Rants on Cycling and on Life


more images of mike and his Gunnar single speed

the images do not do the bike justice
the boltless White Brothers single speed cranks with lock ring
the hand built Salsa/White Brothers wheels...
the Gunnar frame with the sliding rear drop outs....
a nice bike

I was more concerned with the interesting textures in the background of these images
it was nice to get a shot of Mike without his Cargo Bike

does not mess with my ideas... but sharing just the same

stop at red

I agree with "using your head"
not sure about stopping at red....
how about crossing when it says "don't walk?"

common sense... caution... common courtesy

more bike resourses


bike for all



my five year old is excited about getting me a unicycle for my birthday
my birthday is in a month...
it just may happen
but I am not getting my hopes up
as he is five.... has no job... has no money... has no means for making this happen on his own

it would be cool for me to learn to ride a unicycle
I could work on the unicycle skills while they ride their bikes
it will be humbling

a cool unicycle video at YOU TUBE
beyond my ambitions
I just want to stay upright and move about without getting hurt

stole this YOU TUBE VIDEO from Steeker in Toronto


mike sans cargo

met up with mike today
he was out without his cargo rig
out spinning on his new Gunnar single speed
very cool custom bike
looks sweet
all the way down to the sliding drop outs
no worries with disc brakes and single speed chains
this Gunnar solves that dilemma

trying to find the images at Library of Congress

I know that there is some cool historic stuff at the Library of Congress
had been curious about availability of images for print
Bryn's comment started me searching

still have not found anything
having a hard time working my way through
can not point the direction I am aiming

will try another day

back to the images of the day

resting between runs

levi's ad.... giving me a headache

watching the tour
fast forwarding through commercials
still... even with fast forwarding through commercials
I am getting sick of that same LEVI'S AD

that ad where the guy sees his jeans being stolen off the clothes line
how could these marketing departments not realize that they would have the same people watching each night and every night
that this would be a good time to showcase several ads
several ads to entertain
the same ad over and over again repulses
even if it is a clever and fun ad

this ad makes me want to wear wrangler
wrangler cords with orangish gold stitching

touring is cool

touring is cool
I love touring
I definitely have not done enough touring
one day overnight touring is cool
tea house or camping
a few nights or a few weeks

this is a scout group from frederick maryland
they just finished a trip from niagra falls to washington dc

very cool
great job
I am jealous

I always think that when my kids get older I may want to tour cross country with them
the metal cowboys tries to show the world that you do not need to wait til the boys (or girls) can pedal a bike before you go cross country with them

I have seen may people start and finish their tours
ending in washington dc is a popular destination
the C&O Canal is a great lead into a historic city as a grand finale

magnus backstedt

magnus backstedt is a road cycling oddity
actually .... he is a cycling anonomally
in the elite class there are no Clydesdales
one-ninty eight is big massive for a cyclist... road or mountain

on the sport level...
the distinciton of classes is a level of motivation
to give more people the goal of racing
the comparision
the breakdown
the smaller classes
it all adds up to many opportunities for various people to race their own races

this is vital in mountian biking
it not only acts to motivate
this separation of classes can also aid in staggering the starts
which breaks up the riders leading into the singletrack
hopefully released in such a way that faster racers are not bogged down by slower racers
and that
timid racers are not being run off the trail by the more aggressive racers

the classes can be arbitrary....

at the 24 hour and 12 hour races
or any race with a mass start... the separation of classes is all on paper
all racers are racing the same course for the same duration
there is no expert loop versus sport loop
there is no additional lap for experts
there is no turn where the experts get more technical or more distance than the other classes
there is just one course for all the riders

at these races it is clear that there are just racers
the pros are faster than everyone else
the measure of finishing overall becomes a measure in itself
the comparision of lap times
that is the race
everyone gets bragging rights

bragging about participation is more sensible than boasting about winning sport
win too many beginner races...
heck ride with a bike over a grand.... have a heart rate monitor.... use a coach... ride for a team and race beginner
heck.... any one of the above and racing beginner... well... step up to sport

enough on this
the topic of sandbagging is a blog for another day
I am excited to shuffle some pictures around
ran into cargo mike sans his cargo bike
had the camera.... so I took some pictures
lets see what I got....
chances are you scrolled by what I have not created yet

where are we in the tour?

winding down with a drink and le tour

my day is coming to a close... not over... just winding down
the kids are still stopping around
lisa has just subbed in to try and get them to sleep
while I take a break from the debate
mixing up some blogging and stage six of the tour

today I tried to let the sound of phil liggett echo in my head
but... the bike of choice today did not fulfill the bike racer fantasy
so I just rode the bike
took the old colnago fixed gear with its upright position and its low speed high spinning gear for an hour ride
it was the bike of choice for getting to work
which makes it the bike of choice after work
this morning I spaced out and broke the no helmet no bike rule

my trajectory was set for an hour
my gearing had a different idea
my hour ride took roughly an hour forty five... perhaps just below two hours

that was more than I had intended but perhaps just what I needed
today was one of those days where it would have felt better to head straight home and hang up the bike
I fought that impulse and pushed the bike away from home
thirty minutes into it I was not regretting my choice
an hour into it I was really feeling my choice
an hour forty five I was nearly home and pleased that I had spun the wheels for over an hour thirty knowning my body needs something more than the standard forty five minutes
knowing that most cyclists log in longer hours and longer distant rides
ADD and parenthood cut into my desire to ride

got home
the house was void of people
lisa was at the zoo with the boys
the dogs were excited to see me
the dogs were excited to go for a walk

the boys are downstairs now...
the boys should be in bed but instead they have taken a seat and are watching Stage Six of le Tour
they are learning about feed stations and lunch bags
grant at two says.... I already hate this movie... I am gonna turn it off
now he has gone upstairs
had he turned off the television I would have sent him upstairs
I have given dean a few minute countdown
oh... grant is back with his smoothie
a little tour with daddy then off to bed

after a short sub thirty minute hike with the dogs
I returned to a house full of activity
the boys were home and there was Vace pizza on the table
Vace pizzza... one white pizza and one pepperoni pizza
San Pellegrino for all

during dinner i took a look at the clock
tried to figure a way to entertain the boys for the next few hours
lisa proposed a walk to the main street
I think she wanted a six pack... I was thinking ice cream
this idea vetoed my previous suggestion of fresh water in the kiddie pool
some time passed
the pizza was gone and the tummies were filled

before we could gather bikes and helmets for our move to the main strip dean was putting water in the kiddie pool
this action pleased me... the ride and hike with the dogs had my legs less than excited about chasing the boys around the alleys of mount pleasant

while the boys splashed around in the back yard pool lisa drove up to get her six pack
I lit a few mosquito candles to try and desuade and mosquitos from our area

the back yard pool drifted into the hot bath in the house
the pjs were on
books were read
now the present time
an empty drink by my side
should be Pernod.... instead it is whiskey
the tour is unfolding before me
the boys are still not asleep
then again.. this is the time they usually give in each night
time to mix another drink
and what the heck.... another slice of pizza

san pellegrino
(i like the line weight of the stars)

wright brothers images at the Library of Congress

the concept of the "bicycle shop" has gone through a serious metamorphosis
it looks like a "bicycle shop" is more like a "bicycle factory" compared to today's "bicycle shop" that is starting to sound more like a "bicycle store"

like the modern garage
selling gasoline and slices of pizza

library of congress images of the wright brothers

fixed gear fun on early film by Edison

stole this google video from todd
todd stole this from a personal favorite... martino

one more shot from this morning

she was not so excited to ride on the sidewalk for this photo op
to appease me she ran down the tourists just ahead of her

mud and the trails

a few blogs back I linked to a post that spoke about the damage of 24 Hour Racing on the environment
yesterday I read some posts by squirrel about the question of racing in muddy or wet conditions

just like so many things in life... it is often best for the decision to be made for us
land owners and race promoters need to weigh the scales and make the call
if damage is done... it is the responsibility of the riders/racers/and promoters to rebuild what was torn away

just recently here in the Washington DC area I lent a hand at Wakefield Regional Park in NOVA
it amazed me how many people were out on a Sunday morning rebuilding the trails
the trails at Wakefield were not sculpted by the gods.... no... these trails were designed and built by people

people from MORE/PVC/an EX2 (Cranky Monkey) and people like you and me...

remember to give back to the sport that gives so much to you
show up at trail maintenance days on the terrain you ride
ride respectably and support your local advocacy groups

rolled into work along side my neighbor

this is one of my neighbors
she lives just down the block from me
she wears many hats
bicycle activist
sometime bike shop employee
bicycle racer/triathlete
just to name a few

this morning I forgot my commuter hat
I rolled in wearing a baseball cap
no dah

we were both a tad late this morning
somehow I was able to convince her to slow for a few seconds and stall so that I could take a few photos
once again I showed that I am not much of a photographer
as these shots do not do her any justice
guess next time I will have to snap a few more frames


putting together the puzzles

there is a good amount of pleasure to the experience of putting together these puzzles
it is fun to wander around town with my camera
wondering if there will be an interesting subject willing to be photographed
curious if I will be able to execute the task of taking a few shots worth slapping together
sometimes I get something
most of the time I get something
some things come together more interesting than others

as I put the various images together I can recall what other shots may be available
while I may be playing the moment itself back through in my head
where was I? what time of day was it? was there much interaction? what sort of exchange was shared? in some cases I get to play converstations back in my head or even try to continue conversations

in some cases the subject in interesting
some times the background makes for a more interesting balance as well
I liked the red around the windows
the squares
and the squares on the concrete
saul and his bike have a fair amount of character as well

I wonder if he will ever see these images?

bike shops... bike coops

as much as bike shops are a business
bike shops can not help but have a level of social services or coop dimensions
this is especially true for bicycle shops in urban areas

the city bike shop will certainly get a great deal of foot traffic
this is due to the increased population of the city
as well as the sensibility of the bicycle in parts of the world where everything is clustered together in such proximity that travel distances can be short enough to be achived via bicycle

so... the bike shop gets customers looking to buy some stuff
and well
the bike shop gets people that just wanna borrow some stuff
some wanta steal... but they may be trying to steal all over town... not just bike shops
some borrow a pump.... a wrench.... an allen key... people will ask for just about anything
I am guilty of wanting "the hook up" as well as the generous loaning of tools
I have had the hook up
retail hurts

some shops have the good nature and good sense to make a pump or even a link to the compressor for air
some even fasten some tool to a bench
it keeps the mechanics working rather than shooing away freeloaders like myself
not sure what city bikes in adams morgan has to offer it passerby bicycle traffic in need and not looking to pull out their wallet

I went to The Bike Shop on P Street at Dupont for compressed air... when I had a small pump in my pack... but it just made sense to travel the extra block for less efforts with the pump

heart rate monitors? power taps?

sport has really evolved
there is not just sport psychology
there is sport phisiology
sport has become a science

not just on the dirty side of sports with steroids and doping
but on the good side of things
like working out and training smart
training for the task
being effiecient in training efforts

I know nothing about training
I ride my bike
part of this is the fact that I am just not that analytical
well... perhaps a little lazy
heart rate monitors and power taps would not do me much good
they would take too long to come out of the box
the batteries would go dead
the instructions would go unread
and the application would never be understood
so I just ride my bike

in the number of races that I did this season thus far I have reminded myself of one thing
I have no endurance
my race approach is always the same
go out hard
and hang on
in events like the Shenandoah Mountain 100 it is the only way it will work for me
I know that I am going to die on the bike no matter how fast I start out
so i start out fast
I die and then I am forced to use spirit instead of stamina

so many times I walk away from an event and tell myself that I had fun... but would have had more fun if I had been in better conditioning
with the best intentions I promise myself that I will be better prepared next time
then next time comes around.... I am no more prepared

so today I tried to mix up my ride a little bit
knew that it was vital to stay out on the bike more than an hour I plotted my course
a simple up and back on the capitol crescent trail seemed like it would give me the hour thirty I was seeking
as I got closer to bethesda avenue I decided to turn around before the tunnel
thinking that the gravel and mud would be more work and less pleasure due to the flooding and rain
so I kept it to the pavement and turned it downhill
turning back early shortened my loop
forcing me to rethink the last thirty minutes of my ride
haines point crossed my mind
then the hills of rock creek
the top of park road from the bridge into mount pleasant got the call
I looped this short several minute climb (if that... I should time it.... but I am not really that techie about my riding) for just about thirty minutes
it was a hoot sprinting up and screaming down
as time passed the up hill got slower and so did the down

got home to a happy family
the boys wanted to hike the dogs with me
which was perfect
after the chore of finding shoes and leashing dogs we all took a short hike in the woods
the dogs got to poop
the boys got to splash in some puddles
lisa got to cook
and I
well... got got hike the dogs in the woods where I do not need to pick up the dog's poop

good chance

there are times in the day where the work is so busy the only time someone will stall long enough for a photograph is when they are locking the bike, fixing the bike, or stepping into the building

24 hours of booty

arliegh is doing the 24 hours of booty
she wants your support
arleigh's 24 hours of booty
arleigh's blog
arleigh's archive about her desire to give back

a few more shots from July 4th

I had a flat

I had a flat
was at "the bike shop" at dupont circle to use their compressor rather than my pump in my pack
when bryn rolled up
bryn had a flat as well
it was interesting to hear about his day on the job
as I had expected it to be slow
but... the dynamics of this day in particular had him busy

end of an era....

soon buzz will be no more

the cycle of life.... sometimes something old must die to make room for something new



a resource of the sf bike culture
from the looks of the pages... it may be a semi-historic resource
but interesting just the same

curious of the story...

I see this man in this same park or the park cross the street
I see this man and his bicycle with all of its suit cases and bags so neatly attached to a Jamis bicycle whose name and components can hardly be seen
he is always clean and dry
there is a certain level of dignity and presence to him
who is he?
what series events have taken him to this point?
where is he in life and where is he going?
in short... what is his story?

short post work ride

rained all day
it rained all day and i was in the office alone catching up on work all day
it was a long day....
had to go in a few minutes early
had to stay a few minutes late

when the whistle blew I did not slide down the dinosaur
no... this fred flintstone gets on the bike
rode the old jamis cross bike rather than the even older colnago fixed gear today
lets are feeling a little tired and a little beaten lately
even with as little riding as I have been doing
guess chasing the kids and jumping in the pool can take its toll as well

the rain had been steady and hard all day
when it was time to head home I was not feeling much like a ride
but... I had not done much more than a few minutes around town in the days prior...
on top of a weekend without any biking...
best I get a little time on the bike
there was not much time
with the wife at a pta meeting I have a few minutes before I have to free up the babysitter

thinking I had no more than an hour I moved through the traffic of Georgetown to the Capitol Crescent Trail
the go around at the first fallen tree there was a muddy girl scout route
then the second fallen tree looked like a climb
heard there was a third fallen tree
so I turned around and headed towards the Mount Vernon Trail
thinking that the view of the flooded potomac may be better than the steeple chase of the capitol crescent trail

with lights flashing on my backpack it was not dark enough for me to bother with my mini headlamp that was fastened to my helmet

with images of the tour I tried to flow on the crossbike
imagining I was fast and fluid
imagining that my legs were strong and that I was moving my bike with great force
riding and smiling with that same pleasure I discovered as a child

the ride took me across the 14th Street Bridge into Virginia then back into the District on Key Bridge
once in Georgetown I took a set of streets that I do not normally travel
yet a road I have traveled enough times to know well
as I am not a stranger to this town

the fantasy of the bike race continued
as I went block to block up the hill I stayed out of the saddle
tried to climb fast and fluid
cautious as I approach each intersection
trying to time to running of the stop signs with some fluidity

up through georgetown then over to dupont
up the hill to adams morgan
then a few more congested blocks into mount pleasant then home
a short little post work ride
lots of eye candy
the rain had stopped but the streets were still wet

arrived home and asked the babysitter to hang out while I cleaned up
but was not able to clean up as I was fully occupied by my little welcoming commitee
both with haircuts
both in their pjs after a shower
after showing the boys the images that I made and put on the blog I downloaded a movie trailer for CARS
played it once as I undressed
started the shower for a warm up
played the same trailer as I jumped into the shower and tried to soap the dirt and grime off my body
dried off and made sure that my younger son was not deep in the preferences messing with my OS

then some books and some bed
intended for some books
they were too wild for books
wrestled with them for a while
the wife subbed in
she fought a good fight then bowed out
then I got in and was able to finish the job
putting the kids to bed is clearly more exhausting than a 55 minute ride on the bike

morning and afternoon

these shots were taken at different times in the same day
the morning shots lack the owner of the heavily weighed down rig
while in the afternoon he is on location shuffling an assortment of tires and rims... not wheels but spokeless rims

watching le tour

here I am watching the tour
sad to admit... I do not really follow the tour
but... I do make a habit of watching the tour
having the modern technology of dvr and digital cable makes the possibility of watching the tour pretty easy
much easier that years past

the tour stages are recorded and can be played through at my leisure
commercials can be fast forwarded
some commercials are worth watching, most are ignored
I can fast forward through the high tech transitions, history, and review
I can also watch that stuff
some of the announcer chatter is as good as the race

for me watching the tour can be an experience at many levels
it is a cultural event
the gathering of so many countries with a classic approach of review with a European flair
the accents add to the ideas
the backdrop european cities, towns, and villages

another great aspect of the dvr
the ability to pause the boys are out of bed time to chase them back in a parental fashion try to enjoy it but not let it become a game as I corral them back to bed it can be exhausting it can be frustrating one out of every hundred and fifty great escapes there is a moment of fun tonight is the right mood to let it be a little fun now I am back the kids are asleep and the previously recorded Stage 4 of the Tour de France from OLN is now playing they were all jazzed up and needed to blow some steam tough to funnel them into a sleeping mood sometimes

for me the tour is something beautiful to watch
not just the athletes on their bikes
but the presentation as a whole
the voices of the announcers do more than a play by play
the announcers tell a story with some build up

the interaction of the people with the racers
the interaction of the racers with their support crews
it is an interesting collection of chaos

the close ups of the cyclist are cool
that classic moving camera from a motorcycle or a little european car gives a great shot
there are also amazing arial perspectives that are interesting close up
but are wonderful and dramatic from above
the european scenery is wonderful
helicopters and hill sides and maybe a tall rooftop show the amoeboid mass snake through the town centers
the amoeba often splits then rejoins
the old cities with their ancient structures on what may well be new roads placed upon ancient paths
farms that have been farmed for generations and generations and maybe even centuries and centuries
all a beautiful backdrop for a glorious sporting event

the celebration of the fans as the racers pass
the bystanders and their cultured tailgate party
drinking wine and eating cheese
not so different than a nascar parking lot with beer and bbq ribs
yet somehow a little more cultured and a little more cool

gotta fast forward some commercials
get back to focusing on the tour
the final miles are winding down
le tour

floyd landis blog

google earth and the tour
(I need to check this out deeper)

cement soccer balls


cement soccer ball prank in Berlin


ken lay gets sentencing early

ken lay.... got his sentencing from a higher power
if his crimes effected me directly... I would demand to see the weasel's body
like doubting thomas I would like to have the chance to verify his death by my own hands
he clearly had/has enough money to fake his own death


July 4th
the feeling of riding a bike is often equated with freedom
what is greater than riding your bike on Independence Day?
okay... splashing in the pool is pretty darn close

some celebrity images of freedom

a few images of the family during our fireworks in the alley

can an american family in the US survive without a car?

kent and his family are living without a car... kent's blog

seattle times article about kent and his family

found this at the purple pig.... across the pond in spain

the blog is an interesting way to get information

the door zone

another great graphic illustrating the door zone can be found here

bike lanes... where is the smart place to ride a bike?

an article about people clowning around in the bike lanes of NY

biking and bike lanes are no joking matter!

where a bicyclist chooses to place itself on the road is not an action without thought
or at least it should not be

the cyclist needs to anticipate and avoid the "worst case scenario"
the stopping distance at varying speeds must be taken into account
there should always be "an out"
bike lanes are not always the most safe place for a cyclist to ride
the right hand side of the right lane is not always the most safe place for cyclist to ride
cyclist must be alert in the door zone

it amazes me that actions of car drivers on the road
the way that a car will pass a cyclist then drift back to the right hand side of the lane
blocking the path of the cyclist that is moving steadily on the right
or worse yet
the turning or parking traffic in the bike lane
right turning traffic should take into account the cyclist that rides to the right of traffic

the cyclist here in Washington, DC is forced to take every inch of pavement that they can find
take it
as nothing is given

the car drivers will complain about the movement of the cyclist through the street
it the cars cleared a safe and clear path
if the cars just obeyed the laws
well.... then the action of the cyclist would be different
but... until that point the cyclist needs to grit their teeth and stick out there elbows and take the road

this weekend past I was quoted in the Washington Post
this brought up a certain amount of conversation at parties over the holiday weekend
people playing.... devil's advocate with me
people trying to tell their side
it gets annoying
I hate to have the arguement with people about this issue
as there is no opening of their eyes
it is never a conversation.... I know their perspective.... I own a car

people will bitch about the bicyclist on the road
there will always be a game of "show and tell"
someone telling me of one bicyclist and their action
chances are there were far more cars that held up their progression than bikes
yet... they center in on the bike instead of the cars

so often in this game of show and tell I like to ask the driver's speed
one person said... "traffic speed" which is a good answer
a good answer... but the real answer involves the term "speeding"
while the car driver speeds they need to be a tad more humble about the bicycle and its rolling through red lights or stop signs
as they are both modifications of the law
an extending of the parameters of what is the acceptable pushing of the limits of the law
honestly... there are points where people push too far and take too much
but... there are understandable accepted pushings of these limits

that is where the issues of common sense and common courtesy come into play
so many of the car drivers miss this level of understanding as they drive about town

if people got enraged at each car in the wrong as they do about each bicyclist in the wrong...
there would be a lot of angry people around
but... people have come to accept cars pushing yellow lights and running reds, cars buzzing them in the cross walks, and cars speeding excessively
people accept that there will be cars blocking the flow of traffic by double parking and parking in no parking during rush hour zones... if it were a bicycle standing in the road.... there would certainly be a reaction... but they accept that car drivers will do these things.... so they do not respond
funny.... a jay walker gets spooked by a messenger on the streets of the city... where the passing messenger may be 5 feet away... not even close to making contact.... but the ped on the cell phone gets spooked just the same.... then they walk around looking to crucify all the cyclists
while they accept that the car drivers are nearly running them down with what would be a much worse "worst case scenario" if contact is actually made

dolls for boys?

I know what I want for christmas
not just one
I want the whole collection
get me the PUSSYCAT DOLLS!

I must admit... I am getting old
the other evening I rolled through Adams Morgan at an hour of the day when the bars were over flowing with people
the young ladies of today dress like the lady of the hour

it is hard for me not to think
if it walks like a duck
if it talks like a duck



saul is a pastry chef

ran into saul over at city bikes
he was kind enough to slow for a few photos
maybe he will like the shot enough to give me a donut

also from the post

a map of dc trails in the post
not a bad little resource of information

a big dump

I just took a big dump....
I mean I just dumped a mess of photos onto FLICKR

filled it up for the next month

put the FLICKR link on my page

Happy Fourth
I am excited about it getting dark out so I can go into the alley and set off some fireworks
chances are I will be able to hear the DC Fireworks display

DC celebrates the Fourth like no other
as a kid it was the Beach Boys
then in the teens it was the action at RAR
but there are always many different things to do at various points on the mall
bicycle is the best way to get a sampler platter of all the different cultures

this year aerosmith is joining in with the boston pops at the foot of the capitol
then of course there is the fireworks
and now there is the folklife festival
the folklife festival is an awesome experience
a great thing
but... I do not care for its overlap with the Mall on the Fourth of July
that is prime realestate for throwing a frisbee and setting up a space to watch the fireworks from
I understand that they get much more tourist traffic with the folklife festival when it overlaps with the fourth
as someone from the area... I would not mind them keeping it separate


i never know what people are thinking

as he rolled away he did some off the curb and up the curb with some finesse
must be some bmx background
as I think he had flat pedals and no cleats in his shoes
yet he came up and cleared the curb high and light

but I still do not know what he is thinking

day off...

today I had the day off...
had some high hopes of doing some clean up in my basement and my garage

never got off the line
actually... I never got the horse out of the stable

the day never happened for me

dropped my older son off from camp....
walked the dogs
strolled up to the main strip to grab a chicken sandwich
took a few pictures
cruised around downtown on the fixie with the camera
got a flat
took some pictures
rolled home in time to pick my son up from camp
then... when lisa got home from work we all went out to my dad's for some grilling and some swimming in the pool
grant and I did the most swimming
dean swam
but was more focused on the various remote control toys

then I treated myself to some fireworks on the way home
we lit off a few things tonight
itis great having the kids as an excuse to buy things like fireworks

marc with a c

"to all my friends"

in the classic film Barfly, Mickey Rourke plays Charles Bukowski
there is a point in the film where our beloved drunk protagonist says... "I don't dislike cops... I just feel better when they are not around..."

this morning I was out walking my dogs
the dogs were off leash in the creek
I was skipping stones
the dogs were chasing the stones in the still very deep fast moving water of Rock Creek
a cruiser came rolling by
not a DC cruiser
a Park Police
over the loud speak something was uttered
I could not make it out... but I got the point
I leashed the dogs and went on my way


Wakefield Park... trails have been repaired

yesterday morning I had to work...
yes it was Sunday
yes I had to work
those things happen... that is my job

after a morning at work I went to Wakefield Park in NOVA to aid in the repair of the recently flooded mountain bike trails
there were lots of hands
many people showed up to lend some support
I helped where I could
since there were so many people
rather than tripping over them
I took some pictures so that I could try to assemble an article for SPOKES magazine about Wakefield Park and the two race series in the area that host races here
as well as the people who build and repair these trails

no pictures now

I was overjoyed to hear that the trails were repaired and they will be running the full course at the Wednesday At Wakefield events to come in the next few weeks


we must walk before we can run...

yesterday I was headed to the grocery store with my older son...
as we meandered through the city I decided it would be fun to stop by this public skate park on Rhode Island Avenue


after we ran up and down the ramps and did some balancing on the various rails it occured to me that I had my camera

when I pulled it out... Dean said that he thought that a camera would be a good idea

there is an interesting relationship between PARKOUR and the camera

my camera does not make this layover sequence shot
but it is easy enough to create in Photoshop

ust as I thought that the ENDO BOARD would be a good balancing lesson before skateboarding

I feel that it makes sense for the boys to learn to run on the ramps before trying to skate on the ramps
trying to isolate the variables

he still does not have his own skateboard
but soon we will each get new skate boards
maybe not just me and dean.... but maybe lisa as well
termite skateboards

great divide race

great divide race

bike stolen from napping race in the great divide race

a great divide blog

learned of this from Jill of Up in Alaska

performance versus performance art

so often when I see a person's selection of bicycle I ask myself if they are seeking performance or performance art...

in this age of choices people are riding and racing all different types of bicycles...
there are the standard choices of full suspension and hardtail bikes
then within these two groups of full suspension and hardtail there are even more options
so many options

the full suspension can be softtail, long travel, cross country, or free ride
the hardtail can be rigid, front suspension, geared, or single speed
there are certainly more and more subgroups of all the groups mention
I see some of these riders or racers some times and I get curious of their intention....
is it performance or is it performance art?
is this fashion or function?

I have been out on the winding single track of Schaffer Farms in Germantown on my cross bike
while out on these trails it always amuses me when I pass the folks on their free ride bikes with all their free riding pads
sure they can "huck jumps" or "clear obstacles" that I can not approach on my cross bike
but... sometimes I see this as too much bike for the trail and maybe for the rider
what draws these people to these machines and the armour that comes with it?

my questioning is not limited to those on long travel freeriding bikes
I often question the motivation of the people who select the single speed or the fixed gear for their bike of choice on a ride or in a race

since the long gone years of the 24 Hours of Canaan I have seen people getting wild and wacky on odd bikes doing amazing things
the Hugh Jass crew from Harrissonburg Virginia are some of the most famous performers in this long history of trying to mix performance are with performance....
these guys can seriously ride...
they manage the mix of performance and performance art

but what about the others....
so many people jumping on the Single Speed band wagon
what is their goal?
what is their ambition?

Eric Roman for the longest time was "the" east coast single speed guru
this guy would ride and race his single speed at levels of performance that so many of us could not achieve with gears
but even Eric has put aside his single speed and gotten back on the geared bike
for years I marveled at Eric Roman's race results
Eric's consistent top expert finishes on his single speed boggled my mind
his efforts affirmed my personal belief in the use of the single speed....
the single speed is an awesome ride option
I feel that the person should ride the single speed only if they would not be greatly disadvantaged
that the rider should ride the single speed if and only if that individual finds no great discrepancy between their finishing times had they riden a geared bike or a single speed
Eric was sponsored to race his single
as his ambitions grow to move to pro he has selected the geared bike as his ride of choice

okay... someone could ask the same question of me
"why is this guy on a cross bike on trails that would be more rational on a mountain bike?"
then there are times when I ride or race my single speed..... then I can get hit with the same set of questions
well.... I have asked myself the same questions
I have even tested myself on some of these questions
riding and racing my geared bike on a course.... then riding or racing my rigid single speed on that same course
comparing times
making my result comparisions and my feeling after the race
there are a number of races where I select my rigid Surly Karate Monkey Single Speed
at some races I feel that this is my best option
not just because I enjoy the feel and challenge of the ride on the single speed
but because I do not feel that there is any loss to the absence of gears
no loss in performance
no loss in speed
no loss in finishing time
(if I had the money I would toss a suspension fork on the front.... maybe in the fall)

at the East Coast Classic the Shenandoah Mountain 100 it amazes me all the people riding and racing on single speed
for some this is down with great success
while others suffer on the single speed with great hardship
there are even those at the SM100 on fixed gear bikes
most of which are getting glory for their choice of bikes rather than their finishing time
while there are so many people finishing fast on their single speeds.... as fast on the single as they would be on the geared bike... feeling pain... but no more pain on the single speed than they would feel on the geared bike