this is a Race Report from a few years ago, just thought I would throw it in for some filler....

Sunday at the Races....
Extra Large City Bikes presence at this weekends race event
large in the respect that there were two City Bikes CLYDESDALES racing
making up 1/3 of the CLYDESDALE field

we loaded up the truck and headed out late for the Dan's race in Richmond, Camp Hilbert
the drive was moderate
the course was flat
not a bad combination
especially since the gwadz Boys are getting a late start on the race season
(marc's second race of the season, joel's first)
the races had us lined up in the queue long enough for some tension and some bonding with the other CLYDESDALES
it was the Series final, and points were being doubled that day
there was a 2 point differential between two of the riders there
it was clear that today was going to decide it all
Bill Davis was two points behind a muscle bound cyborg
Bill is a recent inductee to NCVC and a regular on the CLYDESDALE circuit
a rival on many levels
he was there to play
he had something to prove and something at stake
I false started at the countdown
and Bill was out of the gate like a jack rabbit
he was not going to pull any punches
so much for warming up the legs
before the gravel fed us into the single track I grabbed his back wheel and waited for him to slide into a groove
but no groove
he kept pushing it
we jammed through the course
with me breathing all the way in the usual Darth Vader fashion
having no previous experience here and no preride I was not sure what to expect
I just jammed behind Bill
he took his hands off the breaks and accelerated on each winding down grade
I muscled up each grade and got back on his tire
tried to pass
as he tried to prevent me from passing (proving to be a tactical failure, I should have passed to control the pace)
after the first lap or so I realized that I needed to let bill go and race my race
dropped off his tail and figured on reeling him in with endurance on lap three

just as I slipped into a groove
marc was on my tail
we kept up a good momentum
but marc sites were not on me
his sites were on bill and the finish
so with a little hesitancy I let marc pass
got onto his wheel
with all of the twists and turns
the roots and rocks
and the endless BMX dip-dee-doos I found it difficult to refuel
water in the camel back, and unattainable gatorade bottle in the downtube
all the time my wedding ring was sneaking down my finger
readjusting my ring (which I usually take off before rides and races)
thinking all the while, 2 out of 5 men loose their weddings
and I am soon to be one of the two
how would this of been explained?
"come on lisa it is a race.....I can get another ring...and the next one will be race worthy! I will get titanium!"
I hung onto marc's wheel for a bit
but he too drifted into the future
while I dangled along in the past
he too dropped me
in this game of cat and mouse I was feeling like a bit of a pussy
I felt like I could save what reserves I had for lap three
lap three came
my second wind did not
there was a slight push for the leaders
but it did not come fast enough
when I finally came within 20 yards of marc
I tailed for a little while
then he kicked in around a corner
not to be seen again until the finish
leaving a one two three finish, maybe a 20 second differential between each rider
Bill, Marc, and myself
NCVC, City Bikes, and City Bikes
with the City Bikes members taking 2nd and 3rd Bill was sure to get the series
he earned it
he raced well
he knew the course
he knew his competition
he did what he had to do

final thought
with any of these flat winding courses there was the usual 495 back up
timing and luck can come into play
there were several sections where I expended a great deal of energy trying to get around the trailing riders from race groups that set off before our pack
most people were helpful in allowing me to pass when the opportunity did arise
these are the same conditions that all of the racers had to deal with
well all of us with the exception of the ELITE PACK
when on my third lap I heard the pelleton coming
this gave me a burst
I pushed and looked for a good spot for them to pass
they were clearly faster
there was not good spot for them to pass
I was forced to step aside
I pulled over
bowed my head
averted my eyes as to make contact to the gods as they passed
thanked each and every one of them for letting me ride on the same course as them
got not so much as metaphoric spit in the face
"you are a lapped rider"
"out of the way"
"pull over"
for my pulling aside
not a thank you
not a word of respect
just jocked out attitude
not sure what to do
maybe next time they will have to work the pass just like any other racer
I was in a race
just as they were in a race
I had to deal with the elements of having to pass
at the next meeting I will have to ask the more experienced racer what the appropriate behavior is in such an event

it was a fun race
a good time was shared by all
here it is winter
no real riding
and too lazy to race
so i am going to cut and paste a race report from this summer past
it is random
not even sure if this is a draft or not

where to start where to start?
The drive out to Northern Virgina was a great metaphor for the course....
Efficiency is more vital than speed.
A great amount of energy can be spent and wasted trying to pass.
It is a simple well marked course and difficult to get lost.
Expect some back up.
Accept that you be trapped behind a line of idiots taking a slow and stupid line and driving inefficiently.
(I hate driving in RUSH HOUR traffic!)

With all that said....
When I got to the race I was frustrated with the traffic. Had not expected to have to wrestle with the commuter crowd. Was not exactly sure how to get to Wakefield so mental energy was wasted on worrying about getting lost. In short....I had spent my wad on the drive up. Not to mention that racing at dinner time is not good for the Clydesdale. Needed to load up with something, but had nothing to fuel up with. Foolishly thought my lunch would hold me over and that this race was such a sprint that it would not effect me not to eat before hand.

The gathering before the race was fun. Prerace anxiety was cut by the unity of the crowd. Familiar faces and fellow City Bikes riders roamed about waiting for the early racers to come in so that we could go out. The races began pretty much on time. My class of choice (clydesdale) had a good representation. There were 7 or so racers in my class. As usual everyone is there to race and everyone feels as if they are in contention. Lucky for me Evan split a GU with me before the race, bummer, it was without caffeine. So I figured I would just go out and ride and see what I had in the tank.

The race groups took off before us. We were the last pack to be sent out. The whistle blew and the riders were off. The course was designed to send us weaving towards a slight climb up some loose dirt and rock. The pack was tight and everyone was fighting for position. I was back in the pack, The riders attacked the hill. I gained a few spots before this hill was up and then figured I would reel in the clydesdales ahead of me. Just as we entered the first stretch of single track I was in the lead. I pedaled and searched for my groove. Then started to pass racers from the other classes. Still no groove. There were two Clydesdales right on my tail and I was not feeling strong and not feeling good. My handling was a little shaky, perhaps too high a tire pressure. The thought came to me that I should just pass as many racers as possible and use them to block for me in the tight single track. So racer by racer I pushed ahead, gritting my teeth as I passed on the outside, fearing a thorn from the surrounding brush (I have a history of flatting at Wakefield) The course was fun. All of the logs were easily surmountable, the track was fast and dry, and the racers were all in a pleasant mood.

Still no groove I completed my first lap. Realized that there was nothing in my reserve I pushed on. Figuring I could hang on and if another Clydesdale caught me I could start racing harder then. Still passing all sorts of racers, my pace was slowed by following other racers packed into the tight winding single track, but I did not sweat it. I just figured that everyone has to deal with this element. This is not a time trial. Long story short. I kept passing, my pace dropped significantly but I managed to maintain a first place finish for my class. But had Marc been there or an of a number of other Clydesdales that I am familiar racing with..well then I would have been pushed back a space or two.

Long Story not so short.
It was a fun race. A great way to spent a weekday evening. There should be more summer nights like this!

am I supposed to reread this stuff before I put it out for others to read?
it is too long
hopefully my wife will blow off Yoga on another wednesday night so I can hit another Wakefield race!
This is funny
this is how we sold our condo on Lamont Street
word of mouth via email

Mount Pleasant Condo for Sale By Owner- Beautiful Mount Pleasant Condo, Two Bedroom, two full bath, tall ceilings, working fireplace, central AC, basement storage, private back patio! Excellent Location! Just a block and a half off Mt Pleasant Street! Those who have seen it love it!

Very cool! Very Interesting!

Current asking price before putting it on the market $320 K.

Get a jump on it before it gets put on the open market!


Give me a call or just email me back!

Share this information with your friends!


ps. we are staying in Mt Pleasant
we found a place on Park Road right by Rock Creek Park!
here is an email to my friend Peter (name changed)
we have a mutual friend
he is a well liked guy, this mutal friend has been in this town forever
and the word about town is that he has a monkey on his back
a monkey the size of KING KONG, heroin


it was new year;s eve
had the dogs in the stretch of woods behind bancroft
it was the usual chance meeting
there was Whitey (again the name changed to protect the innocent)
i was walking roscoe and brutus (actual names)
at a distance I recognized Whitey (still fake name)
but was not sure who was walking him till we got closer
was it the haircut or the thin frame that caused me not to recognize Sabastian (again with a name change)
he is thin....shockingly thin
but it was him
here was the chance

we waved and exchanged hellos
I had been unsure that it was Sabastian (same guy, same fake name)
but it was clearly him, even with his thin frame

I made mention of how his name had been in a variety of conversations as of late
his name echoing up and down the coast
this was prefaced that people are concerned
not about trying to gossip or spread rumors
he listened
then I jumped right into the topic of drugs, addiction, and the fears of his friends

we talked about the fears that had gone about
he looked a little shaken
but he dispelled it all
his answers were all lined up
as if he knew the route of the gossip column
how people could make these false yet logical leaps

this is the breakdown
his girlfriend is currently in rehab/treatment for an old habit
this same women use to date his old boss
his old boss is engaged to his old girlfriend
there is a bit of a (Jerry) Springer feel to this web that life as weaved for him

long story short
he says that these worries are unfounded

I warned him that he may receive other calls
accept them as friends being concerned

we talked about a mutal friend who had commited suicide
how he slipped away cause no one took his condition seriously
or more over how everyone was young and no one understood

also made mention that I had spoke to people on this issue before
and they looked me straight in the eye and lied about being clean

he made conscious eye contact
we shook hands
I apologized for any accusations
wished him the best
and hoped he was telling the truth

the hand shake
the eye contact
none of that convinced me either way
there is no knowing unless I saw him with a needle in his arm
I was just following the words of others
and their thoughts were based on hear say
so I guess his word is enough
and hopefully he is as he says...clean

it is not entirely my concern
I know him, but he is not my closest friend
so I will not kick down his door and try to muscle the truth out of him
even then there is no knowing

for me I have been lied to and played before by people in this same situation
so I can never give into the answer
what did I expect
he gave me the only answers he could give

I wish him luck
and now I should put my energies into my life
and my concerns into my problems

joel (again real name)
this is an email message to my friend Katerina
we went to college together
she currently lives in colorado when she is not traveling the world
most recently she got bit by a could be rabid dog in Africa
hope she is well
In the old email I update her to a mutual friend's wedding in Vermont
and coldly close with the mention of a death of a fellow SMC allumnus


back from vermont
it was rainy and cold for the first few days
no activities planned
just moving about from meal to meal trying to keep dean occupied until the day of the wedding
the rain finally stopped at midnight Friday night the eve before the wedding
just in time for me to drive home drunk down winding unfamiliar country roads
waking the next day to clear skies and shockingly dry ground

we met tim and his girlfriend (fiance) for lunch and then convoyed to the wedding local
it was in a field right behind the rustic house that Spencer and Valerie had once called home
even in the open field with the sounds of a west african string instrument playing the event took on a shockingly classic tone
the dress was appropriate, classic, and tasteful
the best men all in tuxedos
spencer in tails
no top hat, luckily, even as fit and trim as he is he would have looked like Sir Toppenhat or perhaps a more understandable less obscure Tomas the Tank Engine reference I will use Frosty the Snowman
Then Valerie came down the path
dressed in white with a long veil
shockingly feminine and classic to boot
she stood along side her maids of honor, they wore those types of dresses designed for weddings never to be worn again
there was the cute ring bearer who shuffled about through the whole ceremony denoting a full bladder
and the flower bearers none older than 4 had lead the procession tossing fall colored leaves rather than rose pedals

a vegetarian feast in a rustic barn
the barn finished and maintained for catered events just such as this

there was a roadhouse band
Valerie started things off
she sang a classic Motown hit to Spencer
her voice was not Hippie Dippie
she did not fake a note
it was clear and crisp with a hint of Arethra and a taste of Ella while clearly all Valerie
she even had some stage persona as she belted out the tune

the guests were a wide variety of people
mosers mosers and a few more mosers
most of which had mini mosers replicating the older moser manners and style
the friend list did not go too deep
it was an honor to be invited
to my prediction spencer had not invited any female guests other than his mother and his sisters
not even a kissing cousin was able to make an appearance

the best man's speeches/toasts were long, well rehearsed, and entertaining to all
a mix between stand up, roast, and excerpts from the State Department How to Survive in Africa handbook

as the party ended the event left me feeling a bit empty
still asking for more
sort of that party build up than a rapid exit
then bam
time to go home
I spent the last 20 seconds on the dance floor

the next day was spent running from toddler park to tag sale then off to the local flea market
dean was able to find two little Buddha statues to which he practices one of his many words
a few little buckets with Jack-O-Lantern faces cut out the side
and a 2 dollar truck that he could ride around on for the remainder of the day
to be left behind upon our departure

we were home seemingly like we had never left
other than my aching back from a bed that was too soft
and a house filled with half unpacked suitcases

there will be photos to tell the tale
and an not so clever anecdote about my feuding with the vegetarian gentlemen who had graced the ceremony with the west african string instrument
all about my having eaten a roast beef sandwich
and his refusal to shake my hand
joel is joel
you can dress him up
but you can not shut him up
he was born to offend

I need to put some heat on this back and get to work

joel out

tara call passed away the week prior
Lisa recently emailed me a message I sent to the members of my new block here in Mt. Pleasant. She asked if I had recieved any responses. I had not. It is amusing. Along with the email was also an attached image of my son.

Hello All!
this is not how I wanted our initial introduction to go
but too much time has passed so this is how it is going to happen

a card through the mail slot was my original intention
along with a MtP sticker
but that notion is never came to be
(email back if you still want the sticker, I have a stack that are
just gathering dust in the garage)

My wife and I have purchased and moved into 2025 Park Road along with
our 2 year old son and our mix breed dogs Roscoe and Brutus.

We moved from the 1700 Block of Lamont Street.
There is the debate of what is the best block in Mount Pleasant. Many
on the 1700 Block of Lamont are of the belief that they are the best
block, yet as we settle in here we grow to hold a different opinion.
The sound of the birds, the hypnotic movement of the trees, the
endless entertaining dance of the squirrels, along with the backyard
culture of the 1900-2000 block of Park Road rapidly prove to offer
more than I could ever believe any other block in this neighborhood
could present.

With that said....
It is good to meet you!
It is good to be your neighbor!
What a wonderful week! (even with the rain)
This week our son Dean turned two!
and parenthood is a glorious thing
as a proud poppa I am going to shamelessly share with you a few
photos of my son

I hope that they give you some joy
good day
and I look forward to getting to know you better in the
day/months/years to come



Christmas is coming
and i am getting fat
my bald head is cold
I better wear a hat


Another link to another DIRT RAG ARTICLE

this one rants about CYCLOCROSS and racers and riders need to get all the latest and all the greatest gadgets and gizmos to finish on top!


Kindergarden Camera: A Web Service that lets us spy on our Daycare

It is a funny thing being able to look in on Dean as he runs and plays at Rosemount Daycare Center. The image is blurred and it only refreshes with a still image every few seconds, but the simple idea of looking at him makes me smile. It is not so much actually being able to see him. If it were not for the fact that he is the only blonde haired boy in the class and that I know what clothing he is wearing each day I would not be able to identify him. Yet, it gives me great joy. For a few minutes there I could see him at the head of the table eating his snack. I can see that the cots are already set out and I can see his blanket on the cot all the way to the left. There have been times when I logged in to catch him going up and down the slide. I have also had the happen stance to catch him running full speed into another child. It sounds like I am watching him all day. I think I could, but I have to go back to doing some work.

Funny that they offer this, there was a time when I thought that the Nanny Cam may not be a bad idea to see what goes on with our nanny when we go to work. But I soon figured out that they all get in her car and evacuate as soon as I leave for work. That said, the Nanny Camera would have been a waste of money.
More images of Todd at the Cross Nationals....

Coming at ya!



Last spring Lisa, Dean, and I grabbed the dogs and moved down the road. I managed to sell the house FISBO style. It was worth the stress as it was a fun and educational experience...the question, "whether or not I would have made a greater profit with a real estate agent will never be know." We feel good with how we did and it matched quite well with the "comps" that we saw.

Shortly after we got the keys to our new place I was doing some minor touching up around the place. Painting some walls while unintentionally painting some wooden floors, some ceilings, and some stained trim (painting does not go on my resume.) During this period I found a set of keys in the street. In an effort to do the neighborly thing I put up some signs, "Found Keys, all and describe them and they are yours." A few days later I got a call, I asked for a description, in a mellow sort of way the guy nonchalently told me that there were a mess of keys on there. I asked him to describe some of the unual keys. He did not bite. It seemed like the keys were not his. He mentioned an approcimation of the key count and mentioned the kyptonite lock key, but he did not mention the odd key that I thought was a drum tightening key. As it turns out the keys were his, and the key of interest was not a drum key at all but rather a key used to bleed radiators. My new neighbor Chris gave me that key. Since then I have bled my radiators and have paid him "mucho dinero" to touch up my paint job and to repaint some of the other rooms. He does more than just put paint on the walls, he improves the house.

open lunches in High School
and optional attendance in college

Well, a quick break for some more time travel
as fun as it could be
it turned out to be a tad more frustrating than anything else

I was playing Joust and Robotron
but only a few games each
the keyboard controls are not as intuitive as the joystick controls of the originial Aracade verisons.

not to mention I missed out on High School and college because of these very games
so I best not lose my job because of these same games or worse yet, because of my blog.

Okay, I know how much people hate my RACE REPORTS.
Well, I am going one further. I am posting a friend of mine's race report from the Cyclocross Nationals that were held in Portland Oregon last weekend.
It sounds like a great race. Well, at least it sounded like a great time. I have the option to race in the mud this weekend, well I am not sure if that is where I want to spend my time. My race season is behind me. The eye of the tiger got lazy some time ago.
But, who knows? Once on the bike and on the start line I am always quickly reminded of how much I love bikes and enjoy racing.

did the masters 35-40 race on Saturday and the B-race on Sunday. It rained the entire time during those races, it was cold, the course was muddy...it was great!

It was so muddy....much worse than even the Kalmthout DVD, and no I'm not exaggerating. There were 4 long flat sections (100yds) where it was faster to run than ride. It was like 9 minute laps, and the ONLY non-muddy part was 400m road section and a 500m gravel road; other than that...total mud! Check out my self portrait to get an idea of how muddy it was (Picture 003.jpg). I was really impressed by the mud. I think the key was to sit upright (hands on flats) and spin the easiest gear. In some sections, I was able to ride by alot of runners that way.

I went as hard as possible on Saturday, and had a really good race, probably my personal best effort of the season. I was fired up (me?) and I felt really strong during the race. I ended up getting 45 out of 75, I'd guess 10 or so DNF'ers. They ran the 35-40 and another age group at the same time, so there were 140 people in the race at the same time. It was very exciting, since you were always in a group battling for position...and OLN's Richard Fries was screaming on the mic the whole time. I was in the last group not to get lapped (I think the winners were also Elite guys), so it was a long race...56 minutes! A crash at the beggining road sent alot of us into a christmas light display on the side of the start-road. I bunny hopped a light-string (6" high...and I actually made it!) but I heard alot of popping (tubes or bulbs?), and lots of crashes.

On Sunday B-race I had a really bad start and was literally LAST going into the mud. Someone's got to do it. Again there were >100 people in the race, so it was kind of funny. My legs were cooked from Saturday, so couldn't go as fast. But it was still alot of fun since I got to pass the whole time and see alot of people wallowing in the mud. Luckily, Sunday was one lap shorter than Saturday for me. I think I was going about 20 seconds slower per lap than Saturday, which wasn't too bad. I ended up getting 47 out of something like 90+. Near the end, I tried to pass a group of 5 by making a power move off of the popular mud-line and onto some greenery on the edge, but it was a mistake (see pt. 11 below) and a few people passed me, D'oh!

Some highlights of the weekend:

1. When I got in to town on Friday and saw how awful the mud was, I headed straight to Target to try and score some rubber boots for spectating the pro races....I wasn't the only one...it was funny, Target was like a looting zone with cross racers/fans scrounging for boots, umbrellas, and rain suits!

2. The women pro's couldn't ride any of the flat sections...I think they had to run most of the course. no power.

3. In between laps during the men's pro race, some nearly-nude guy in a leather S&M suit and Mexican wrestling mask was sliding down the muddy run-up on his stomach, and breakdancing at the bottom (he wasn't too bad).
He got more cheers than the racers.

4. Marching Drum band playing war songs during the pro races was pretty intense.

5. my new tires worked great!

6. Jonathan Page was really impressive, I'm sure you'll read all about it in Velonews. He really made everyone else look bad. I saw him PEDALING (!!!) down a super-slick down-hill off-camber that caused atleast half of my field to crash and slide off the course just two hours earlier. And most of us crashers were even walking when we slid out!!!!

7. Monday AM in the airport checkin line atleast 1/3 of the people had bike boxes...for the first time they actually enforced the overweight bag rule and we had to pay $25 bucks. Extra fuel needed to lug the weight back east??

8. Sat. night "media event" at the host hotel's Bar was comical. You've never seen a bar filled with so many skinny white guys drinking water! Not a profitable night for the bar owners.

9. Hotel had a bike washing station and rags...pretty cool.

10. The course was full of fans even for my races. Most people yelling the standard "you're looking good" stuff, but I did get some funny ones:
"welcome to portand" a few times. While floundering up the main muddy hill right next to the tape some guy screamed in my ear, "You're not an animal!!!". The weirdest was some lady who yelled "You're finished!!" at me...but it was only on the second lap so I'm not sure what that meant!

11. You know how its no fun to ride in tall wet grass....well, they had some weird moldy-moss...MOSS... sections that looked firm to me, but were like quicksand!

Anyway, it was super fun. If I'm in shape next year, I'm going again.



a still shot of some of the action



(I better get back to work)

As the Post Tetris ads said,
"If you liked TETRIS, you will love Dr. Mario!"
(as the two headed zit faced adolescent sat on his couch and argued amongst himself while playing his primitive Nintendo Box)


if you like SUSHI
and loved Dr. Mario
well than you may be able to appreciate this


you may need SHOCKWAVE
but it is a tried, true, and tested product of Marcomedia
and it is free
the install is fast and easy
it does it all itself


more Classic internet

definitely worth a look
if you grew up liking video games and cartoons
then there may be something here for you


I just poked my head into here and found some awesome skate footage
a beautiful wooden bowl
although I can not skate
I can appreciate it for both its beauty and its difficulty
Oldies but a goodie
Joe's Cartoon
this one with a contemporary topic has a classic ending.....
reward yourself and take a look
now if that classic ending is not classic to you
then you may want to check out a true internet classic
FROG in a Blender
take a moment and treat yourself

this stuff is all interactive
some really great FLASH animation without much point or purpose other than to entertain

Several years ago I thought that I would show some neighborhood pride (and create a marketing tool for my graphic design services) and I created a EURO STICKER for my neighborhood, Mount Pleasant in Northwest Washington DC.


It was not and effort to be original.
Nor was it an effort to get rich, breaking even was my goal.
Now some years later those stickers are everywhere.
The People Garden (now no more) was doing well selling them. And I donated them to various organizations for their bazaars/yardsales/and flea markets.
Now there are B for Bethesda and CH for Columbia Heights.
These things are everywhere....

It is no big deal but I do get a giggle when I see an MtP sticker on a car when I am miles from my neighborhood. And an even bigger giggle is I am at a party and I hear someone talking about them, like when I heard my friend Katie (who lived in Columbia Heights at the time) hated them!
This weekend Dean had a cold...

dean dean jelly bean
the most handsome man I have ever seen

this weekend dean was hit with a fever
Motrin is magical
with some wheeling and dealing we are able to get him to take the medicine
it amazes me how this manages to bring down his fever
and with his fever down he gets to be active and normal
but when the fever spikes he becomes a different child

hope a good night sleep helps him to wake up healthy and strong in the am
lisa has plans to head to NY for work
but with my boss in NY and headed to Vegas for vacation
I have to man the company store
so if dean can not make it to daycare
lisa will have to stay home
In an effort to occupy myself over the last few days I tried to make some BLOG entries...
I wrote some crap
some serious crap

it has been a very wacky weekend
Dean is suffering a fever
went to my wife's work dinner
stayed late at a party after the dinner
had to work a 12 hour day on Friday
was on call all Saturday
and still at work pushing towards 12 hours on here, Sunday
not that I have actually been working for this 12 hour stint
but I have been at work
stuck here like a prisoner
I have some tasks to do, sort of part of a team
but my computer related tasks can not be approached until some of the techs finish assembling the ROBO Cam and the Rack
but it seems not to be working
so I sit here in the CBS press booth at the Pentagon reading BLOGS
and sending BLOGS
getting to a slap happy state

in addition to my weekend of work I was able to squeeze in some fun
drove out to Bethesda to drop my wife's car off for a tune up
got to ride back, cold and soon to be rainy
would not have ridden if I did not have an actual destination
routed myself in the opposite direction of home passing through Norwood Park
my brother had plans to host another informal CYCLCROSS PRACTICE RACE
he has hosted two similar events at FT Reno park in DC, but it turns out we needed a permit for such an event
the permit was refused
so he changed venues
he had not had time to scope out the park
and I was unable to attend the race
so in an effort to not miss out on the fun, and to feel like I was part of the action
I made a morning visit and plotted out what I thought would be a suitable course in this park
creating a cross course is like laying out the wooden Thomas the Train track
set it
let them run
see how effective the layout in the mind matches the layout in the real world

as mentioned
I was not able to attend the race
was on call and had to be close to work
but I heard that some of the course additions that were not obvious worked well
and the rest of the course was fine
but more of a "country cross"
long sections of grass
with long sections of paved path on most of the climbs
no off camber
nothing real technical
a few stairs to run up
a small stream to cross, steeple chase being most effective
and the basic slogging in the soft grassy earth

it snowed all night
and it rained all day today
marc was wise and hosted the event on Saturday rather than Sunday

it is a bummer missing the party
but such are the responsibilities of trying to be an adult

there is clearly a correlation between sacrifice and achievement

I am starting with some sacrifice and starting to see some achievement..

looks like they have thier linkage to the main office
my tasks may be approaching fast

more in a bit



when joe byrnes left for Cali he gave me a bike he
could not travel with
he said sell it and we can split the cash
I rode it
it was two sizes too small so I rode it no
but I rode the shit out of it
miles and miles all no handed
then finally a friend of mine needed a bike
and I needed a CD burner
we traded
I swapped some of the parts, and sent the
bike off
Joe got nothing and the cd burner never
then, two years later I am cruising down the
street on a Saturday morning
and I see this old KHS FZ Comp, just like the
one joe gave me, just like the one I traded to
rob had a bike stolen from his design studio
just at TOOLBOX design studio just blocks
away from where we were
so I approached the rider
I was friendly and kind
told him it was my bike and I needed it back
it was an odd exchange
there was little arguement
little fuss
there was some apparent confusion
but I tried to spell it all out in espanol
"es mu facil...este mi bicicleta, tu eres una
lodron...tu queres los policia"
or something to that effect
my spanish is better spoke than written
and there was some gentle back and forth
finally I gave the guy his lock and helped him
take the seat saver of rob;s bike
I feared that I had given his a serious weapon
but knowing I was right in taking the bike back
I did not fear this guy
I really did not feel he was a theif, in english I
tried to express my feelings that he bought a
stolen bike, but in spanish I did not have the
A call was made to rob, he was not there, I left
a message.
For days I walked proud like some sort of
Robin Hood, taking back what is not rightfully
days later rob calls
he clears things up
it was not the KHS that was stolen
his fisher was stolen
I traded him the KHS to replace the FISHER
I make him go to the bike and touch it
my heart sinks
I get a lump in my throat
then my stomach feels all sick inside
I am not robin hood
just a hood
I stole this bike
heavy handed
right on the crowded streets by the farmers
people looked on
and watched me ride away
it must have been quite a site
I tried finding this guy
went to the local shop
talked with some Salvadorean friends of mine
but nothing

everyone put me at ease
that this bike was purchased on the "gray
that only made me feel a little better

it all happened so fast



yesterday I was doing a post work spin on my Kona Humahuma-nuka-nuka-
apoha-ah out on the Mt Vernon trail
(well, this happened a few months ago, but just posting it now)I was spinning the single speed gearing around as fast as it could
go, which does not propel the bike all that fast
but manages to give me a pretty solid work out in a very short time
this is how I try to get a four hour ride done in only 45 minutes out
on the bike
the view along the river was epic as usual
and the post work traffic was getting thick, again as usual
I rode out past the airport and turned around at the wooden boardwalk
just before the beginning of Old Town Alexandria
my turn around was to the outside and not on the trail, as I know how
dangerous a blind buttonhook can be
people are always button hooking right in front of me
if only they could repeat after me...
"look before you buttonhook!"
"look before you buttonhook!"
"look before you buttonhook!"
or even better button hook onto the grass and take a look before re-
entering the grass
but my lectures are for another time and another group of people

[that mantra is as close to my heart as "pass bicyclist, don't harass
bicyclists", but this is not for trail users but a subliminal message
that I want to be implanted in people's head, hidden in subliminal
frequencies that could play over their car radios, or perhaps in the
background of the elevator music played at the MVA/DMV so each
licensed driver walked away with an updated license and an updated
sense of respect for the cyclist ((more realistically this would make
for a great red bumper sticker to be placed on STOP signs, using the
word STOP and the sticker reading HARASSING CYCLISTS, and in small
letters...pass cyclists don't harass cyclists))]

the ride was business as usual
there were many people riding too fast
all sorts of people drafting/racing/being all out reckless
very few people were giving any warning to the other trail users
walkers/runners/and other cyclists were all being harassed as much as
being passed
showing each other basic disrespect
all the while runners were stopping at inopportune times and doing
that buttonhook thing that can be so dangerous

knowing how much I hate to be spooked by a rider passing closely
without warning
I was ringing my little frog bell as I passed each other trail user
and often saying excuse me as I felt can often lessen the effect of a
close pass
sure there were some passes that offended a few, but I tried to be as
safe and pleasant as possible while still getting a workout
and when I am quasi-dangerous, I want to at least be pleasant

then when approaching one of the road crossings I was passed by a
women on an old school Bridgestone with mustache bars coming the
other way
then following behind her was a women on a generic department store
bike outfitted with tri bars and other equipment
she crossed the road, over the curb, and onto the trail
soon she realized she would not be able to hold her lane and make the
winding curve without having an head on collision with me
she opted to go straight, off the trail, over the grass, and into the
airport service road never checking to see if a car was coming from
either direction
clearly out of control she went off the curb and got thrown from her
stuck in the tri-bar position, out of reach of her brakes
by this time I was at a standstill watching it all
as she tumbled on the asphalt and the bike crashed riderlessly
against the curb
I went to her aid, as well did another cyclist
she seemed okay and it was clear that she wanted me to retrieve her
I took off spinning, hectically spinning
lucky for me this other rider had slowed down, the maximum speed of
my cruiser is slow
when I caught her she was frightened and excited that her friend was
seriously hurt, which she appeared not to be
we rushed back
the other cyclist was reviewing the condition of her bike
the cyclist who had crashed was back
with everything under control I figured I best be off before I chewed
her out
as she was out of control and could have seriously hurt someone,
namely me!

it was a wake up call
the trails are not really any safer than the streets
and the best place for racing is at the races
one thing I love about doing a race on a Sunday is having a trail
marked off
knowing I can take a turn or downhill fast and not have to worry
about a horse or a dog or a blue haired lady to be coming up the
other way
the likelihood of a cyclist coming the opposite way is rare
and the other riders may be more knowledgeable about courtesy and
or maybe not

in any case
enough time with this
back to work for me
MAC not PC
I am a MAC guy
and I am sure that there are many MAC GUYS using this BLOG thing
but I feel that there is something odd going on
at work I work on a PC, actually I work on the PCs
while at home I play on a MAC
but the interface on the MAC is not as simple and clear as on the PC
someone help me out here
I just finished a POSTING that I wanted to be HYPERLINK RICH
but was unable to find the ICON
and looked for the spell check, again, WHERE IS THE ICON?
the world is not MAC friendly
or maybe it is just me
and I have not discovered the set up

do I need to upgrade my Internet Explorer?
(I was a Netscape user for so long, but the world would not let that happen for me....my SCRABBLE addiction at GAMES.COM was enough for me to not only start using Internet Explore, but to use it exclusively)

In any case......

Is it this Jack Daniels
am I are some of he features missing on my Mac version of BLOG?


MAC not PC
I am a MAC guy
and I am sure that there are many MAC GUYS using this BLOG thing
but I feel that there is something odd going on
at work I work on a PC, actually I work on the PCs
while at home I play on a MAC
but the interface on the MAC is not as simple and clear as on the PC
someone help me out here
I just finished a POSTING that I wanted to be HYPERLINK RICH
but was unable to find the ICON
and looked for the spell check, again, WHERE IS THE ICON?
the world is not MAC friendly
or maybe it is just me
and I have not discovered the set up

do I need to upgrade my Internet Explorer?
(I was a Netscape user for so long, but the world would not let that happen for me....my SCRABBLE addiction at GAMES.COM was enough for me to not only start using Internet Explore, but to use it exclusively)

In any case......

Is it this Jack Daniels
am I are some of he features missing on my Mac version of BLOG?
I am not very political
but like anyone else I have an opinion
simple and clear, I do not care for george bush

it is so simple
and so clear
that I feel no need to even justify my opinion

with that said....
here is a link to an animation that my friend Rob Myers made for an anti-STATE OR THE UNION address advertising campaign
It is very SOUTH PARK and worth a viewing......
actually it is worth several viewings.
BUSH and the Environment (SEQUOIA)
(that is what I am calling it)
and if you like that
you should check out his "What is ART?" short film
he is super talented

guess while I am riding his jock....
check out some of the music projects he is a part of with the 18th STREET LOUNGE crew
Dean, Dogs, and Honey Baked Ham
It is really quite funny actually...
This weekend past Lisa and I hosted a Christmas Cocktail party with music mixes by City Bikes House DJ BK Deluxe (aka Brian Kemler.) The party was a humorous scene, roughly 60 adults, 20 children, and 2 dogs. Everyone was well behaved even the dogs. Roscoe and Brutus each did the rounds. Roscoe's activity was more social; chasing down "butt rubs" from various willing guests; while Brutus spent more time trying to hang in the secure shadow of Lisa or myself. The party went on virtually incident free. The dogs were getting enough snacks from plates on low tables or the floor while the occasional piece of ham that fell to the floor. At this time has been no reported account of either Roscoe or Brutus being bold enough to hit the buffet table in self service style.

Days have passed since the party and Lisa got pro-active on the remainder of the ham and went freestyle on creating a Navy Bean Soup without recipe or instruction. While her beans and beast simmered in the large pot on the stove we realized that there was still plenty of meat on the bone for at least one more vat of soup, perhaps Split Pea Soup. It was decided, the remainder was to be frozen and stored till a more convenient date. We gathered up Dean, patted the dogs on the head, and headed off to the Bethesda Rescue Squad to purchase a Christmas tree and check out the Engines.

The trip to pick up the tree was made into a more attractive adventure by telling Dean that we were headed to the "fire station." A difference so subtle that we did not think that either tribe (fireman or EMS) would be offended in our clumping various emergency services together into the mind of a 2 year old. Dean was fixated, his mind was set on going to the FIRESTATION. We plotted our route. Dinner would have to be slices of PIZZA from Armand's carry out, we could not risk removing Dean from the car without being within a stone's throw away from the station's garage.

Pizza being his favorite food we were able to calm the beast as we made the short drive to the B-CC rescue squad station. The tree sales were going on as expected and the station garage had sites and sounds that had Dean fully occupied. As I worked my way around the tree selection and decided upon a Frazier Fur (or maybe it was something else, but I know it was not the Colorado Blue Spruce which was too prickly for Lisa's tastes,) I picked out my tree still wrapped in its pine cone shape for its long distance delivery from Indiana Pennsylvania. IT was then I noticed that Lisa and Dean were now inside the garage with the door closed behind them. As I loaded the tree onto of the Passat, car of choice due to the Landcruiser not starting at this point in time, I saw Dean's face glowing as he marveled at all of the dials, equipment, and gear. He was in all his glory his skin color radiated a certain excitement. It made me happy to see him so happy. The enticing notion of the "fire station" had in fact delivered. As I approached the garage one of the burley rescue squad volunteers was placing a white souvenir fireman's hat upon dean's head. The door was opened and I offered thanks and praise for their generosity, they all were happy to accommodate and were quite gracious that we had purchased our tree and our wreaths from their sale thus supporting their volunteer services.

After coaxing failed, I chased Dean down and carried him out of the garage. There was some squirming, but he was able to spend panic by the promise of future visits and the direction of his attention to his new hat.

We arrived home and left the tree and wreaths with the car. There was the hope that Dean would be tired after his adventure and ready for sleep. Our deduction was reversed, he was all wound up and could not sleep. The ideas of Emergency Vehicles raced through his head which made it impossible for him to go down for bed. Lisa went upstairs to try and tend to Dean, pjs, fire, and blanket did not lure him to his Big Boy Bed. While the battle to get Dean to sleep I worked downstairs to collect all of the Christmas decorations and make room for the newly acquired tree. While I worked trouble shooting the lights I noticed the dogs were chewing on some small bone scraps. Lisa came down and gathered the scraps, barely a handful. She walked over and said, "this is what is left of that hambone."
In disbelief I walked to the kitchen, the counter was bare. The carcass that had several pounds of ham/ham fat/and marrow filled bone was gone. The dogs walked about as if nothing had happened.

It was all rather humorous. No real crime. I would have done the same. What was funny though was the dogs had a hard time hydrating after they gorged themselves on the salty ham. The bowl was empty, the toilet bowls were soon closed and off limits, out on their evening pee roscoe ate snow to satisfy his thirst...Then at 2:30 Roscoe was whimpering at the bedroom door....it was clear...he may not have satisfied his thirst, but he did manage to fill his bladder.
Funny stuff this world of THE BLOG
it has a certain addictive quality
but just like anything in life, moderation is the key
and for those who can not control themselves and feel the need to Blog all day long at work there is a FIRE ESCAPE created for them and their viewers
It is a button that rests on the BLOG Page as an escape button for the User
just one click on the button and the screen moves to a more work related screen (Excel Spread Sheet, Word Document, or in my case the GOOGLE search engine)
funny stuff
it all amuses me
but no one wants to lose their job over something as fluff related as this


I recently made a purchase from MEC: Mountain Equipment Co-op.
There prices are very reasonable.
There equipment is very well designed.
and there is the wonderful strength of the US Dollar

give it a look
you may be able to get some new gear to make this winter a tad more enjoyable

I must say that the Gore-tex cycling jacket and Gore-tex cycling rainpants that I got are changing my outlook towards a long winter of commuting and hopefully some riding
Dean and the Start of my Day

This morning was like most mornings, mixed all around

Dean woke up in search of his fire (fire=pacifier, his modification of the word. Although I had a firm rule about reinforcing a child's mispronunciation or misconception of a word, we let this one slip through the system.)
As our room is right next to Dean's I could hear him up and looking around for his fire. As he searched around his bed he called out, "mommy, where us my fire? mommy? mommy?" I got out of my warm bed and was able to find his fire only after climbing over him several times and pulling the bed away from the wall and then climbing over him to retrieve the fire from the crevasse between the bed and the wall. Dean was waking slowly and asking for mommy. He is accustom to the routine, "mommy is working." He does not like this answer, yet he understands it. But once the fire was passed off to him he slammed his head down on the pillow to steal a few more Zs. I rushed to the mommy bed to do some of the same. Roscoe and Brutus were both in Lisa's spot sleeping comfortably. I watched the clock and made sure that I did not sleep past 8 as so not to allow Dean's sleep cycle to go through too much of a shift. He is staying up too late and I feel that if we allow him to sleep too late that his will become his natural cycle.

Dean woke up slowly and we started our morning chat. We looked out the window and watched the cars pass and birds fly by. Dean made mention of "daddy's car"
I told him it was broken, Dean said, "you have to fix it."
I tried to explain that I had tried, but was unable to fix it. We moved to the next step. His mood was fairly positive. Although he had mommy on the brain. The changing of his gear from pjs to day wear was easier than some days. He said he did not want to go to "art class and would not need his backpack." I feared that this could lead to difficult moments ahead.

There was no toying with him.
It was my feeling to stick to the program, let him know we were going to "art class."
He was hesitant so I carried him downstairs He wanted a juice I offered him a banana As I was fixing up his juice he raced into the kitchen just as the juice cup was being sealed He rushed back to the couch to enjoy his juice

I got him a banana, peeled it, and placed it into his free hand At a closer glance I could see a single tear drop resting on his eyelash. He was a little sad I asked him why he was said Dean slowly responded, "never......Callum never comes over to dean house anymore."
We spoke about his buddy Callum.
And I assured him that he would see him again It was cute and sad at the same time. Callum is a child that he has grown with for the last two years was now stripped from his life. He clearly misses him. They shared the same nanny, Mayra. But as she has been recovering from surgery we have been forced to find a temporary replacement. As chance and opportunity would have it. Our temporary fix is going to become our permanent fix.

We had to move forward. Having carried him down the two flights of stairs and dropping him on the couch I started to try and pick up some momentum.
His shoes were put on his feet, he told me they were "too tight"
I made sure I had the shoes on the correct feet and wiggled them a bit as to make them more comfortable And went for my jacket As I got up I made mention to dean that I was going to get my jacket Dean chimed in, "get dean's jacket."
This was a positive switch in his attitude He was ready to go He wanted to go So I got my jacket, got his jacket, hat, and gloves He also asked for his backpack With some swapping of the juice hand and the banana hand the jacket and backpack were put on We headed out the door All the while roscoe and Brutus were running around gathering shoes in anticipation of their morning walk They are not use to the new routine. Before I would leave in the morning with the dogs and Dean Now I leave with just Dean.

With the door locked behind me.
The dogs noses pressed against the glass within the house I tossed Dean onto my shoulders so he could concentrate on the juice and banana as we walked the cold two and a half blocks to Rosemount. No tears. No complaining. Nothing. We got to the door of Rosemount school. I lowered dean and opened the door. Again no tears, this is an improvement. We got to the classroom. The teacher Laura was a little aggravated that Dean had breakfast in his hand. More because she wants him to arrive hungry so she can feed him. But I explained that he was hungry as we got up And would not leave the house without the banana and the sippy cup. As I removed the jacket I was forced to remove the banana from Dean's hand Dean backed up my argument by immediately demanding the banana I took the juice cup and tried to leave with it, Dean asked that I put that in his backpack.

With the juice cup in his backpack, and the backpack on Dean's back I put dean in the chair at the table I asked dean to give me a high five Then went around the table requesting "high fives" from all the children at the table Each child responded excitedly and gave me a high five Well except for the last little girl Then I worked my way back, finishing with Dean He seemed content So I said a quick good bye and evacuated before he changed his mind.

With Dean successfully dropped off at daycare I moved forward to try and accomplish the rest of my tasks of the morning. Once back home the dogs were wagging their tales and ready to go out. They were leashed up and out the door, the door locked behind me. I had forgotten my coffee. Back up the steps, unlock the door, grab the coffee, back out the door, lock the door, and head towards the woods. As I waited for there to be a clear spot in the traffic of our oh too busy street in front of our house. Roscoe could not wait. He lifted his leg right there and began freeing a long yellow stream. His eyes rolled back in display of great pleasure. He had held it long enough. With a clear gap for crossing I tugged at Roscoe's collar and told him we needed to move. He cut his stream short, but more than a gallon had already flowing down the street. Roscoe was willing to oblige me. We crossed the street into a small section of Rock Creek. The leashes were removed and the dogs went looking for trouble. My eyes scanned the area for dangerous obstacles, no cats, no deer, and no homeless campers were in sight. We looked like were were headed for a quick spin in the woods "incident free." Hope that they had time to make their "deposit" as they ran into their dog buddy Lodi.

We did our morning hike that interestingly loops behind the Rosemount daycare center. A beautiful building with classic Spanish architecture that before was just a building, but is now part of my life and my child's development.


Years ago I had a life list. It was a short list of life goals; things I wanted to do, places I wanted to go. That basic thing. That piece of paper is long gone.
Some of the goals still remain, some of those goals have been attained, but most of the remaining goals are not likely to occur until the kids go to college, unless of course the kids come along.

People toss out advice all the time. Advice is normally ignored as soon as it hits the air. Most people can not take their own advice. We all know what is best for us, yet seldom are we able to take our lives in that direction.

With that said I recall life before Dean was born. There were in face 24 hours in the day.
That time was squandered. It has been clear to me for some time that there is a correlation between ACHIEVEMENT AND SACRIFICE. Sacrifice has never been one of my stronger traits. I always go back for that second piece of cake.

well okay it is not time travel, but it does feel like a different time
and some time can be lost trying to match your Pac Man high score that you achieved on that quarter gobbling machine in the pizza parlor back in the 80's.

(I was more a Missle Command or Defender type myself, but the video game addiction was strong enough that I would play the games that were not my favorite, just because I needed to fulfill my "fix.")

trip out on this


this is a very appropriate link for the day

(BTW-the colored text in the BLOGS, those are links to other pages)

if you have some time
this is a DC Metro Map
and for each stop there are lists of various BLOGGERS who live in that area
it is just interesting to see what people BLOG on about
this am was different than the last four
sure it started out with the basic stuff
Dean with his fire (pacifier) and blanket waking up slow
and me with my coffee waking up slow
we went through the usual routine of deciding on gear for the day
[need i tell you that kids dress much cooler than adults]
with the morning's slush and snow he was able to sport his red rubber boots
ah, the power
he was seeking out each puddle as we walked towards Rosemount Daycare center
we arrived, no tears
we went in the classroom, no tears
I went to take of his jacket, hesitation, and then just a complaint that he wanted to wear his backpack
he was assured that he would get to wear his backpack
Dean said, "Dean's going to ARTCLASS! Daddy, go to work!" and then before I could respond his hand waved and he said, "Bye, daddy."
without arguement I pulled him close, game him a hug and a kiss and went out the door
seems that he likes the new school situation!
This is neither cycling related nor is it Dean related.....
but it is funny just the same
this guy has a bunch of opinions on some serious none issues
the only issues here are the fact that this cat has some serious issues

check it out
and get a laugh

Enraged Baboon Headquarters

and he is a pretty good writter


SNOWSHOE Article 2001

Take a look and see the coverage we got from SPOKES Magazine
this is the Reader's Digest version
It is a fun article, but some of the facts and quotes are a little loose
Oh well

and here is a number of reports from SNOWSHOE 2002, including my synopsis as posted on the City Bikes Team Site

dean has been use to a routine of spending his days with Mayra
a friendly latina woman who we share as a nanny with a family in Adams Morgan
she has been plagued with a variety of illnesses over the past two years
as it turns out she had to get some tumors removed
thus causing us to find a substitue child care situation in her absence
the beautiful old stucko building just blocks from our house is a daycare center called Rosemount
we were lucky enough to get placement for two weeks
the transition has been hard for him

Dean and I slept late this am
Almost till 8am
Which was good, as I did not go to bed until after midnight
And when I tried to go to bed I found that my spot had been occupied by Dean and the dogs (85 pound Roscoe and 60 pound Brutus)
As Dean has been having unconsoleable bad dreams I thought it best for him to be close by mommy
(apparently fears of school and being left their alone)
The couch would suit me fine
It is not the first time I have slept on the couch
And clearly not the last

When he got up he was in a mixture of moods
He did not want to change his clothes
At times changing him is like bathing a cat
He scrambled away at each opportunity, but not in a fun "chase me daddy" sort of way
Guess the comfort of the PJs was better than the symbolic transition of day clothes and heading off to school
But I managed
Had to do it in stages
He seemed to know he was going to school and did not seem to mind
Things he said gave me the notion that he was more prepared
He wanted to bring his blanket and fire (pacifier)
That was not an option, blanket stays at home and the pacifier is supposed to be for sleeping
Even upstairs he said he wanted to bring his backpack as if in anticipation of heading off to school
I gave him his garbage truck to take to school (daycare) and planned on adding a few more toys to the pack before we left
He was in a good mood
He wanted to go
We suited him up for the cold weather
And headed out the door
I put him on my shoulders and handed him a half peeled banana
We marched towards Rosemount
He thought we were going hiking, I know this because he kept saying..."we are going hiking."
We took the route through the tree tunnel, he told me that he did not have keys as we passed a door locked with a padlock
And then as we exited the tree tunnel and stepped on the sidewalk he said, "we are not going hiking."
Our trip through the woods of Rock Creek only scratched the perimeter
He was right
We were headed to Rosemount to take him to school
He was fine
Said he did not want to go to art class, but without panic or tears
But we marched furhter
He did not cry till we hit the steps
I lowered him to a doorway level and we walked in
He was in tears, face all red, and head tilted back
That is the routine each day as we enter Rosemount
Everyone greeted him by name, the woman at the front desk and even the janitor
We entered the classroom and he clung to me like a little Koala Bear
I could almost not pry him free
With some force I had him off me and was taking off his backpack so I could take off his jacket
He fought me to a certain extent, but swapped hands with the banana to accommodate me at the same time
Once the jacket was off the backpack went back on
He was only crying slightly
The one word zombies each approached one by one to inspect the blonde boy with the teary eyes
Since he was not crying significantly I made my stay brief
I gave him kisses and hugs hopeing that they would stick with him for the duration of the day
Then left out the door
He was not crying
Today, day three at day care was a better day for Dean

I have been handling drop off and Lisa has been handling pick up
Apparently pickup is even more traumatic, as he is one of the last children to be picked up

this is a great article
Well worth the read


You may laugh out loud
And you may even picture me through part of it
Or you may picture yourself

Dirt Rag
The only cycling magazine I have ever subscribed to!
It may not make me leaner, it may not make me a faster climber, but it keeps me entertained!



the City Bikes mountainbike team site


Cross?Cyclocross?what is this word that appears over and over again in these postings?

but it shows some really stellar racers
doing things that I can not imagine


Race Report: Informal Cross Race, "Taxation without Representation Cross Race"
There was not even a week's warning. Sure there had been some talk about throwing something like this or should I say "putting something like this together," but the word did not come my way via email until it was already Tuesday, which was fine for me because I rarely make the final decision as to race or not until Friday and often Saturday. The scheduling initially was set for Saturday Am which would have conflicted with me playing dad while my wife does Ashtanga Yoga, but soon before the weekend the event day moved to Sunday. This suited me fine and eliminated the guilt option of not racing the Dan's Race at McKeldin Valley mountainbike race at Patapsco State Park. Before the Friday evening had arrived we had 6 would be definite and a score of strong maybes. I say we because by this time Marc had invited me along to help set up and design the course, Don Quiote needed his trusty Sancho Pancho. The low numbers and the aim to make it an event that did not kill the day aided in the final decision to just have one 45 minute session. No Clydesdale Class, No Single Speed Class, No Trans-gender Men, No Trans-gender Women, just one class.

Sunday morning came along faster than expected. So fast that I had not yet ridden on my new tubular clincher cross tires from TUFO nor had I had a chance to put on my new brake calipers from SPOOKY. But with Marc picking me up at 8:15 I had plenty of time after a couple of cups of coffee to break through the morning haze and the Red Wine headache.....ouch! Too much wine and not enough sleep, but this is nothing new. I have proven to be a creature of habit, bad habit. I managed to put the new calipers on the rear, but did not have time to clean the drive train or check the gears. Marc showed up 7 minutes early, which forced me to just grab my gear and run out the door with some fruit in hand for breakfast (and of course there was a can of Red Bull.) There was a little bit of a buzz in the air, sort of that pre-party jitters...will they like my famous family hot dog recipe or will people get along or do I look fat in this dress? Mary, Marc's wife. dropped us off at Alice Deal Junior High. I felt like a freshman on his first day. Where to start? Where to go? Will I fit in? Will anybody like me? that sort of thing. We got to Ft Reno Park with very little idea of what sort of terrain we were going to be working with, nor did we have any idea if anyone was going to show up and if they show up will they find us in time for the start.

Having bicycled to this very park for a history of summer concerts for the past many decades I am vaguely familiar with the layout. But that does not do anything for the fact that neither of us have ever designed a cross course before. But we had each done a number of races at different venues utilizing a variety of terrain, so we knew what we had to look for. There would have to be run ups, barriers (both natural and man made), there would have to be some long stretches to spin, and some off camber turns, on top of that we had to try and use any existing trails or paths that could flatter the course experience. Sure enough this Park had everything that we were looking for! Marc had reviewed a few maps and had used a few drive by opportunity to make a quick sociological study of the lay out of the park and what subcultures gather where and at what time. We were ready for dog walkers and joggers and would try to stay clear of soccer fields and tennis courts. There was even a predecided START/FINISHLINE. The rest all cam about pretty naturally. The topographcy offered for some great transitions both on and off the bike. We managed to start the course on a paved road that bottlenecked into a well beaten trail leading a slight grade uphill, only to make a sharp turn into a short run-up, then to remount and ride alongside a fence, drop into the left and then sharp right along a lower stretch of fence, over a log barrier and then down the hill at an angle under a large old oak tree to a fast dismount over a very tall natural barrier, then back on the bike just a bike or two lenghts before bisecting the pavement to get enough speed to ride up a moderate hill that could force some riders to run up, an off camber right turn drops the racers into a double set of man made barriers, the first more developed than the second, the second collapsing from the vibrations of the words, "GO!" at the starting line. The riders then dip onto a wide path for 20 yards and then run the perimeter of the natural amphitheater that surrounds the stage, then making a sharp turn onto a well beaten path that bisects the amphitheater only to bank left and cut back to run alongside the back of the stage. The course was well marked with a variety of small orange safety cones and safety color orange tape held in place by wodden states. The markings made good sense and kept the woodbe riders from getting confused, but the course was aided by the use of the natural surrounding and barriers, sets of trees made a tunnel effect that marc dubbed, "the tunnel of love." (guess he hung out in this park in high school as well.) After the tunnel of love there was a forced dismount to clear a fallen tree, then two more straight aways and a hard packed roll in and it was time to hit the course again. This rinse and reapeat process had us running roughly 9 laps.

As we finalized the set up process a few people started to show up. The first face was unfamiliar, he had gotten word of the informal cross gathering via email. He was a fit looking road rider from Glover Park named Will, I forget his team association, but his USCF license was up to date. Then Dave Vanneir, an old friend of Marc's from graduate school and currently a Mt Pleasant resident. The numbers were increasing. Some of those that said that they would come were all arriving. Then a minivan pulled down the road, it was Ad Bax, Marc's rowing doubles partner, he has been racing for Armetis and has brought is training partner with him, his son, Nick, a junior with some legs and some lungs. People were getting ancy. We felt that all that were going to arrive were present and accounted for. So we took a prelap together discussing the basic trail set up and the race option of one class. The lap finished up and I felt that I was satisfied with my performance and my place setting as was ready to call it a day and head for home. But it would not prove to be that easy.

Marc went out fast. We all went out fast behind him. At the first run up there was some healthy competition as the racers dismounted and scrambled up the hill vieing for position. Cleatlessly I slipped several times but was able to throw enough elbows to manage to get up the hill second after marc. This acted to set the positioning for the first half of the race. I don't blame it on over training, not even going to blame it on undertraining or racing on an empty stomach with just a few hours of sleep, I went out too fast. Cross is tough to gage like that. The pain had settled in, the urge to pull over and quit came on fast, the reasons to stop seemed to outweigh the reasons to pound on further. Yet I maintained, worked through my burn and battled my demons. Marc was pulling further and further away, but I was managing to hold the same gap between me and other racers. First it was Mark Drajem, an old friend of Marc's from Notre Dame, who has been bitten by the cross bug. But the father son duo. Dad Bax and Baby Bax were able to pass Drajem and were maintaining a fighting pace behind me, forcing me to push harder to keep them behind me. Fantasies of standing along the side were behind me. I was in this thing, the pain would stop when the race stopped. My arms burned and my back ached, but I felt moderately fluid, my dismounts were rapid and fluid, I cleared the barriers with grace and easy, like yak over rocky terrain. But if I was so fluid, then why did I drop my chain on a remount? The chain was jammed. Getting the chain to dislodge and remounted was enough time for Family Bax to catch me and roll past. I was forced to run up a section that was ridable with momentum. Back on the bike. Drajem on my tail, Dueling Baxes in front of me, clearly enjoying some healthy father/son competition, Marc somewhere off in the distance and Dave Vannier making a strong showing trailing just a little bit behind Drajem. The course ended in that order. Everyone was winded with a big smile on their faces.

Everyone pitched in with some clean up along the trail, all of our markings were to be removed. Well everyone but Will. He did not stick around. Somewhere on the first lap he either got bitten by a dog or was having trouble with his TIME cleats. The story is not clear. I was too determined not to have an ashma attack than exchange pleasantries as I passed him sitting along side the trail on the second lap. The tape/stakes/and barriers were up and out, the cars were loaded on the various cars, and seatbelts were buckled. We were headed home with our race adventure behind us. There may have been enough time for me to drive out to Patapsco for the Dan's Race, but not on this day. It was back home for some lunch and a trip to the park with Dean and Lisa. The burn in my back and the tension in my legs was a good pain, a pain that made me smile or maybe it was Dean making me smile. Either way....I was smiling.


Bicyclist Dies After Fall, Is Still Unidentified

Car Key Among Few Clues In Case

POSTED: 1:29 p.m. EST November 4, 2003
UPDATED: 4:15 p.m. EST November 4, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Park police are trying to identify a bicyclist who was killed after falling from his bike earlier this week.

Officers said the man fell off his bike on Hains Point Sunday at about 3 p.m. He was seriously injured in the fall and was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

The man had no identification on him and has not yet been identified.

Officers said the bicyclist appears to be an Asian male in his 30s who is about 5 feet 7 inches tall. He weighs 170 pounds and has short thinning black hair.

The man had a key to a BMW in his possession. He was wearing a red, white and blue jersey with the sponsor name "Robert Forster Sports Physical Therapy and Massage" on it.

Police released a picture (right) of the bicycle on Tuesday. It is a silver Titanium Lightspeed Catalyst with a yellow seat and blue handlebars.

Anyone with information about the accident or the man should call the Park Police Tipline at (202) 610-8737.
end of another week
start of another weekend
this week did not include much riding
this weekend will not include any racing
any formal racing that is!

it seems that my brother is coordinating an informal cross gathering
not a race perse
but when you ride with my brother you usually end up racing
and lately I have come to expect losing
he has become quite the force
his speed and fitness has hit a new level
as I am finishing mid pack in the B category cross races
he has moved up a class to the 35+
and has some very positive results

there should be an assortment of riders
a current talley of 10
a variety of cooks and characters
such is cross racing
(not unlike cross dressing....refer to an earlier post for more on that)

we should be setting up the course on saturday afternoon
expect an update early next week


As as bicycle commuter there can never be the question, "to ride or not to ride," as it is unsafe to ask that question.....

Each day offers a myriad of excuses for not riding...
-It is TOO HOT.
-It is TOO COLD.
-It it TOO WET (as it is today and was yesterday.)
-It is too nice outside.
-I am running TOO LATE.
-I just don't feel like it.

Giving way to any of these excuses will lead the commuter down a difficult path where they try and hand pick their days for riding to work. Which will become more difficult to select as a new list of excuses enter the equation.

-I have a meeting at work today and I don't want to carry all that extra clothing.
-I am meeting people for drinks after work and don't want to ride home in the dark.
-There are people coming in from out of town and I need to make them dinner.

This is starting to feel like an episode of FAMILY FEUD....as I pan my brain for more excuses. Funny I don't have any trouble finding these excuses as I gather my stuff in the morning for my ride to work. But the point is made. If you want to ride your bicycle to work you need to ignore the excuses and create a system.

The system for me involves leaving shoes and pants at work and traveling with shirt, underware, and socks. When my pants get dirty, I use the dry cleaner by work. There is also a cold weather jacket at work so I do not have to offend my coworkers with commuter gear that is heavily laced with "STINK FACTOR!" There is also a towel and bathroom supplies for those seldom days where I go for a longer ride or get so dirty that I feel I must shower to keep my job. Some GOLD BOND and some SPEED STICK tend to mask the odors of the morning well enough, or people are too gentle to tell me otherwise.

This SYSTEM must also include the correct cycling equipment...
A Bicycle (at least one, but more if you can afford it) Lights, Helmet, More Lights, Rain Gear, fenders and rack on bike.
This could get very involved so I will stress the basics again, bicycle and lights (helmet is obvious)

enough for now
I need to get to work
so I have a job tomorrow

For me there is no real choice. Work is only 15 minutes away. Driving would be a more involved process than riding my bike, well perhaps not if I factored in the changing into riding gear and into work clothing when I arrive to work. For me the issues compound after work as I try to extend my work out to get some exercise....

The key is to ignore those little voices. Get up with the intention of riding and well and that 20th Century philosopher NIKE once said, "JUST DO IT!"


Today 10-28-2004The Tuesday before Halloween there is race event that holds an energythat is unrivaled in the DC metropolitan area. The risks are great, it is fast, dangerous, and clearly not a race for the faint at heart or those with weak ankles. This race is DC' s annual High Heel Drag Races! It is a three block sprint down 17th Street in the Dupont Circle area, all participants are dressed in "drag" and are dawning "high heels!" I am not sure what the victory "purse" is on this day, but the speeds are high and the risks are higher....there are sure to be more than a few skinned knees before the night is up. The race and the event surrounding the race is a spectacle. A strange small subculture that may usually hide behind closed doors is out in the open on display for all to see on this night. The costumes are nothing shy of FLAMBOYANT! Thick make-up and deep voices gather with shaved legs and short skirts, sequins and boas are everywhere. The costumes are often more than just a man in a dress. There will be group themes, long lines of roller bladers snaking through the crowds, test your movie knowledge and guess what famous actress that some of these men are trying to portray, expect to see more than one Divine look-a-like, and then of course there will be some men that are so convincing that you may want to check for an Adam's apple before you share a cab ride home. You will not get event credit for attendance, but you are sure to be entertained. Show up as early as 7 to get a good spot on the street...the race usually goes on around 9PM. (helpful hint: I have scaled the telephone pole behind the McDonalds for a great overhead view and found that to be a great vantage point, especially pleasing to those who don't care to be pressed in a crowed like a herd of cattle being lead off to slaughter)

Cyclocross is a strange subculture that also involves deep voices,
shaved legs, and flamboyant skintight outfits. The racing is heart
pounding and there is a certain amount of risk. Yet the odds of
hooking up with one of your fellow racers is lower at these events
than at the High Heel races. Cyclocross racing is not unlike the
cross dressing High Heeled Races in the respect that the events are fun for the spectators and the participants alike. On last Sunday, the Sunday before Halloween there was a cycling race held in Reston, this annual event is known as the "All Hallows Cross." The course is a classic cross course held in Lake Fairfax park offering a variety of terrain including dirt, grass, and some asphalt. There are long sections of grass, some off camber turns, with some short fast hard pack descents and climbs that can be ridden up or for the cross- minded a quick dismount and run up, and of course in the classic cross fashion there were some steeple chase barriers at certain sections of the course that force the riders to dismount from their bicycles, leap over the shin high barrier, and then remount the cycle.

On this day I lined up in the B Category with fellow City Bikers
Brian P and Rocco. There was the classic prerace anxiety. I had
arrived prepared; my bike was tuned, after registration there was
plenty of time to warm up, and most of all I had approached this race with a renewed mind set. It is not that I had any intention of taking the other B racers to school, by no means do I feel that I am the fastest or the fittest racer at the line, but rather my intention was to race this race with intensity and passion, to give it my all, and to see where that puts me when I cross the finishline. Most of all I was not going to let the looks of my opposition psych me out.

The race went well for me. There is no need for a play by play. There were moments of near drama; I nearly got taken out by other racers who crashed at certain points in the race and there was a point where I felt as if I should just pull off the course and pack it up. But I did not crash nor did not quit. I raced as hard as I could. When the long 45 minute plus one lap race finally came to a close for me I found that even with my extended efforts I still only finished midpack (19th out of 33 racers.) Even though I did not finish any closer to the leaders of this race I still feel positive about my performance. Cross similar to mountainbiking can offer a wide variety of courses that flatter one riders style or another's. as well as the notion that some race venues and races within certain series may draw a faster gathering of cyclists. Either way a good time was shared by all! Rocco tried to inspire me with a game of "cat and Mouse" but I lacked the power to reel in that 10 second gap between us....

I look forward to doing more Cyclocross races this season, but am
considering doing another mountainbike race this weekend (that is if I race at all)
In accessing my efforts and achievements in cross I am starting to
think that my greatest weakness is that my body is not entrained with the style and fit of the cross bike, my muscles are more in tune with the positioning of my mountainbike. So, if I plan to have greater success with cross racing in the seasons to come I may want to consider riding my cross bike in advance to the cross season, and more frequently than just at races.

Don't miss the High Heel Drag Races tonight!
as for me...
I will be at home with Dean while Lisa is out of town on a business
but if I had the chance, I would definitely head down there for a
look at the madness!


One reason to race is that there is always regret when I miss out on such thing.

There are events offered all over the country, most of which are annual. It has been years since I did the 24 Hours of Tahoe or te 24 Hours of Moab....it makes me envious to see the lap times and the tallied final results....for some reason I want to look at those results and see my name, my results, my efforts, and my story.
will my rain dance pay off?

my preloaded excuses did not pay off!
the inability of my Landcruiser to start was discovered this afternoon rather than tomorrow/Sunday morning
lisa said, "yes" when she should have said, "no, you can not borrow the car!"
the back up rides were all lined up in case she said, "no"
no one stole my cross bike as I absent mindedly left it outside last night
there is no backing out
guess I am headed to Reston for the cross race at Lake Fairfax

I can still foolishly take a route that is blocked by the Marine Corps Marathon! That will keep me from getting there on time.

the bike is tunned
(sure it is lacking the SPOOKY brake calipers and the TUFO tubular clinchers that I have been waiting for)
everything is ready to go
all I need to do is finish this bottle of wine and go to sleep


The Internet holds a great deal of information.
Here is a link to some information that is truly useful.

I would have been a better man in my single years had I had such clear guidance.


Here is a great resource is you are ever looking for a map of a National Park.
This is a link to the NPS' map of the C&O Canal
It goes well with the posting below.

THIS IS AN EMAIL FROM A FEW YEARS AGO THAT TELLS ABOUT MY ADVENTURES TRYING TO RIDE THE C&O CANAL ON MEMORIAL DAY (the whole 186.6 miles, plus the final few from its start in Georgetown to my house in Mount Pleasant)

my weekend
that is if you care......

Well I did it
now it is done
on another day in half the time (well nearly half the time)
or at least half the pain

I figure that i spent twice the energy to go nearly half the speed
mud is no friend to the cyclist

it seemed like a good idea
get dropped off in cumberland
set up camp for a bit
catch a few ZZZZs
and pedal on into DC
take the C&O canal its 186 miles from cumberland to georgetown (and then the last few miles would be icing on the cake as i stride on up to mt pleasant)
((remember some things are often more easily said than done))

well it started wonderfully
cool weather and a full moon
lisa and dean dropped me off in cumberland
I loaded up the bike and headed to the start (well actually the end) of the C&O
pedaled in two miles
went off trail a bit and set up a hamock/tent that i got as a wedding gift
this was the first use of this handy little toy
I was amazed at its comfort and with the clear sky I opted to go "flyless"
watched the moon overhead
the netting on top worked great
but the contact to the backside was perfect for mosquito attack
I was victimized
this made for some adaptation and some itchiness and some trouble falling asleep

finally asleep it was time to get up
checked my watch
slept through my alarm (as short as that sleep was)
got up a half hour late
it was 3:30 AM and I was excited to get things started
tore everything down
packed everything up
I was on my way
dc here i come
I ran head on into a thick wall of fog
my headlamp reflected right back at me
so I rode with my fingers crossed that no trees had fallen in the nights prior and
gripped the handlebars bracing for any unseen divots or rocks
a touring white knuckle adventure

the fog dissipated
and the wild life was booming
deer shot across the trail right in front of me from both sides
and frogs foolishly played chicken with my front wheel (I did not feel any slippage, so I think I avoided all of those brainless amphibians)
a variety of birds did their morning feeding and swarmed about
and the miles started to add up behind me

the early stretches of canal are some of the most scenic
wide open farmland and a wall of mountains ride to the right of the trail
the potomac somewhere over there often close, often unseen
along with the natural beauty there is also the architectural ruins of another time
numerous iron bridges and devices rusting away
recalling the last time a train touched their tracks
and the buttressing of a bridge that is not there

finally getting to the pawpaw tunnel
a trail highlight
a mile of darkness (well not for me with my nightrider light system)
bats swooping over head
and the spooky sound of water dropping from the ceiling to the canal and echoing all the way
it is quite the feat
and it keeps the trial level
to have to climb to the mountain peak would make for a very different riding experience

this would be an email as long as the ride if I continued reviewing each mile for you
long story short (and we all know i have no short stories)
what was fog on my side of the paw paw
was rain on the other
my trail which was a little moist and slow on the early stretches
turned into a intermittent puddles and occasional mudbog

the first 60 were harder than 60 miles should be
but things were only to get worst
conditions were to get sloppy and slow
and my strength was only to weaken
and my moral was to drop

only two flats (neither pinch)
one rack repair
and the need to disconnect the rear brakes
and I made it home in slightly less than 20 hours

being the athlete that I am I survived off
circus peanuts, breakfast sandwiches at the SHEETZ gas station
over priced and marginally prepared burger and chilli dog in Harpers Ferry
lots of caffeine flavored sodas
several gallons of gatorade
and a variety of powerbar products
caffeine was the life saver all the way

other than the bike
my greatest casualty is the numbness to my hands
and the pain in my shoulders
I rode my cross bike and the body position put me in a position on the bars which fried my shoulders

when I got home my hands and feet were corrugated with the folds and fissures that resembled the rugae of the brain

but I did finish it
show that it could be done, even on the worst day
on a dry day it could offer greater pleasures (sunburn and heatstroke I guess)
(oh did I mention that the last 40 miles were accompanied by a thunderstorm and a downpour?!)

in addition to the wonderful ruins, the pain and hallucinations
the wild life was a plus
box turtles, snapping turtles, and a water variety which I would call a slider (marc may call them the american chicken turtle)
no snakes
all sorts of birds: finches, robins, different types of woodpeckers to name a few
several types of deer (all of which were as scared of colliding with me as I was with them)
fish jumping
fishermen fishing
and boaters boating, american life at its reddest
a few touring cyclists
most going the opposite direction
those that I had caught up to talked to and then passed were all doing 12 to 20 mile stretches
a couple starting a trek to Vancouver, looked like a great way to start a relationship (or to end one)

much more to say
but I have said enough already

I am going to ice my knees and take some ibuprohen