Rants on Cycling and on Life


A window into my world....
perhaps a keyhole view into someone else's future

the other night my old friend Rob came over
he did not come over for drinks
he did not come over for dinner
he just came over to "hang"
dinner and drinks were part of the evening... but company was the objective

Lisa was at yoga so Rob got to assist me in the standard fatherly duties
basically.... keeping the kids alive
while trying to keep Dean and Grant alive they also need to be fed and entertained

Rob tagged along and assisted as best he could
as this routine is somewhat forgein to him
we went up the block to get something to eat at Tonic in the Mount Pleasant building
Tonic has a Wednesday Kids Night thing... kids under 12 eat free!
it is a nice way to embrace the families in the neighborhood
it is also a nice way to coral the families to one night a week
so we do not risk ruining the night of the single romantic types

during that time most of my focus was on my boys
kids needed to be corralled up the road safely
we quickly went to the man to man defense
Rob moved with Grant
while I covered the faster and more wild Dean
Grant moved at a fast pace for a toddler
while Dean moves at a fast pace for an Olympiad
neither has a direct trajectory
both have a different set of objectives
every acorn deserves their attention
each house with decoration causes a stall
parked cars may cause a delay
construction vehicles are a manditory stop
the whole walk to the restaurant had that Billy in Family Circus way about it
we zigged and we zagged and we finally arrived at our destination

I ordered for the kids before our bums warmed the seats
we ate

Rob and I talked in between trips to the bathroom to wash hands
trips to the bathroom to go to the bathroom
trips to the bathroom just as an excuse for them to explore
it is tough to focus on adult conversation when there are potential fires and ketchup related traumas

after our dinner which included far more tater tots than broccoli
we marched back
an after dinner mint bought me more rapid passage home
for several blocks I was able to stack the boys in one stroller
Grant on top of Dean
Dean using his arms as a seatbelt to fasten Grant in
there was only one spontaneous ejection
no blood
no tears

once home there was wrestling on the floor
the boys ran their usual tag team attack with me on the floor
exchanging between the scissors hold and the anaconda
I have become the pro wrestler that my oversized frame has bred me to be
my opponents are little blonde midgets who never tire

rob watched in awe slouching on the couch
exhausted from the whole experience

as rob watched he may very well of had a keyhole view into his own future
as just days after this dinner event rob was scheduled to get married
and as the old teaser goes.... first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes
"someone's name" in the baby carriage

after the no holds barred cage match we went upstairs to prep the boys for bed
pajamas were put on
faces were washed
teeth were brushed
books were read
kisses and goodnights were shared
doors were closed behind us

with the boys in bed I leashed the dogs and put on a Petzel
Rob and I headed across the street for a brief walk with the dogs
everyone needs to blow a little steam at the end of the day.... even the dogs
on this walk we talked
I let Rob know that the evening he experienced was not a specially hard evening nor was it an especially easy evening.... it was just a standard evening with a wife, two kids, and two dogs

after the hike were were down the basement to talk bikes
showed off my new cross bike
and then my fixed gear project... a bike a few parts from completion
then from bike talk we talked life and marriage
I had no advice for Rob
Rob seemed at ease with the whole marriage thing
no questions
no fears

it was getting late
with a hearty handshake and a quick goodbye we sent rob off
letting know we would see him just days later at the rehearsal dinner for his wedding

wonder what went through his mind as he drove back to Baltimore from DC?


Proud Poppa
in case you have not notice... I am one proud poppa
my son's are not perfect
but they are pretty darn good
even if they can be bad
they are healthy, strong, and positive
they have their moments
but they hit high marks in many different categories

there are times when people ask me about my kids and I can not stop with the anecdotes
yet most of the time I respond with a simple... "they are good."
because I feel that when people ask... they don't really care... they do not really want to know

the same goes for cycling
people could ask how my weekend went
and well
I can talk faster than I can blog
my stream of conciousness can over flow
so when people ask "how was your weekend?" or "how is the biking going?"
I tend to give a simple short answer
sure, there are those that are victim to my verbal rants and my endless diatribes
for the most part people get a standard... "good."

this is where the blog comes in
the blog is my outlet that gets to hear my stories of my kids or the tales from the trails
not every trip to the zoo gets told
not every second gets photographed
just as their are rides and incidents on the bike that go unmentioned
there are aspects of my fatherhood that go unmentioned as well
most people who care tune into the blog from time to time
then when we talk...
we take it from there

images from paul aka freddie's dad
more images from paul

images from paul aka freddie's dad
more images from paul


Emmanuel's Gift
(found this here...wannabebikegirl)

what is the story with FORD?
are they really the leaders in moving forward in alternate fuel technologies?

Race Report: Panarama Paranormal 2005

the threat of rain gave me great hesitation to attending this event
the days leading up to the race included much scanning of
the doppler radar was green over Washington and clear over Charlottesville
the prediction was giving odds towards rain leading into and through race day
in the end the weather was awesome
it rained slightly right before the start which mucked the trails up
while during the race the skies were clear
there was the passing of some autumn clouds over the orange setting sun
but no more rain once the race started
an evening dew added more dampness to the tail end of the course that was already pretty well saturated
in short... the temperature was perfect
while the trail surface was not the pinacle fast and dry that I favor
not a mud bog
not a mud slog
but slick
slicker in some spots more than others

everyone dealt with the same set of variables
the rocks and roots were slick, very slick
there were many short climbs that better suited marching than riding
the ground hurts when crashing
but not as bad as slamming into the trees
I know as I did multiple comparisions of both
at times I felt like a ball in a Pachinko machine
hitting the ground was a pay out that did not happen every time

let me take it from the begining
here is how it all played out....

Race Report: The Panarama Paranormal
the Panarama Paranormal is a grass roots race that was being hosted for its third straight year
the race is a 6 hour event that is run either as one person solo or the two person duo
I was racing again this year with Chris Redlack
we were racing in the Clydesdale Duo class
there are many combinations for the Duo Classes
also a wide variety of solo classes... by sex, by gearlessness, and by size (clydesdale)
the event has a Halloween theme
cider, bonfire, some halloween docorations on the trail, and costumes
there were movies and more kids last year
perhaps the kids stayed behind for fear of bad weather
I know mine did

the race started with a run to the bikes
those with costumes got a 2 minute advantage

while the costume clad cyclist rode off into the distance
racers killed the prerace jitters with small talk
beside me was long time cycling friend and rival Bill Davis
we yapped it up reliving previous races
then the gun went off
we all went off running to our bikes

once at our bikes it was down a double track road, across some grass, and into the woods
Bill Davis and I were riding together like old times
only he has gotten faster
he is riding his geared double banger
while I am struggling on my single speed Karate Monkey with rigid fork
knowing of course it is more about legs and lungs than machine we choose to ride

we exchange back and forth for the lead
out of the woods into the next set of single track and we are starting to catch the costume clad racers
with polite passes we work our way forward

as we meander through the woods I tried to choose the wise line
thinking back to the year prior I tried to anticpate the terrain around each corner
my memory is not GOOGLE EARTH
it was like seeing things for the first time
a few things were recalled after I pass
but there was no benefit from racing this course the year prior
it is all unfamiliar
there was the knowledge of the type of terrain
but that was all

the first lap had it fair share of passing
the three laps to follow would invole the occassional need to pass and the occassional pass
but for the most part it was a dark, lonely, and potentially scary ride
there were tombstones decorating parts of the course
each I had memorize by my last and final pass
there were reflective arrows marking the trail
there were several huge mulch piles
each steaming from decomposition
some scare crows and halloween sounds on one pile
and the strong warm odor of rotting leaves and wood on the others
there were shreds of a racer's costume
the shreds were extra creepy as it was pieces of torn lace from a wedding gown
night riding can always possess a little feel of the Blair Witch Project
there of course was the usual nocturnal animal appearances
there were various birds, a field mouse, and some unusual phosphorescence
no owls, fox, or snakes
but they were most certainly out there
just not seen by me on my laps

it had been a long time since I had been on dirt
a few weeks earlier in Vegas and the Shenadoah Mountain 100 on Labor Day weekend before that
the eventual crashes had me timid at times
having broken my finger in my first race of the season
I did what could to prevent a serious crash
accepting there would be crashes
but avoiding what crashes I could

not only had it been a while since I had been on any real dirt
it had also been some time since I rode the single
there is a certain style and certain strengths to riding and racing the single
my time away from the single showed on this day
the wet terrain kept me from forcing bike up the climbs
in most cases I was on foot walking along side my bike

Chris and I did very little calculating or discussing things between laps
there was an exchange of a Halloween theme race bracelet
a congratulations
a good luck
then one person went to ride
while the other went back to our dual honda element base camp
with a glance at the watch we did not know our lap times
but could tell that we were doing sub hour laps
which would allow for that fourth lap for the first rider

I had taken the first lap knowing the risks
sure enough
we were consistent
Chris faster and more consistent than myself
the combined time sent me out 15 minutes before the 10 O'clock race end

my last lap was less than impressive
nothing to be ashamed of
but certainly not on par with our first 6 laps

the Panarama Paranormal is a great event
a great set of trails
a great gathering
it is a unique presentation that really carries the spirit of mountainbiking
everyone is there to ride, race, and have a good time
hopefully the weather will be better as I most definitely want to bring my family to camp and run around

yes.... I said that last year
I meant it this year
the weather did not agree with our plans

should I be embarrassed that I am excited for the new album that is set to be released next month?

Cross Season
Cross Dressing
DC's High Heel Races

today is the day
the Tuesday before Halloween
just north of Dupont circle on 17th Street up the block from one of my favorite DC Dives, The Fox and Hound, there will be the High Heel Races!
a night with energy and excitement that is not normally seen in our conservative city
track and field meets Priscilla Queen of the Desert
if weather and family permits I should be there
also know as The Drag Races

read more
Washington Blade
Ontap Online

today is like the Tuesday before Halloween the last two years; rainy and cold
no fun standing in the rain with someone's umbrella obstructing your view

oddly enough
maybe you would like it as well

Swag Review: Specialized Chicane Optics
this weekend past at the Panarama Paranormal Chris Redlack and myself took first in the Clydesdale Class

not sure how many participated in this class
we were strong overall
our combined seven laps
was a good race bringing respect to the Big Boy Class!

as I completed my 4th and final lap there was just enough time to bond with some buddies at the finish
Chris Redlack, Bill Davis, and Phil Rice were all there
each with a beer in their hand
each with a tale of the trail
Four happy Clydesdales!
(well, Bill Davis has dropped a few pounds and picked up some speed... we will have him as a retired Clydesdale with a potential Clydesdale Future!)
after a slug of IPA from Bill Davis is was time to strip out of my sweat soaked City Bikes orange and red for the fourth and last time then load my mud coated Surly Karate Monkey into my already packed Honda Element

before I could close the back door to my car
it was time for the awards at the Panarama Paranormal
no time wasted here!

Chris and I scanned the prize table as all the classes were being called to the podium then selecting their swag

the table's contents grew thinner and thinner

finally we were called to take the stand
with a hearty self congratulatory hoot we were on the podium
then a quick smile for the camera

7 laps

first in our class

strong over all
at the prize table I looked at what they had and thought about what I could use

there were all sorts of cartons of Power Bars, some multi-tools, various mini-pumps, but nothing that I felt I needed

the tires and tubes were all for 26 inch wheels
the Power Bars did not seem flavorful after an evening of similar fuel ingestion
then I saw the lone box sure enough.... riding glasses
something I needed
something I wanted

I reached over and pulled the box closer to me

slowly opened the container and pulled the glasses out of a little sack

the lenses were not clear or amber... standard "smoke"
the frames were of a style to my liking

upon my departure one of the promoters James Gist (I will confirm his name later)
commented on the quality of the glasses
I thanked him and started to point myself to a long late night post mountainbike relay race drive home
the next day there was no riding to perform a proper product test

but I proudly wore my glasses just the same
the lenses ended up having some high tech UV protection

the lenses change their darkness depending upon the brightness of the situation
a great feature for dipping in and out of the woods
for going in and out of the store

so... driving outside on the city streets was as comfortable as pushing my shopping cart inside the Safeway
the glasses did not go close enough to clear to wear as an accessory this weekend at my buddy Rob's wedding but stylish just the same
later that day as I rode the mini train at Cabin John Regional park I took in the splendor of the dense woods
the fall spectacle that surrounded me
leaves still holding on strong to the green
while orange and yellow patches were exploding everywhere
at this point I made comparisons of the view with and without the glasses the lenses did improve the clarity and the crispness everything was warmer and more beautiful not quite the "prozac lens effect" that one gets from amber lenses richer just the same
much richer
AWESOME! as a matter of fact.
I give these glasses 5 STARS which is okay as a purchase in this 5 STAR Rating but as swag! this acquisition is off the charts!

7 Stars in a 5 Star Rating!



Google Images
sometimes I like to GOOGLE IMAGES
various stuff
random stuff
basic stuff
some things are more GOOGLE-ABLE than others
some people are more GOOGLE-ABLE than others
gwadz and/or gwadzilla are highly GOOGLE-ABLE
sometimes I GOOGLE myself then sift through the archives of my BLOG
it is like paging through my diary