Rants on Cycling and on Life


bikes and bike safety

where I got that link... the CDC on bikes
this stuff on CRASH TYPES is similar to diagrams I have wanted to create and post
lucky me
they have done it for me
what they fail to show is the overhead view that has the car driver buzzing past the cyclist with just inches between them
when they have as much space as between California and the Mississippi on the other side of the car
sometimes I think car drivers are taking a risk in their effort to "teach someone a lesson"

Mr Bike talks about "those damned bikes"

a link page with more crash information

Yesterday's Fortune Cookie
(thought it applied well to our current president)

"leadership is not a position... leadership is an action"


and of course... always read the fine print

it is mid mountainbike season
crashing on the first rock in my first race of the season has caused quite a set back well, actually I was able to finish that race
the finger was broken
then the doctor fixed it
now I am contending with the healing process

during my recovery I was off the bike for a few months

not riding my bike disrupted my "life is cumulative"
approach to life my tendency is to never ride that many long rides but to try to maintain a solid base
to never drop below a certain fitness

that month plus away from the bike was enough to take me below my base
so while I was squating in the bush Charlie was out getting stronger...

now I am ready to face Charlie....
Charlie is feeling fast...
I am feeling slow
as my season is just beginning as I am just finding my legs and my lungs the other racers are in full rhythm... rocking and rolling.... cruising past me... taking their own riding to their own personal best
my feeling after the Wakefield event amazed me
a quick 45 minute sprint destroyed me...
I can not imagine how I would fare in the Shenadoah Mountain 100
if I were to race it tomorrow
either injury or SAG WAGON
time for me to get out on the bike
may have to make some night stealth missions on the roads of ROCK CREEK sneak out on the bike for a few hours each night after the boys go to sleep
it could be good for me to ride my bike rather than ride the couch
there has been plenty of couch riding this season

time to start riding the bicycle

weather permitting I should be heading out to the
this weekend
looks like they may have dropped the Clydesdale Class... no worries... guess I will have to race Sport
this time last year I was debating with racing Sport or Expert the way I am feeling I am torn between Sport and Beginner.... Junior if I can fool the folks at Registration

Hounddog: Hounddogblog=HOUNDBLOG
the dog has not gotten the BLOG off the ground as of yet
although when he gets started.... LOOK OUT!
he has recently converted some of his old video footage to digital
here is some stuff from the MEATMEN
from what he is telling me there is some great stuff from their WAR OF THE SUPERBIKES! era

I remember seeing the MEATMEN many times in my misspent youth
as a senior in high school it was a no brainer selecting between the HOMECOMING DANCE and the MEATMEN at the Wilson Center!
the Meatmen blew away the Homecoming Dance
their smoke machine made slowdancing in the mosh pit totally romantic

TESCO VEE and the MEATMEN are a part of PUNK ROCK HISTORY that should not be overlooked!
Tesco always rocked the house
a great mix of Punk and Comedy!

here is another two-fer that comes from that same adolescent era of my life

I need to set up my turn tables and play them old records




WAW: Race Three of the Series... Race Two for Me.
search my archives if you want to read about me bitching about the traffic on Interstate 395 from downtown Washington DC to Northern Virginia
it is the same everytime...
deep breathing exercises are the key...
yesterday I was lucky enough to go to my car before work to get my four year old son his backpack
heading out to the car to find the power locks not responding to the key chain gave me the opportunity to pull the car battery and hook it up to my old motorcycle charger
no anger... no issue
no one to blame by myself
I had seen that Dean had turned on the roof light in the way back... but failed to do anything about it
leaving the car parked dormant for three days with that little light burning was enough to drain the wee little battery to the Honda Element

with the battery charging I went off to work to do the standard work day thing
periodically throughout the day I checked for the evening forcast
as per usual.... it looked like rain
when I stepped outside... it felt like rain
while I was leaving work a few minutes early it sounded like rain
I maintained my trajectory to Wakefield Park
a phone call to the park left me confident that the race was on as scheduled

got home and tested first things first...
no need to load a car that does not start
put the battery into place... tightened it down... started things right up
then took the dogs for a stroll in Rock Creek Park
feeling no rush to get to Wakefield I did a little work on some natural stairs I have been assembling with fallen branches and logs
the dogs ran about as I "did my part"

with a glance at my watch I realized that it was time to load up the car and point south
head on into RUSH HOUR traffic I drove straight down 14th street to the 14th Street Bridge on into bumper to bumper traffic on I-395
I will not linger any longer on that topic
we all know driving in traffic sucks
we all know that I hate driving in traffic

arrived in a panic as planned
had fueled up with water, Gatorade, and Red Bull on the drive up and was feeling ready to roll
the parking lot was packed with riders prepping to race and riders packing it up from earlier races
there was the usual flurry of activity
in a mad dash I made my way to the registration table and handed over my 20 bucks
then rushed back to the car to suit up in my City Bikes colors and mounted my army green rigid Surly Karate Monkey Single Speed
on my bike I blew off any sort of warm up in exchange for socializing
socializing was occupying my brain when PVC promoter Scud (aka Scott Scudmore) gave instructions over the mega-phone
not knowing what was said I assumed it was time to line up to race

rolled down the single track path to the start line
in the woods I was pleased to see that the rain had not been so great to really muck things up
the roots and rocks were a tad slick, but the earth was either tacky or dry

lined up in the queue I waited as all the classes were released before me
there was a pleasant exhange with the two other Clydesdales
the Clydesdale Class is looking a little "thin" with only three members
but... I am racing the clock as much as anything else
one of the other Clydesdales, Barry, gave a good friendly wish for a good/safe/fast ride for all and we were off

I motored up the first loose rock climb and turned into the single track
the wet rocks had me a little tenative
the man made rock pathways were sketchy for me....
too fast I feared either flatting out or sliding out
other than that I was feeling pretty good
the Red Bull was rushing through my veins

I had heard that the course had been shorted so I thought that I could really go at it hard
sure enough
early in the course it was clear that they had cut out an up and back that ran along the creek

with legs and lungs pumping I came up upon riders in front of me
not much time had passed before I was on the tail of each and every Woman Sport racer
each woman was good enough to find a place for me to pass
not much energy wasted on the pass
but a there was some time where I had to slow to their pace
after passing 4 or 5 woman I was reeling in some Sport Men
the Sport Men are a little harder to pass
especially the ones pushing the back end of the pack
these men were a little less sportsmanlike
when they heard the wheels behind them they picked up the pace
when I ask to get by on the left
they move to the left
when I ask to get by on the right... you guessed it.... I shoot by on the left
no... it is not all that bad... but many of them did not make it as easy as it could be
(I most certainly have done some of the same and may do it again)
but there can be a great deal of energy wasted trying to get by these guys
along with the extra expenditure of energy.... there is an adjustment to my pace
all the classes deal with this... if they do not deal with it on lap one... they deal with it on the laps to come
it is part of racing on a multi-lap single track course

the course was causing my heart to explode

I was running at full threshhold the whole time

with the issues with my recovering index finger I could feel my right arm starting to fatigue
never was I confident enough to make a grab for my water bottle
sure could have used a shot of GATOR-RADE... my Gatorade/Red Bull concoction

by the third lap I was getting a little sloppy
my injured left hand slipped off the grip a few times
there were a few near crashes
an early near crash disrupted my confidence which disrupted my rhythm
half way through the third lap the lenses of my glasses were starting to fog up pretty bad
but visibility was not as much as issue as control
again my left hand came off the grip nearly sending me off trail
again my pace was often dictated by the pace of other riders

I came across the finishline more spent than I had been in a long time
when I finally saw my times I was saddened to see that I was not as fast as I felt
last year by comparision I was stronger and faster against the lead riders
this year... I was leading the Clydesdales, but not making the showing I had expected to
it seems that the months off the bike have really stunted my season
I most certainly need to get some long miles on the bike if I plan on doing the Shenandoah Mountain 100 with any success....
this race most certainly will hurt me
I do not want it to kill me

WAW Results

parenthood, just like the movie
this morning my older son Dean asked one of his questions from The Book of the Four Year Old
this morning Dean asked if his grandfather would still be his grandfather when he got "bigger"
with little explaination I told him yes and that his grandfather would always be his grandfather
there was no qualifier about as long as he lives or anything like that
as that is a topic well worth avoiding
death is a difficult concept for adults...

this question brought to surface a similar somewhat inverse relationship
the relationship between father and sons
more specifically the relationship between me and my two sons
this too is a relationship for life
as long as we all live I will be their father and they will be my sons
which makes for a lifetime of worry, care, and concern
hopefully some reward, joy, and pleasure tossed in from time to time

being a father is not so easy as baby proofing the house then bringing the baby back from the hospital...
just because a toddler has been told to stay away from the electrical outlet and finally outgrows that fixation does it mean that there should be no future worries on that issues
the child's interests will grow and change
the danger will present itself again and again throughout their lives
the father (and mother) must always be monitoring their child's interest and curiosity
I remember shutting down the power in our whole house and melting down the tips of some very large industrial size sissors by putting them in a lamp where a bulb should have been
no injury
but it did throw me across the room and scare the shit out of my father
like a foolish child I was more concerned with my father's yelling at me than the potentially fatal outcome of such a foolish experiment

the things kids try
the things kids do
it is amazing that anyone lives to be 13 years of age
all the things done and all the things that go wrong
all the crashes and falls that only leave a scrape or a bruise
all the projectiles that glance away from the eyes
running with sissors is a legitimate danger

this Death in Idaho
or this death in NJ
then ontop of the dangers a child can bring upon themselves
then the dangers of the world.... speeding cars, abduction, and teen on teen violence
so much for a father to worry about

there will be broken bones and concussions
such is the path of life of a boy
which makes the path of life of the father to be a journey filled with worry, care, and concern

on a side note
Dean was having trouble with a few abstract concepts...
me being the youngest of three he had a hard time understanding that I am the "baby" of the family
in an effort to clarify that... I tried to explain that uncle Marc is my big brother...
I am bigger than uncle Marc....
concepts to come
we need uncle Marc to come over and give Dean a little pep talk about being a good older brother
it is a big responsibility
a responsibility as the baby of the family I never experienced
I did reep its rewards

coffee gone
time to walk the dogs in the rain and head to PT


Back from WAW
feeling great after a Wednesday night mountainbike race
not feeling fast... but definitely feeling great
not feeling fit... but definitely feeling great
not feeling bad
not feeling bad at all
but you know
I just told you that I am feeling great

I need to chill by the tv
laptop at work
no wireless
so I will not blog and I will not page through other blogs
but.... FREAKS
and What is this?

Off Road to Athens
Playing Local to DC in Bethesda
right at the end of the Capitol Crescent Trail
just bought two tickets for me and "the wife"
we are going to line up a babysitter
we will see if I can convince Lisa to ride her bike

Wednesday at Wakefield
some time last week I was on the phone with an old friend
in the course of our converstation the topic of the WAW races came to surface
this took my friend down memory lane
he is an exceptional athlete... an expert at any game or sport he plays
cycling is clearly no different
in his racing past he had his successes... including some of the local Wakefield events
the efforts of Wakefield do not transfer to many other events
being fast and strong at Wakefield do not tell much other than how someone would do at Wakefield
by no means should a person think that because they are strong at Wakefield that they will be strong at the Shennandoah Mountain 100

WAW: Wednesday at Wakefield
here it is mid-summer
here it is mid-week
if the day goes as planned then I will be attending the local mountainbike race WAW
it is a great little local grass roots race series with some healthy competition in a friendly atmosphere
the day seems to be with me
normally I would not go out to my car before work in the morning
Dean was going through his... "I don't want to go to school thing"
in a classic smoke screen way I tried to entice him in a trip to school by bringing the toy of the morning to school in his backpack
his backpack was not in the house
figured it was in the car
went to the car
a push of the electronic door unlock button on the key chain did nothing for the doors of the Element
at first I was thinking it was a dead battery on the key chain
but the light was illuminating at each press of the button
then I manually unlocked the door with the key
sat in the driver's seat and turned the ingnition....
.... nothing....
not a light on the dash
not a sound from the starter
the battery was/is dead
tried a compression start rolling down the hill
.... nothing...
managed to roll into a parking space at the base of the hill
then sprinted back to the house
grabbed some tools to remove the car battery
took the battery to the basement and hooked it up to my old motorcycle battery charger
it may not be the tool for the job
but this motorcycle battery charger worked on all my motorcycles from my youth
then worked with my beater cars of adult life (the old convertible rabbit, the '66 Nova, and the '84 Landcruiser)
so I would expect this charger to work on the Honda Element battery

Main Entry: prov·i·dence
Pronunciation: 'prä-v&-d&n(t)s, -"den(t)s
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin providentia, from provident-, providens
1 a often capitalized : divine guidance or care b capitalized : God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny
2 : the quality or state of being provident

We will see!
I look forward to it
ideally I will go home... replace my battery to the car... turn the key... start the car
sweat it out in cross town traffic
and go slug it out with the dirt
it will be fun to race
it will be fun to test my limits on dirt
definition supplied from

well.... so much for PROVIDENCE
it looks like it may rain tonight....
more stress and anxiety
hate these summer rains landing on WAW

I guess this is what the MULLETHEADS feel when they watch NASCAR
perhaps what Joe Six Pack and Johnny Lunch Pail feels when they watch the Super Bowl


Little Sandwiches
within the world of Rock Creek Trash and Rock Creek Treasures*
it shocks me that I would list the historic bottles, the classic cans, the shiney shards of glass, the coveted rusty hypodermic needle, and the random fast food packaging from every place you can eat for under five dollars.... yet I forgot to mention the mystery of the woods
in the woods rest tiny little sandwich bags
the smallest little zip locks in red, blue, and clear
not the ribbed condom turned inside out for his pleasure
but these tiny little sandwich bags dropped all over the ground
now riddle me this
where do they get the tiny little loaves of bread and tiny little meats?
are these tiny little sandwiches for tiny little people or are they tiny little snacks?

*early I posted at length about my ever growing collection of old soda and liquor bottlesm, which I intendto create a display case for in the very near future

PSA IDEA Number 25:
People are not all bad.
As a matter of fact there are times when I am out on my bike and I am able to see some good in people.

Most of the time this occurs when I have my Burley Trailer being towed behind my bicycle.
The Burley Trailer is a little two wheeled trailer that attaches to the back of my bicycle and is pulled behind the bicycle. This trailer can hold my two sons or various gear. Most of the time I use this trailer to take my sons various places around town.... usually traveling on the bike paths rather than the streets. Yet, there are times when I meet my wife somewhere, then I travel back without the kids, yet when I go home I still have the trailer still rolling behind my bicycle. It is funny. Car drivers know what this devices is.... they know that it usually used to transport small children. So the cars tend to pass me with greater caution and respect, even though the trailer is empty.
What these people do not realize... is that with or without the trailer I am still the same person. I know they are avoiding running me down to avoid running my child down, but they are also giving me greater space. Without the trailer behind me, I am still a dad, I am still someone who deserves the basic right to my own personal safety.
So why is it that these cars can not treat me like I am a father towing a child all the time.
People need to put the HUMAN ELEMENT upon the cyclist....
the cyclist is a human being
not an obstacle in the way

cyclists are people who have not only a right to the road
but cyclists have a right to life
cyclists are people who are someone's sons or someone's daughters
cyclists are parts of family and friends
some cyclists are parents
some cyclists want to live to be parents
cyclists can be people just like you.... doctors... lawyers.... teachers... police officers...
you name it
cyclists cover the full spectrum
cyclists can be good samaratins
cyclists can be assholes
no matter who or what these cyclists are they have a right to their safety and they have a right to the road


some may say that DC is Hot in the summers
some may say that DC is Africa Hot in the summer....
well, I have never been to Africa, but I have been to Thailand....
so I will say....

DC is so hot in the summer.....
that it is not uncommon to sweat in the shower
that your tooth paste comes out of the tube in liquid form
that there is no need to wear clean clothes.... in the time to get from your Air Conditioned house to your Air Conditioned car.... well.... you will be soaked
just as well.... that I take the bike
that the air becomes so think that you can choke on it

today I woke up in a FUNK
mornings are tough for me
it is not unusual for me to wake up in a funk
it is not unusual for me to have a chip on my shoulder
it is not unusual for me to be a little thin skinned

as a father of two it is not unusual for me to be a tad sleep deprived
today was definitely one of those days

looking out the window to see the humidity so thick that it looked like the rays of light were cutting through smoke from a fire did not help my expectations of the day
my personal funk was combined with a hot funky world outside

on top of my usual disfunctionality...
Dean woke up petitioning for a movie.... perhaps the easiest thing to do at 5 Am would be to put a movie on for him... but I do not want to get in the habit of such things
after the movie discussion it became the age old debate of.... "I do not want to go to school"
Grant was going through his usual disattachment panic.... screaming out his favorite word... "MOMMY.... MOMMY.... MOMMY!"
eventually Grant's babysitter, Soledad, arrived and I was freed up to walk the dogs
by that time I was able to defuse Grant's need for Mommy who had left for work
but was still working on Dean and his distain for going to school
Soledad took Dean away with him complaining all the way
(Dean loves school when he is there... but... he loves the freedom associated with home)

the walk with the dogs was incident free
there were zero encounters with anyone on the trails
in thirty minutes time I was soaked from head to toe with humidity induced sweat
after three quick steps I was soaked from head to toe
soaking wet before I was able to get from my porch to the sidewalk just 14 feet from my front door
DC summers will do that to a person

after all of that I got on my bike and pointed to work... well... Physical Terrorism appointment before work
with PT on the morning schedule I had a little time to do a little spin on the bike
the urge was great to hit dirt
being the skoff law that I am I ignored the little signs with the icon of the bicycle and the red circle and the slash
pedaled across town car free
weaving through various trails
taking the heavily overgrown paths slow as it was impossible to see around the corners
during my off peak hours I had very few encounters to speak of
a few faces I had seen before... man and beast
one set of four legged beasts ran wild through the woods with the echo of cow bells dangling from their colars
this was odd... but not so odd after seeing the owner with his reflective saftey vest and various electronic devices

during my ride I got to survey some of the recent trail repairs that I had done
as well as view the repairs that must be done
honestly.... these trails are a wasteland.... or at least a landfill
but the fallen trees at various points of the trail make things impassable
hikers have rerouted the path in a less than effective manner.... or at least not in a rideable manner
before exiting the woods I did a little more repair
tried to block off some sections of the trail where things were getting psycho wide
tried to create a little network of logs and rocks so that people can go over the center of the trail which has become a bog
rode over the parallel logs a few times to test out their slippage and their effectiveness
with a pat on my back I was back on the bike
playing through my head how long these structures will last...
will the Nature Nazis feel that these are unsuitable?
will the Nature Nazis spend more time tearing appart my efforts than I spent creating them?
ah... to be a fly on the wall?

after my trail repair I was significantly more dirty than I would have been after a trail ride alone

before PT I stopped off at work for a shower and a change of gear
having spent more time in the woods working on the trail I was late for PT
this is where the story gets good...

so I roll in through the main corodor
as I move down the hall a co-worker makes a comment...
unsure what he is saying I grunt and keep moving
durning my turn back to grunt I noticed that I am leaving a sandy trail behind me
now understanding what this person who very well could be viewed as one of my bosses is saying
I then shower and change....
then poke my head into my office
on my desk is a note.....
well... not a note... but a piece of paper and a pile of dirt
it seems that the building's custodian had to sweep up my mess
and the man I passed left this little gift and a message to try and be cleaner....
to this i flipped out... to my immediate boss.... not the guy who left the message
then I stormed out the door and headed to my PT session fifteen minutes late
went to PT
experience great pain
made slight progress
then returned to work after venting
feeling better
and feeling relieved that I had not had this discussion with my BIG BOSS but just my mellow level headed immediate boss

planning on being more considerate and more clean when I come into work on the bike
knowing that it is foolish to expect special treatment because I choose to travel by bicycle rather than car
knowing that no one should come into the building making any unneccessary mess
be that mess cigarette, dirt, or sand

Misunderstanding of the Laws and Ticketing
Parking in front of a Fire Hydrant should not be done. Yet... this is done each and every night in the city. The skoff-laws that park in front of the hydrant are playing the odds... but mistakenly they are playing the odds in a very selfish direction. The illegal parkers are weighing the scales not for the odds of a fire, but for the odds of an officer or a meter maid giving them a ticket. This is just one of the many examples of the self centeredness of the car driver today, misunderstanding that the risk is a ticket and not something greater.

Speeding Tickets fall under a similar fools logic. Car drivers slow in certain areas knowing that officer friendly may be tucked in the bushes with his radar gun waiting and wanting.... so the driver slows down not to get a ticket. Well, the driver should slow down to avoid an accident... to avoid injury... avoid injury not just to themselves but to others.

People are Idiots! (and assholes!)
Seatbelt laws and motorcycle helmet laws are created because people are too ignorant to exhibit common sense. Honestly, I am against such totalitarian laws... but... I feel that people need to be protected from themselves so I do not argue such things. All these basic laws are created to set order in our chaotic world, to keep people in check, to keep people from infringing upon the rights and safety of others.

The self centered nature of people can be seen in their daily car driving commuting habits. The car drivers are able to memorize each and every pot hole on their route. The car drivers know in advanced where each speeding trap exists, where each red light camera is set, and where each parked police car can be ignored as it is occupied by a manaquine rather than a living being. Yet, somehow these same drivers are unable to recognize and anticipate the cross walks and bike paths that exist on their daily commutes.

Each day as I go to work I vary my route. Often I will take the Bike paths in an effort to go "car free." In these car free travels there are a few points where the Bike Path crosses the road. Most often the cars are lined up in the "queue." Nearly each time as I approach the line of cars there is some jackoff with his finger up his nose completely oblivious to their blocking the path. The path is marked. The path was their the day prior. Yet when they see the bicycle headed their way they look over in shock like a meteor is headed from the sky. How can these people be so blind to the world around them. How can they not figure that they can stop 5 feet back, leaving the path clear, then going forward once they have enough space to go beyond the box? What bewilders me the most.... is to see these actions from people with roof racks on their cars... even if they are just "weekend warriors" they should be able to anticipate and expect that there will be some runner, walker, dog walker, roller bladder, or bicyclist traffic moving on these paths. Yet.... the box is blocked each am

coffee down
dogs walked
time to get on the bike and head to Physical Terrorism.... it has been over a week since my last meeting with my Psycho Therapist.... time for some pain
maybe I need to take some meds?
nah.... I will go for an invigorating prework ride instead
more on this Public Service Idea later

wish blogging was my job


it is hard for me to think of Cyclocross as my Mountainbike season has yet to begin...
here it is just the same... MID-ATLANTIC CROSS CALENDAR

and Cross World Calendar


or is this a repeat?

Bike Messenger Dies...
(not on the job)
more than meets the eye
the face is familiar to me
the name is unknown
as it turns out we went to the same high school
only not at the same time
we rode the same streets
we hung with some of the same people
we may have shared no more than a nod or a wave
all I saw was the surface
as it turns out there was much more
there often tends to be much more
it saddens me that Nathan (nate) Osborne died before he finished
as it is clear
Nate had much more to do