adults than small children

then here is a little something inspired by the site of a fast Clydesdale; riding buddy and friend, Chris Redlack
the other day when our post work paths intersected I parted saying to him... "you just don't get it"
I have felt this before
not just with Chris... but with so many others
as I have seen Chris out on his single speed before spin class
I was skipping stones for brutus and roscoe.... whiel chris was skipping snacks, burning calories, and gaining speed
today as I broke my back with a toddler on my shoulders, a young boy with a Batman mask at my side, and two dogs straining leashed at my site I saw Chris muscling through traffic on Beach Drive
I looked on, thought, and
jealously I uttered to myself.... "chris, you just do not get it"
then after a sigh I thought some more... "but this fall your insight will expand.... just around the time when your home office becomes a nursery and you just may get it... and I am sure that you like it as much as I do..."

for me....
it is far more important to be an expert dad and a sport mountainbiker than to find myself being a sport (or god forbid a beginner) dad and an expert mountainbiker
there is that chance for the expert across the bored
but I am not ready for any more sacrifices
just because I was skipping stones with the boys and the dogs does not mean I skipped my ride
I managed to squeeze an hour-twenty on the bike
rode right through the thunder storm
I can deal with rain... it was the lightning I feared

dean is done bathing....
back to trying to be an expert dad
it is important to keep the Blog in perspective as well



the cross country bicycle trip is on my life list
the cross country bicycle trip exists on my list with the thought that I would do it with my sons
when I contemplate doing a cross country trip via bicycle with my sons
I figured I would let my sons ride their own bikes
not have them as dead weight
it seems that The Metal Cowboy is planning on going cross country with kids on his bicycle.... portable DVD player and all!

can you say INSANE!


Holiday Weekend Behind Me
my Four Day Weekend of the Fourth is behind me

Rock Creek Trash/Rock Creek Treasure
this weekend I spent a few minutes
not much more than a few minutes
roughly the same amount of time it would take to "mosey" a few city blocks
roughly the same amount of time it would take to walk a few blocks while picking up trash
managed to fill up a few trash bags with various things that somehow found themselves in the woods
most of these things being packaging for various food and drink

it is interesting the wrappers and containers that are disguarded in the woods
there is a consistant theme....
most every container is for a product that is inexpensive
most every container is for a product that is less than healthy
much of the containers are from alcohol... all of the alcohol containers are for the less expensive products be they beer, hard liquor, or champagne
this said....
there are far more Popeyes, McDonald's, and 7-11 than Whole Foods, Harris Teeters, Sutton Place Gourmet
there are far more empty Corona, Budweiser, Maddog 20/20, and Smirnoff Vodka than Guinness, Sierra Nevada, Jameson, or Absolute

this sociological study of trash tells something
but does not tell all

recently I have not only been collecting Rock Creek Trash
but I have also been collecting Rock Creek Treasures.....

Some Rock Creek Treasures are basically the Rock Creek Trash of years past
the greater the years
the greater the treasure
recently I have started to collect old bottles from the woods
planning a little DIY project.... a shelf with backlight to showcase these treasures!
so far I have a good number of bottles
Wink Cola
or course some old Coke and Pepsi bottles with raised logos
a variety of PINT bottles with colored glass
and some small bottles of unknown origins

pictures to come if I ever create this shelf

Additions/Amendments to The Trash and Treasures of Rock Creek Park
there are so many treasures tucked into these woods
some treasures more unique than others
when hiking with my sons my younger boy often marvels at the sparkling and shinning at his feet
so entranced he stops in his tracks
he bends over
he picks up his little treasure
to which I rush over and snag that little piece of broken glass
not that rustic redneck collectable of the ocean known as Sea Glass
but just basic broken bottle.... still sharp... still fresh
then of course there are the less frequent treasures tucked away by the underbelly that travels the park's trails at night
there are the condoms and the hypodermic needles
no back lit DIY shelves for these treasures
those treasures are best collected by adults than small children