Rants on Cycling and on Life


Cargo Bike picking up the mail...

on my way into work I ran into Cargo Mike and his Cargo Bike
mike and I chatted about the race the night prior at Wakefield
as it turns out Mike is a member of the Cult of the Single Speed
and a fast rider/racer at that
have seen him at a few racers
at Greenbriar we rode some of the first lap together
he left me behind while I fixed my flat

I own/ride/and race my single speed
I am not in the Cult of the Single Speed
my tribe is the Clydesdale Class
Clydesdales weigh in at over 200 pounds
I make the cut off with plenty to spare

another shot from Wakefield by Gary

Race Report: Wednesday at Wakefield #1 2006

Race Report: WAW #1 2006
As to be expected the drive from downtown Washington DC to Northern Virginia at RUSH HOUR was a pain in the ass!
It took forty five minutes for me to get 15 minutes from my house.
As I was prepared for this car congested nightmare I did not let my heart rate go up. Instead I focused on the music in my car and the various fuels I brought along with me; water, banana, gatorade, and GU.

In some ways I enjoyed the drive. I enjoyed knowing that I do not exist in this world of the car commuter. Car commuting sucks! As a bicycle commuter I am more highly evolved. I hope that I never suffer the fate of having to ride in a cage in bumper to bumper traffic to and from work each day. It is important that I realize how fortunate I am to live and work in the city.

My arrival to Wakefield Park was early. Got there early enough to see some of the single speeders flashing past on the course. Had my camera in the car, but like an idiot I did not have it on my person. After a fast first lap went past I saw friend and rival, still a Clydesdale for another pound or two, Chris Redlack. Chris was walking his bike out of the woods. A mechanical on the first lap took him out of the game. I was torn when he told me he was not racing the back to back Single Speed and Clydesdale Classes. It is always good fun to duke it out with old Redlack. But this was not going to happen today. Not on this day.... which is fine as I hate to approach the line thinking the best I could do is finish second as Chris had gotten faster and faster over the years. It is not certain but I think my friend is now faster than me.

After registration, some minor adjustments to the rigid Karate Monkey Single Speed I rolled down to the starting area. There was a bit of a buzz going around the area. Everyone gets a little excited at the start line, but there is something slightly more exciting about this race as it is such a local thing that there are a number of personal competitions other than just finishing first in a class. Many people are fighting to finish ahead of their buddies and riding partners.

Every class in the later race was sent off before the Clydesdales other than the Women's Sport racers. In the woman's experts on this day was Sue Haywood; a Trek East Coast Factory Team racer from Davis West Virginia. Her presence added some extra fun to the arena. At Scott Scudamore's signal the Clydesdales were off. Not sure if I was being challenged by any other Clydesdales on the first climb as I struggled to find a hard packed line on the loose gravel climb, but I know i was fighting to get ahead of whatever competition there may be. In the distance I could hear PVC promoter Scott Scudamore cheer for me. Not 30 yards into the race and I was already struggling behind some of the Sport racers. Wakefield Park is an awesome little network of singletrack trails, awesome tight winding single track trails. There are very few places to pass. I was not a minute into the race and I was already huffing and puffing with frustration about the inability to pass and my being forced to move my bike at another racer's pace.

Into the woods I found myself in the classic singletrack catepillar. With 4 racers in front of me I tried to be polite in my efforts to pass. At some points I could pick off one or two racers, then when the trail opened up I was able to pass more. The routine was the same... break free of one singletrack catepillar only to become the last segment of another. My heart, legs, and lungs pumped. I fought as hard as I could to get past each and every rider in front of me. Tried to be polite... but I need my lungs for the bike... no time to use the brain and the mouth for pleasntries.

The "passing game" is not always a fun one. More times than not when approaching a the rear wheel of a rider that ride hears the action behind them and then picks up the pace. It can be so... aggravating. I understand that we are all racing. I get passed as well... I know what it is to be passed. But, these sport guys were not aiding me at all. Most of the racers were fighting me. So much energy wasted on trying to work the pass. So many times I gave polite requests on the open sections for the racer ahead of me to allow me to pass before the re-entry into the woods. Seldomly did it happen.

The course was a joy. As frustrating as being stuck slowing to another racer's pace until I could muscle a pass may be... I accepted that this was the fate of the game. Accepted that this is a fun little local race and that there are always skills to be developed. In addition to working on my off trail passing.... I could also work on my patience. I also worked on just enjoying being on the bike.

The course layout in the first third of the course was very similar to years prior, then the course moved onto some new trail. WOW! The folks at PVC really out did themselves. They really have taken advantage of this space and built some great trail for mountain biking. There was a time when Wakefield was a set of hiking trails that permitted mountain bikes... now Wakefield has a set of mountain bike trails built for mountain biking. There were all sorts of great switchbacks with bermed walls as well as some dippity doos that would be good for someone who likes to be surrounded by air. I kept it on the ground.

The third lap came and the trails were a little more open. There were still points where I got stuck at another racer's pace. My greatest issue was not with the racers in front of me. I had really gone out hard. I think I busted nut a little early. In all the excitement I put in some fast laps on lap on and lap two... well... lap one was fast. I am not sure that I had saved enough energy to really knock out lap three in the appropriate fashion. It was not that I was tired or winded. It was more a matter of starting to ride sloppy, like my head was not in the game. Towards the end of the course I raced along with a Sport Racer on a rigid 29er single speed. Even though it was a race I tried to keep up a converation. Maybe I should have focused on the race. Guess being soaked in sweat and not having anything to quench my throat did not help either.

I rolled through the Finishline releaved to be a Clydesdale doing three laps rather than an Expert doing 4 laps. In the end I felt pretty good with my efforts, even if my times dropped significantly on each lap. Racing a lap just above 17 minutes on lap one, just below ninteen minutes on lap two, and dropping to nineteen and a half minutes on lap three. It was awesome to be out testing my limits on the bike. The rigid old body did well on that not so old rigid bike.
After the race ended I mixed and mingled with so many people I do not get to see often enough.
Hung around for some awards. Scored a sweet Camelback for my Clydesdale efforts then drove across the way to join a group of people from the race for dinner. The event is one big experience. Everyone was all smiles. Those that flatted and those that finished. Those that missed their desired efforts... everyone was smile. This is week one.... there are three more Wednesday Nights of this stuff. People can fix their bikes and prove themselves at the next Wakefield event... or maybe this Sunday at the same park on a different layout of the course for the Cranky Monkey.

I will miss the Cranky Monkey for a bachelor party in West Virginia.
I will miss the next WAW race to work late....
I will try to be out there at least one more time this summer for the full WAW experience
which involves not just riding and racing.... but includes catching up with friends

WAW#1 Results
photos by gary

Liberty Mutual Ad... a lesson in civility

there is a Liberty Mutual Ad

it would be nice if selfless actions were so infectious

another shot of cinderella

the cinderella story
the only think I love move than the classic folding bike are the cycling shoes

bicycle commuting in the news here in DC

nbc news online

the examiner

waba (washington area bicycle association)

the wash cycle (a wonderful bicycle blog resource)

book about commuting
I have no opinion on this book asI have not seen it just snagged the image for the post lost the link

the Washington DC area has so far to go before it is safe for people to commute to via bicycle
it is combat out there.... helmets off to all who get on their bikes and muscle through with all the traffic
okay... keep that helmet on!

wandering out of the lower 48th

I am wandering out of the lower 48th
well... electronically

jill from up in alaska is racing at this event
the 24 hours of kincaid

yes... I love the granny gear creation
but, just because I love vanilla does not mean that I am not going to enjoy my chocolate... or even rocky road!

taking a few glow in the dark frisbees from the granny gear events with me to a bachelor party in west virginia this weekend
also bringing my croquet set

a best of from jill in alaska


while I am out plugging some blogs

look closely...
that flower is pissed
that flower does not want its photo taken
timmyp stayed punk rock and took the photo anyway
they were cool with each other after the photo was taken

sweating it out down in austin

Chainsaw Panda Rides a Bike
and runs her dog!

and yes... I know
dogs do not sweat
I can see that the dog is trying to cool himself by panting and flaring out his tongue like a pink cobra

more on wakefield... then onto other things

looking at the stats for last night's wednesday at wakefield mountain bike race....
love looking at the numbers
hate seeing how the numbers reveal certain truths
fore example... like how I died on my last lap
really busted nut early
also lost mental focus
was sloppy and riding a tad inefficient
thought my headset was loose
finally checked and tighted my quick release that was dangerously flopping around
no dah!
no doy!
that could have been ugly

the tale is in the tape
PVC:WAW 2006#1

while looking at the numbers
take a look at the single speed class
look at the size of the class
look at the speed of the class

Wednesday at Wakefield has become a local dirt crit for the Cult of the Single Speed
not sure what they are doing about gears
last year I remember there being a buzz after the first race that lead to people modifying their gearing for the second race

not only is the class fast
the class is tight knit
the competition is between friends
so many of these guys have been riding and racing with each other for years

the single speeders race in an early session
yet it is amazing to see how many people stick around for the rest of the night
because the night is not just about racing
the night is about getting together with friends

in addition to running into a great number of people I have not seen since last season
last night I met a whole lot of people I had never met before
in many of these discussions was the topic of skateboarding and the cedar crest site

the number of former skaters was sick!
now... I myself was never much of a skater
but rather moved on the fringe of that fringe culture
yet... so much of that whole "scene" was part of my growing up

the topic of Dogtown and Z Boys came up
along with the notion that there should be a documentary of the scene or at least part of the scene
the Toke Team would be a great area of the East Coast skate scene for a film maker to center on
their skating and their antics were at the center of what was going on for some time

there are things that must be mentioned
but would work better as sidenotes rather than the center of concentration
like the Bethesda Sunshine house, or various ramps (Cedar Crest, the Ocean Bowl, Mt Trashmore.... heck... people could go further back to that to the early skate parks)

it done right it could be awesome
even if Banned in DC is year book for people who did not want to be in the year book
it is still a great document of that time

no FTP server.... file too big for email

I am trying a free version of YOUSENDIT.COM

so far
so good

I wonder if I have given them a right to my images by using their service
did not read the small print

skate and destroy

Ocean City Skate Bowl Anniversary Party


The Cedar Crest Tribute Site

CSPC: Specialized Stem Recall

Stem Recall from Specialized

CSPC News Release

check the site
check the stem

an interesting game....

here is an interesting game
worth two seconds of your time

here is the game
by brother shared this with me

the designers of this site create some spectacular FLASH stuff
Should Iran get to Participate in the World Cup?

a cinderella story...

a bit of a cinderella story this morning on my way into work...

was a little slow out of the gate this am
dean and grant had no interest in getting dressed
both of them wanted to watch a movie
watching television or a movie is not part of our morning routine
once dressed it was impossible for me to get them to focus on eating
it was already late... grant's babysitter arrived and tried to aid in my efforts

while Soledad took control of the uncontrolable boys I took the uncontrolable dogs for a morning walk
started on a short look directly across the street in the woods
saw a dog that my dogs do not care for so altered my agenda
crossed over beach drive and did a little walk along side rock creek
the dogs were in their glory in the water

got home noticing I was late for work
go figure!

grabbed some clothing for the office
got into some gear for riding to work
carried the fixie into the alley and pointed it downtown
as I meandered directly to work through Adams Morgan I marveled at all the bicycle traffic
guess these folks were running late as well

in the distance a few blocks away I saw an undiscernable rider lose something from their rear rack
I tried to keep the rider in focus to see if they turned off 18th Street
slowed, stopped, picked up a hiking sneaker
then moved to reel in the owner of the shoe
by the time I caught the owner of the shoe she had realized that she had lost it

I rolled up calling her by name, Cinderella... is this your shoe?
she smiled a bright white toothy smile and thanked me for my knight in shining armour efforts

there was a short exchange then I reached for the camera
she was happy to have her new shoe back
as one shoe would not have served her well on her planned hike in the South of France


Sue Haywood stops in to ride with the mortals

tonight at Wednesday at Wakefield Sue Haywood stopped by to race with the mortals

I was standing in the queue with the rest of the clydesdales when they released the expert men and then the expert women
then I was on the course so I had no opportunity monitor the action

but apparently sue moved up the front of the race
lead the race in first for a few laps then apparrentl had to pull over for some unknown reason (known to her but not to me or the others that told me the story)
finished in second over all

I wonder what the spread was between the release of the expert men and the expert women?
if they were not release simultaneously
there is a chance that she was the fastest over all tonight

sue... you are a rock star!
rock on!

sue haywood diary/blog
sue haywood stats on wikipedia

film maker jason berry was racing in the single speed class tonight
not sure how he did... but he did win the sport series at wakefield last summer
off road to athens

okay... glanced at the results from WAW last night
seems that the numbers do not match the tales at the bar
oh well...
she is still a bad ass
she rocked the course
great to have an east coast local hero show up at an event on our local scene

WAW... they spelled it wrong... it should read WOW

what a rush!
totally pumped about the race that happened after work tonight at Wakefield Park
PVC (Potomac Velo Club) hosted their first race in a four race series

a summer classic

tonight I raced at the first race of WAW in the clydesdale class on the karate monkey single speed
the wednesday at wakefield race rocked
the trails at wakefield rock
the folks at PVC have managed to inprove the trails and the race course each year
it blows my mind!

the new trails are totally awesome
tonight was the first time I had a chance to experience the new sections of trail
tonight was awesome
did I mention that the whole event was awesome
time well spent
the efforts of those that built these trails is greatly appreciated

larry camps told me that these four wednesdays are his favorite four wednesdays each year

sure the minutes to mile ratio is not so good
but the time around the race certainly make up for amount of driving nearly equaling the amount of racing

the numbers at wakefield looked like they were growing
the single speed class may have been the largest class
although I have not seen the results so I do not know the actual numbers

after the race I hung out by the finish exchanging tales from the races that just ended with an assortment of friends
everyone was certainly all smiles
after the awards a good number of the racers went to replace the calories that they just burned at a local bar
as I was hungry I tagged along
it was great catching up with so many great people
it was great meeting new people
it was great to be out riding and racing on dirt on a wednesday night
it was great hanging with the folks at wakefield

PVC: Wednesday at Wakefield
results from last night
(I love the results... looking at the numbers can be as fun as looking at pictures! where are the pictures?)

I was pleased to get to thank someone I had never met before after the race...
there seemed to be one name that kept coming up when I thanked the PVC folks about the race and the wonderful new trail
everyone kept mentioning the same guy, larry
got a chance to thank him once
now I will thank him again
thanks larry
(no larry camps... just larry)
that course rocks
the course flowed
these trails are clearly not hiking trails where mountain bikes are allowed
these are awesome mountain biking trails for mountain bikers

next trip to wakefield I am bringing a camera
need to get some images of the faces from the races on the blog



WAW: Wednesday at Wakefield
tonight is Wednesday at Wakefield
a small local post work race series that bring together the local cycling community
it is as much about getting together as it is about riding/racing
if the work day goes as planned I should be there on my single speed in the Clydesdale Class

should be a hoot
I expect to be getting my ass handed to me by friend and rival Chris Redlack
he has gotten super fast
this year I think he has taken the lead
before the season is up I will try to take it back
it is good to race with friends
get inspiration where you can find it
let anxiety push you forward rather than letting it cripple you

still have not written a report for the Urban Mountain Bike Race in Richmond for last weekend
work has been busy
have not finished my next article for SPOKES magazine
currenlty wrestling with a lot of words about the 24 Hours of Big Bear!

MORE FORUM: Wakefield and Cranky Monkey
Gwadzilla Archive on WAW

Dopers Suck

dopers suck
i love the site
i love their products
i think i need to order some socks... maybe the wrist bands
the jersey is cool... but currently I lack the bank
I wear XL if you are feeling generous

my level of cycling has nothing to do with this level of unfair play
seeing the leaders of the sport cheat like this just pisses me off

how can a kid fairly compare his hundred yard dash time to the fastest man in the world when the fastest man in the world is cheating?*
*no I am not saying that the fastest man in the world is cheating... just trying to create a metaphor

using the banned substances in an event like this would be as fair as starting at the line of the hundred yard dash on the latest and greatest crotch rocked rice burning motorcycle


when I think of the dopers I can not help but think of my favorite cheater of all time... Rosie Ruiz

short cutting a course
catching a cab
using banned substances
where is the joy in the standing on the podium after all of that?

clean it all up...
steroids and whatnot in football/baseball/and whatever....
doping in track and field or cycling...
even weight lifting...
there should be two leagues/contests... the clean one and the dirty one
sadly... the fans would want to watch the pro-wrestling version that would stay dirty
the fans are part of the equation
for some reason the fans keep asking for records to be broken each year/each season
that in just plain unrealistic
cheer for good play
be over joyed if a record is broken
but do not be let down if each time at bat the player of the day does not hit it out of the park
it is asking too much of the athlete

random stuff....

the washington post has a wednesday section called adrenaline
good stuff
check it out

my wife sent me a link to a classmate of her's from high school and some of his cycling photos on flickr

ASYLUM: full suspension 29er



kill a cyclist

kill a cyclist
do not pass go
do not collect 200 dollars
go to jail

kill a cyclist website

stolen from gundog99

Malcolm BMX: time to catch up with the antics

the other day I was wondering.... what ever happened to malcom bmx?
so I dug around and got the may update to the tale of Malcom BMX
all the stories here at the author's site

SPOKES ARTICLE QUESTION: Anyone have anything to say about the 24 Hours of Big Bear

here it is....
the day before deadline
and well... I am still without an article
such is my style
not just for the writing of these articles
but for all tasks in life

the topic
the 24 Hours of Big Bear

shoot me some highlights
send me your opinion

if anyone has any thoughts on....
the quality of the new venue
a personal opinion of "the best" granny gear course of all time
the notion of class (the various classes)

feel free to send me anything
send it soon
like now

backlash to bike on the environment

an article that speaks about the effect of 24 Hour Mountain Bike Racing on the environment
I will have to read this in its entiety later
personally I think that there are greater enemies to the wilderness than 24 Hour Mountain bike races....
I am certain that there are those that thing that the tour guides are evil enemies to the trail...

more of the same

need more coffee

started a post
it disappeared
hate when that happens
need more coffee

a few things worth looking at in the news this am
-Sunday Source has an article about Building a Fixed Gear
need to go to the paper version for the nice images of bikes and their riders
-a story of a Philly Messenger company delivering more than Inter-Library-Loans
a bit of a memory of DC's Featherhead/Jim Rapp
-man tries to rip off a box store
-motorcycle helmets and pro athletes

father's day
my older son's birthday
hot out there....
we will be trying to stay cool
very cool that the race this weekend was on Saturday and not Sunday...
or else this would have been a weekend without the bike
well.... other than going to my friend's 40th birthday bash

Richmond Paper talks
about the weekend events on the James River
it was a great race/great course/great time
will try to toss together a report later today