Rants on Cycling and on Life


reminder: rally
this weekend in dc
stand and be counted
let your voice be heard
no one can hear you as you sit at home yelling at your television
go where your voice can be heard

Bikes for Clydesdales...
it always entrigued me that the bicycle manufacturers would spec out their bikes with the same equipment for a 16' frame as they would for a 21" frame
as if these riders should use the same crank length
as if these riders should use the same level fork
as if these riders exerted the same amount of force on their bikes

Kona is thinking how I think
a few years ago they came out with the HOSS BIKES
here is the HOSS DEE-LUX
kona makes a great bike
owned two of them
loved how they worked their way through the single track

the next notion for the Clydesdale
(and maybe any professional basketball player out there)

would be to move to the 29 Inch Wheel bike
that is what I did a few years past
and ya know what
my wonder full little 26 inch wheel bikes are like toys compared to the 29er
ontop of the 29 inch wheel... my Karate Monkey is a 22 Inch Frame!
I never had a 22" frame on a 26" bike
it is great having a bike that fits
still learning to control its mighty power
it has to be different
with all its advantages there are disadvantages
all things said
I am a convert
the 29er is my new religion

bachelor party: who is rob?
rob is an old friend of mine....
in high school we skated together, we rode bikes together, we hung out together
there were hair cuts, hair dye, he pegged my pants, he lent me his bondage pants
there were lots of punk shows then a few more
after high school we continued to hang out as we both went to college in the state of Maryland
managed to tour on the bikes for 5 weeks in Europe
manage to connect when I rode my motorcycle cross country a year later; stayed with him on a ranch in Wyoming... cool place... I should have stayed longer
then years later he visited me in Colorado while I visited him in San Francisco
that is a lot of states and maybe a few more zip codes

lots of bikes
lots of yak-a-dee-yak
lots of yada-yada-yada

for some reason we each returned east like faithful little boomerangs
again we hung out
beers in the bars
bikes in the woods
some races and more rides
lots of wacky times...
we ran into Brook Shields while riding the trails of Old Angler's Inn
we did our first 24 Hour Race together... well... he wrenched
we saw all sorts of punk bands before you could buy punk in a mall
we talked
rob has always been one of my favorite ears to chew
he has been good therapy for me
before the blog... there was rob

this weekend should be a blast
oddly... rob will not be renting a bike while in Vegas, guess he does not want to lose his spot by the pool
who knows where this weekend will take us...
it should just be another epic story to rest in the already tall stack of epic tales of me and rob doing what we do

maybe i will tell some of these tales later when they come naturally to me

A few things...

Blogger Hacks

found this BLOGFRESH Blogger Hacks page on Cycle-licious
will scope it out when I have the time

Halloween Costumes

Discovery Health

Marla Streb's blog
Allison Dunlap retires
Cute and Roots

Some Cross Stuff
New England
races and parts
cross camp

there is an old saying for those with lead feet and V8s...

"you may be able to outrun Chevorlet... but you can not outrun Motorola"

the same goes for the bicyclist and the bicycle cop....


I am going to have to breeze over this posting.... it may wander around a bit as it was written late last night after a few glasses of red wine with an old friend

tonight I attended a candlelight vigil in my neighborhood of Mount Pleasant
it was a gathering to mourn the death of an individual, Greg Snipe
it was a gathering to stand together as a community and wonder how we could let this happen to us
one of our neighors
right in front of one of our houses
a person just like you
yes, a person just like me

he was just walking his dog
just like I walk my dogs?

no one knows what really happened in the moments leading up to the shooting other than god, greg, and the person or persons who held the gun to Greg's face

this is a tradgedy for greg, greg's family and friends, and to a community that wants to feel safe in their own neighborhood

where does this leave us?

do we become prisoners in our homes?
do we rationalize and discuss statistics?

a bullet to the face causing a fatal injury every two years is not a bad average

that is once too often a year for me

like the handling of the flood in New Orleans
our police and our guiding officials respond after the fact
rather than seeing things coming beforehand

finding the individuals who caused this crime is one thing
preventing the next crime is another
each has its weight
each has its importance
each needs to be done

the seasons are changing
it is getting darker sooner
what are the precautions?
how late is late as the dark arrives earlier?

how late is it safe for my wife to go running
how late is it safe for me to walk my dogs
can I walk to the neighborhood bar
is it safe for me to walk to Adams Morgan and back
does my urban walk keep me safe...
do I need to walk talking on my cell phone like so many people seem to do
(like it creates an electronic force field keeping all criminals at bay)
I already travel with just an ID and my money when I am not on my bike... what else should I do?
kiss my family good by and make sure my will is up to date every time I leave the house

things to think about

gregory snipe someone I do not know/someone I will never know died at the hands of another
for what I would say is no reason at all
story on
a person should feel safe to walk their dog at 11PM on a saturday night
there are some freedoms that should be a given

the vigil...
walked past my old place on Lamont Street where I lived with my family pre-Dean... pre-Grant our first place together
in so many ways... pre-adulthood
caught some old friends walking their dog... asked if they were headed to the vigil... we put Maggie the dog away and we headed up the block together
just me, my old neighbor john, and his grade school age daughter kara
down Lamont across Mount Pleasant Street to the Mount Pleasant Library
as we started getting closer we could see a long line of people walking with candles in their hands
passerbys watched with question in their eyes

we had missed the "town meeting" by the time we arrived at the library
I got what turned out to be the very last candle
yes... the very last candle
I offered to share with Kara
took part in the procession with candle in hand along side kara and her father john
John and I lived as neighbors for more than five years
five years of chance meetings and many intentional that built a solid friendship
it was good to share this experience with an old friend
our meetings are too far between as we are no longer immediate neighbors
we walked together
I held the candle as Kara could not walk with the candle without blowing it out
the people behind us were feeling lost from the pack

there was some silence
there was some catching up
along with Kara we all tried to piece together what had happened with Gregory Snipe on this fateful night just days ago
as we passed the 7-11 we turned down a side street
there was a pause as people read the REWARD sign that hung in the doorway of his old apartment building
I know people that live in this building
this was the first chance for me to put a face with the name
the face that was blown away at point blank range just last saturday night
sounds like the movies
but this is not the movies... this is real live... this is my neighborhood

we also paused on the steps to absorb the image on the REWARD sign
25,000 Dollar Reward.
it was like an open casket funeral
a few more turns we are on Irving street
many familiar faces
some who I knew
many who I had never seen before
some I had seen before but never heard their voices before
all with candles in hand
some walking with their dogs along side of them
we walk down the hill with the National Cathedral within view in the distance
lights and cameras are everywhere
satelitte and microwave trucks and local reporters
I question if everything should be documented... then agree to myself that this story should be told

the parade lumps around the spot where the murder occured
people on this block of Irving are witnessing the event from their porches
somewhat how they had witnessed the senseless death just days prior

we listened some emotional speakers
although the megaphone was pretty much DC's finest and did not extend the distance of the crowd
perhaps silence was more appropriate than some sort of political rhetoric
we all joined in silence
some prayed
some reflected
we all remained silent as we stood together in the middle of a road that usually hosts some fast moving traffic

after the speakers everyone drops their candles in a pile along side a makeshift memorial of flowers that rest where Greg Shipe was killed
then we move along on our way
police officers and politicians shake my hands and thank me for showing up as I depart
I shake their hands... look them in the eye... nod and move along my way
wondering if they are actually going to do anything to prevent these things from happening again

I have tried to be proactive...
although I am not a whistle blower I have made some calls
there was a time not long ago I was coming down the lamont street
that same street where I lived for over 5 years
down two blocks were a few people that seemed suspicious
they were moving my way
I altered my pace slightly to try and make the corner and the turn before them
in the distance I hear a hello... in a question tone... "hey.... like wait up"
with no intention of waiting up I made the turn as they picked up the pace
was able to make it to the more trafficked corner of Park and 18th
a car rolled by
they went straight while I turned again
they were gone
I used my cell and called 911
calling in the suspicious three men I avoiding encountering
asked for an officer in the Mount Pleasant area
more questions
more questions
all these questions and no action
by this time I was in the clear
but others
the officer on the other end was asking questions
do I need a bullet in my head for the police to respond?

should we go with our gut
even if our gut reaction is not PC?

still on the phone I tried to advise an officer in the area to do a drive by
still more questions
I was getting no where
I was home
what does it take for them to respond
after the fact is always too late

a few other times I have called to police to ask about police cruisers cruising way too fast without lights or sirens
they always feed me some line
the long and the short of it....
when someone gets run over
it makes no different who ran them over
cop or civilian
everyone needs to drive in control

not Mount Pleasant Michigan
a place I have never been by some people from Michigan
I have never been to Michigan
why are they making fun of me for living in a place I have never been?

it was good catching up with John and Kara
it has been too long
guess we will see them on Halloween
as their block which used to be our block as well
shuts down on Halloween and has a huge party for young and old

john and I got to cover some good memories, some good insight, some good drinks, and well... I tried to clean up his Windows 98 machine
that and talk him into getting a new computer
also trying to get him to get a new bike
while at johns drinking his wine... I also grabbed a New York Times Sunday insert that had a story on Bono

some links

sue george: a girl with two first names and a mountainbike
brian kemler: a man of the world who left DC for Mexico City
bikeblogs: a blog and a blog resource
Vanilla Bikes: not to be confused with Vanilla Ice... something thought to be cool then rethought
bicycles and icicles: an alaskan who is not so off the grid that he can not blog
izzyisadog: a dog that blogs who has owners who ride

that should keep you busy for a while
especially since each of these (especially bikeblogs) has a long list of links to keep the bicycle minded individual busy for quite some time

okay... one more and a short anecdote

dcaudubonblog: blog for birders

last night it happened again
it does not happen enough
but I love it when it does
there I was out cruising on my bike on the Mt Vernon trail
looking over across the Potomac River at the monuments
watching how the dark sky reflected off the water while the marble buildings reflected what little sun remained
there it was
right along side of me
a massive great blue heron or so I guess
as I am not a bird watcher
I am a cyclist
this great bird coasted along side of me
not as close as I would hope
but still an amazing vision just the same
like my own little Winged Migration video playing live in front of my eye


VW Passat Ad
the other night I caught an ad on the television
a cyclist is out on a night ride...
his halogen headlamp goes on the fritz
he is without light on a winding road that lacks street lights
a car comes up fast behind him
the car brakes
the cyclist waves him on
the car driver sees the situation and slows down
the car winds down the road behind the cyclist
allowing his lights to illuminate the road in front of the cyclist

this reminds me
my Niterider headlamp has been on the fritz
tried sending it back durning the winter
got no response after requesting an RMA number on their website
spaced out
got injured
never realized this until the days started getting shorter
and well
I saw this ad

I better get in touch with the folks at Niterider and see if this light can be fixed
it was broken out of the box
maybe they will let me upgrade
the HID lights are sweeeet!

Katoy or Katoey-
no matter how you spell it...
it spells trouble
the other night I met up with some friends for some Thai food
actually.... I had already eaten
so... I met up with some friends for a social gathering at a Thai restaurant
upon arrival I sat down and was greeted by a tall, slender, provocatively dressed waiter
eye contact was made
my drink order was taken
before I crashed into the rocks by the call of the siren I shook my head and I woke up
then turned to the three friends who had arrived before me and asked....

"is that a man?"

apparently they had not discussed this yet
the one woman at the table took immediate agreement
the two men... agreed with hesitation and rethought their prior assessment of the waiter

my drink came
I accepted my whiskey and coke without any further eye contact

hot yes... female no
scared? dam straight I was scared

being that we were in a Thai restaurant just a few blocks from Dupont Circle as just icing on the cake to validate my assumption

Spot the Katoey in Patpong

Bono gets carded at DC Bar
(actually he is asked to pay a cover charge)
recently I heard a story
simple enough....
Bono walks into a bar (yes, sounds like a joke)
he is stopped by the door man
the door man asks Bono to pay the ten dollar cover charge
not sure how to respond Bono smiles and takes a step back
with a diplomatic smile he says... "come on.... do you know who I am?"
to that the doorman responds... "yes, I know who you are... that will be ten dollars"
my feeling.... this doorman had no idea who this person was that stood in front of him

I know that people like to try and treat celebrities like normal people
then there are those of us that like to try and snub the celebrities that we do not like
this was not Cher or Paris Hilton
not even Richard Gear whose motives to assist Tibetian refugees has been questioned
this is Bono... a spiritual individual who is on a quest to feed Africa
anyone would be honored to have him as a guest in their house
certainly anyone who owns a restaurant or a bar would be honored to serve him
Bono is not one to be snubbed....
well, maybe during his Tour or his ACTUNG BABY or ZOOROPA
(which were both great records... But had a beyond ROCK STAR flamboyance to them)
at this stage of the game....
this man met with the Pope John Paul II
he has recently tried to work with the president of the United States
(and Condi Rice)
there have been gatherings with Tony Blair and Bill Gates
there are certainly more

be for real....

chances are this guy let in a few little underage college freshman because they had tight asses a few minutes earlier that night
heck... they did not need tight asses... they just had to be female
so to stop Bono at the door and refuse him entrance
just seems unlikely that he recognized him

now I was not there
that is my take on a story that I heard third hand

one video
(not the U2 song ONE)

just snagged a New York Times Sunday insert with a Bono cover story... will read on plane to Vegas

amusing animation

flip flop
(borrowed from Burnham down the house)

and this as well
(this one from clark)

personally I enjoyed the Flip Flop... which I like to think of a fall to hell

(from jennifer)

Odd Video
these guys are doing things that not many people in the world can do

these guys are doing things in syncronized motions


nothing shy of freaky


once again I need to put things in perspective
once again I ask that we all put things in perspective

this morning my focus has not been on work but rather on catching up with
Jake Walther's story

Jake is a kindered spirit
although I have never met him I know that he is my kind of person
his life is on an unorthadox path
from the sports he chooses, to the way he travels, to the jobs that employ him
Jake is one of a kind
sadly Jake's path has taken a sad turn
Jake was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident
he is currently a quadraplegic

it does not look good
it does not feel good
but I can not contain myself
Jake's story is too tragic
or is it
Jake is moving forward
Jake is a fighter
Jake is a survivor
Jake's spirits are high
Jake is fighting to recover
Jake is staying positive

lets all stay positive
Jake's story is not over... he is working hard at recovery
Jake is driven
lets all hope that this accident and this injury are just set backs in Jake's life

jacob's recovery blog
news article about Jake and his accident
a mountainbike race raising money for Jake

a movie that is inspiring Jake; MURDERBALL

Road Bike Downhill Race: Red Bull Road Rage

Red Bull Road Rage

Velo News Press Release
(not new news... but news to me)

Shooting in Mount Pleasant

Washington Post article about a man shot and killed while walking his dog
apparently no news is good news

my heart goes out to the man that lost his life for no reason at all
I grieve for the friends and family of this man
makes me realize how fragile life is.... both on and off the bike

this incident is sending the wrong message
we are not to be prisoners in our own houses
we should feel free and safe to walk the streets of our own neighborhoods
we should be careful
we should not be scared

Vigil for Gregory Shipe to be held September 20, 2005
Meeting at the Mount Pleasant Library
A candle lit procession is scheduled to leave the library at 8:45 arriving at the 1700 block of Irving at 9PM


Cross Bikes/Cross Races
I am currently between cross bikes
my Jamis Nova (lime green, 4-6 years old) has served me well
but has hit that fatal "law of diminishing returns"
so I have started shopping
right now it looks like I am centered in on the Specialized Tri-Cross Comp
that is the recommendation of my "peeps" at City Bikes in Chevy Chase

the Cross Nationals are right around the corner
but honestly.... this event is not on my radar

locally I am thinking I will try to get involved in the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms and the Six Hour Panarama Paranormal!
it is not time to hang up the mountainbike yet

this year I can not let cross season slip past me!
will have to make a concious effort to schedule something this fall
maybe there is some URBAN CROSS.... I love the Urban Cross format and feel
jungle cross is all well and good
and honestly... deep wet grass and sod are not for the big guy

the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms event is raising money for a the Jake Walther Trust
here is a Blog about Jake's situation
he was injured doing something he loved; motorcycling
again a reminder how fragile our bodies really are