Here is a little PSA I sent to the folks at work....
It is good information to be shared.
I am certain that not everyone has been alerted to the vuenerability of the U-Lock with the circular key....nor do many people know about the opportunity for return.
Share this with your people (family, friends, co-workers, fellow students....anyone with a bike)

This message is directed to those with bicycles....

Most any and everyone who owns a bicycle also owns a Kryptonite Lock.
It has recently been discovered that the U-locks with the circular keys can be picked quite easily with a Bic Pen!Kryptonite is responding to this with a chance to return the locks.

Do not take the risk of locking your bicycle (or anything for that matter) with a lock that has this circular style key!

here is a news report on the lock issue, USA TODAY


and here is a video showing someone pick the lock

please share this information with friends and family
(or take action for your kids and their locks)
happy trails
share the road



I could lose a whole day to this stuff
Smoking Gun Mug Shot Collection
worth a look
see your heros at their best!
The removal of this BLACK CLOUD is a process that has started to steamroll!
Just as the negative aspects of life can join and gather strength to create an over welming force the same goes for the positive forces....

The NEW CAR ('04 Honda Element.....SUPER FUN!) carries a wide variety of positive side effects.

First, it is a new car....so many things that my '84 Landcruiser is not....the Landcruiser is not all that dependable, not all that comfortable, not all that luxurious, and not all that safe to drive (the headlights are dim, the wiper blades do not clean the windshield, no airbags, no ABS, no independent suspension, and on top of all that the stereo is not loud enough to be heard over the engine.....and the car is old and although it runs now....it runs the risk of having issues down the road....a new car is a new car and with that New Car Smell come other new car things! Old cars need repairs and new cars need payments.)

Along with the new car I was able to come legal and clean. Having lived in the District for over a decade I have always had a Maryland driver's lisence, even though I lived in Colorado and California (with a Colorado DL) in between my life in Maryland and my life in DC. It just was easier to use my parent's address for the cars I opted to own....before the Landcruiser I had a '66 Nova which I was able to by pass inspection by getting it registered as HISTORIC! And with the Landcuiser I took advantage of the single inspection for purchase vs. the DC inspection every two years! There is no way that the Landcruiser would have passed the DC inspection every two years without some sort of random repairs that seemed less than vital to get me from point A to point B (the trails or the race.)

But now I have a new lisence and I will have DC tags....a little less SKOFF LAW behavior for this father of two.

Another thing....VOTING!
My voter registration seemed to have lapsed. Last election I had my father check the polls in Montgomery County the morning when he voted, I was not on the list in either DC or in Maryland. So I wanted to be registered to vote in time for this year's election. I wanted to be able to say.....

That asshole in the BMW with the W Sticker voted for our current president.

So not only do I get to vote. But I do not have to worry that my car is going to get a ticket from the friendly neighborhood meter maid! I will have DC tags and DC parking permits!


the list goes on
I need to get back to work

more later

all is good
the family is healthy and whole
got the PERMIT for the deck
got a new car
now....need to sell the old Landcruiser and finish the deck!

my body hurts....
the local trails hurt more
yesterday was a comedy of errors (as described in the previous post)
after work I went for a quick cross town spin on the Karate Monkey Single Speed
there had been a sprinkling of rain that day,but the earth was still bone dry.....go figure
in my travels on the way home I linked dirt to asphalt to dirt to asphalt dirt to asphalt always being aware of oncoming trail users and respectful of their right to a placid good time
knowing when to expect a horse
never screaming at top speed around blind curves
well, maybe a low level scream... it is mountainbiking and not touring
never going out of control
well, maybe testing the limits a little as I like to feel alive
always familiar with the trails and the obstacles ahead
and even recoginzing the some of the regular trail users
the dirt was hard and dry with a thin coat of dust on top
the local hiking trails have really seen some serious pounding in the last few years
the number of hiker and dog walkers and the frequency of use has really increased
and the wear is showing
each day as I hike my dogs or when I make my occasional cross trail trip I daydream about starting my own NOT-FOR-PROFIT... TRAILHEADS.org .....because trail repairs always start with the TRAILHEADS
I daydream about getting a long list of joggers, dog walkers, then the hashers, and the hired dog walkers to come out on a weekend day and volunteer their time
in assistance to the volunteered time I imagine getting the NPS involved with a few hired hands
a few seasoned workers with knowledge of trail maintenance (or some of my friends from MORE would be helpful as well....Mike and Joe of MORE have each said some very simple things about trail maintenance that should be implemented on our ever eroding trails) But more than anything I imagine having the National Park Service drop off earth....the trails need EARTH!
the leashless dogs along with the rain and the indigenous animals have stripped the land of its top soil
if Earth is not added things will only decline more
so I imagine that I we have two types of earth delivered
a brownish orange earth for the trail/path and a brownish black fertile dirt for the area around the path
in this daydream I have made a rectangular box out of 2X6 about 8 feet long maybe 12 inches wide
the orangish dirt is used to fill this wooden rectangle and packed down
the fertile earth is put on its sides
logs are used as anti-erosion barriers to guide runoff and to keep the rain water from stealing all the new earth
the orangish dirt is selected to aid in guiding the hikers to stay on a more narrow track of path
the surrounding dirt would be seeded with an indigenous grass....my Latin and Science is not existing...so I will not try to fool you with any false names
I also would not mind adding an occasional indigenous tree....maybe a few more firs (but placed no more frequently than they would naturally appear in
on this same trail maintenance day I imagine some over zealous volunteers rushing deeper into the trails with wheel barrows full of earth to repair trail cross roads
to make the trails there more clear and to aid in keeping the hikers from bisecting trails and cutting corners....as such actions end up killing all the vegetation and making the trails unnecessarily wide (and unattractive)

I do realize that there is something great about how ROCK CREEK PARK is kept in its "natural state"
but the current natural state is DECLINE
if this momentum is not reversed we will have a large bald plantless patch of land
perhaps I will act on bringing this daily fantasy to a reality level
currently I try to do my part
it seems easy enough if everyone did the minimum then the trails would be in better shape....
the minimum....Stay on the trail and do not leave any trash.
I try to take it to the next level by picking up trash and by trying to keep the trails clear of fallen trees and by also adding an occasional natural anti-erosion barriers with a fallen tree that create a natural steps

if everyone did the minimum plus the occasional trash pick up we would see the trails maintain instead of decline
then on top of that if we could add some earth at each trail head....perhaps the plant growth could stretch from trail head to trail head filling in all the trail in between
but remember
it all starts at THE TRAILHEAD

are daffodils and tiger lilies indigenous?

who do I talk to to get this earth delivered to the trailheads
if I just started on the trails closest to my house in Mt. Pleasant....
I could witness its effect and see if such an effort could hold
and perhaps inspire people to take positive control of other urban trails that are in decline

what would be the best time of year to make such an effort?

(I once wrote a childrens book on a napkin, Dean and Dad go Hiking....it covered the experience of a father and son going hiking well prepared and respecting the trails and the wildlife as they hiked.....much like most of my ideas....it faded away)

unrelated question....if a spaceship goes MARS to get a sample of dirt....is that dirt called Mars? Dirt on Earth is called Earth....


my fucking arm
went for a great post work ride in the woods
was waiting for a space between cars as I traveled from trailhead to trailhead
while stalled in a track stand I antipated that it was clear
nudged forward
then an SUV, the mother of all SUVS came roaring around the corner
I altered my momentum and started to turn around
to dodge near death I made a turn too sharp and too fast
was able break my fall by nearly breaking my forearm

gotta roll
still need to walk the dogs
just BLOGGING while they process my auto insurance for the new car.
New Car.....New License

I took the plunge
went ahead and bought a new car
dam that was easy
they want you to take that car off their lot
no money down.....and here are the keys
very odd....very very odd
the simplicity of it all explains why there are so many cars on the road

here is my car.....well....minus the surboard and minus the cool

The Element has Landed!

that was easy.....
100% financing!
no wonder there are so many cars on the road
they want you to take the cars off the lot

walked in shook hands
drove the car of my choice around
signed some papers
drove it home
now it is parked across the street from the Land Cruiser
never thought it was so simple

shockingly I got better financing from Honda than my insurance company


I need a car
well, I am not sure I need a car
but by American Standards I do need a car, by American I mean United States...not anyone else in North, Central, or South America
sure Lisa has a Volkswagon Passat, but when she is using the car my hands are tied
when I am home with the kids and lisa is at work or some other funciton I am land locked
when I want to go to a race I can not abandon her without a vehicle with the kids
on top of that this month Dean's school moves to a new location while the 100 year old building gets a face lift
that face lift will take a year
as much as I want to take my son across town in the Burley Trailer behind the bike
I honestly do not thing that it will be a practical idea
the cross town traffic is brutal
the streets are unkind
I am more than familiar with the route as I took that path to get to my job at General Typographers a few years back
my life was endangered and threatened on each direction, many times intentionally
so the thought of putting Dean at risk so that I can maintain some sort of cyclist ethic may be selfish or more so short sighted and dangerous

so....I am selling the old Landcruiser
and looking for a new car
well...I was looking for a used car
had some ideas on how much I wanted to spend and what I wanted
those ideas grew and changed
started wanting the Subaru Forrester.....then my wants moved to the Honda Element
started shopping for a used Element.....well....they started making these in 2003 which leaves the pickings a tad slim....well.....slim if you are looking for Manual Transmission
so....my shopping got bumped up to the next purchase level
I did not want to save a small fraction of the purchase cost and risk that the previous owner ragged the shit out of this vehicle in its first year of life
so I am now shopping for a new car
getting ready to grab my angles and get the under coat and the spray coat on the interior

spent the day online looking for the deal
not sure if there is a deal
wish I could find the NO HAGGLE DEAL!
where is the NO HAGGLE DEAL?
and can I haggle them down?
Here is a shot from the Shenandoah Mountain 100
That is me with friend and fellow Clydesdale Chris Redlack
I am the bald one with the wheels (a great prize for finishing first in the Clydesdale Class)
Chris is the one double fisting the BEERS!
(yes, chris and I both went to St. Mary's College of Maryland.....yes....the girls from SMC can out drink most men at other colleges in the US)

My Morning....

This morning I hugged the pillow till after 8am, which is late for a father of two. I enjoyed those final moments in bed, while lisa entertained both Dean and Grant. When I finally rose out of bed Lisa went out with the dogs and I stirred some coffee and loaded Grant in the backpack and finished dressing Dean for school. When we left for school it was a pleasure to have Grant on my back rather than the dogs at my side, this left my hands free to carry my second cup of coffee along with me as I walked Dean the three blocks to his pre-K at Rosemount Center. Dean traded his bicycle for his scooter this am, I did not object.

Once at "art class" I was mobbed by all of Dean's fellow students. They were all asking to be chased around the room then they noticed Grant....the crowed gathered. Crowd control mode stepped in as I tried to keep all the germ covered hands off my venerable seven month old son. Rather than aggravate the teachers with my usual routine of rilling up the kids and then evacuating I opted to read to the children. Freddy had a BATMAN book and Dean wanted. I felt that my reading it to the class was a good compromise. The children all gathered in an orderly fashion in a semi-circle as I sat my monsters size body in the child size chair. Everyone behaved miraculously well as I went from reading the book to ad-libbing the text to move things along faster. There was no complaint. After finishing the BATMAN book the kids were asking for more, one of the students had a TOY STORY book that I had to bargain to get my hands on. Upon opening the book I was amused to see that I was reading to the class in Spanish, the teachers were impressed by my ability to read the rudimentary Spanish to the children. The children all enjoyed themselves and I felt as if Dean was proud to have me as a father. As I went for a third book, Eleanor halted my progress and told me that it was time for them to hit the playground before a field trip to the new location of the school. I could not argue with a trip outside. So I loaded Grant on my back and headed for the door. Said my Good-byes to the kids and a special good bye to my son and headed out the door.

What a great way to start my day!

Once home I responded to my pager. Work was calling me in early. My hopes to do some riding before work had been dashed. I loaded up my pack with clothing for the day, left over Chicken Curry for lunch, and some dog biscuits and some dog food for the homeless guy with a dog in front of the McDonalds down the block from my office. Mounted the bike and guided my route a few blocks longer than usual to work.

I pointed the rigid single speed towards Malcom X Park (Meridian Hill) and took in some of the sights and sounds of the city. It is a glorious park with a long stretch of cascading water falls and artful steps. It was a rocking horse ride down the long stretch of stairs, a tad brutal on the body, yet a pleasure just the same. I passed children playing, people walking their dogs, and homeless people sleeping, and a man with what appeared to be his day's paper work sorted out on the sidewalk in front of him. Just as I was thinking that we need to take Dean and Grant to hang in this glorious park I got a whiff of some shit; human shit. The smell got stronger, then right in front of me was a large cow pie....pray for rain or a park service attendant to clean that shit up....it was rank.

I rolled out of the park back onto the street. Headed for the McDonalds on M Street to hand off the dog food, found the homeless man in front of the CVS on the next block. Had a pleasant exchange. The dog was reluctant to eat the food, but the owner was grateful. We talked and I told him I would bring him some clothing that I did not need. Although I hate to enable the behavior of the homeless, I also realize that not everyone has been given the same opportunities and guidance that I have been given. Life is hard for everyone, even for those as lucky as my family...I can not imagine how hard life is for this homeless man and his family.


Hamilton Cleared

Tyler Hamilton give a NIXON-ESQUE pose for the Press....
making me feel secure that he is in fact...."not a cheat!"
Abandoned Bikes

Where do all the bikes go?

Who are the people that leave their bikes locked up outside for months?

Here is a site with some images from in and around NYC...Abandoned Bikes

I love dumpster diving!
In this area I have made some serious scores.
Which reminds me....I still have not finished that Outback project for my wife
Common Courtesy and Common Sense
(most people possess neither)

Everyday I interact with a wide variety of people, both at work and just in my travels on the city streets. When entering and exiting a shop or restaurant I tend to be cognizant of people around me.....holding the door open when appropriate and yielding to others when the situation merits such. While driving I try to drive sensibly with respect to others safety and basic well being. And when on my bike....I move through the city like a ghost. Sure I may run red lights or split lanes (on the bike)...but for the most part I am not asking anyone to slow or speed up for me. Yes, there are time when I take the full lane, like when climbing on a narrow two lane road or when on a tight winding stretch of road. In these cases I feel it is my obligation to protect myself and to think for the car driver behind me. The drivers tend to think that they can pass within the lane inches from my side, so I make it such that the "pass" is more conscious, so that the car driver knows they have to go around me (wide) and that they need to take into account oncoming traffic. In these cases I am being both protective of my own well being and considerate of the lack forethought in some of the car driver's minds. At times people pass wide and dangerous, yes, I appreciate them giving me space, but I would hope that they are anticipating all oncoming obstacles (including oncoming cyclists.)

There are laws that were created to dictate our behavior. Each and everyone of us has taken it upon ourselves to re-evaluate the laws and modify them to suit our needs. The speed limit may say 25 MPH, yet everyone is moving along at 40. The sign may say STOP, but people "slow and go" without a glance. There may be a "no hands on cell phone use while driving," yet everyone is sending in an AUDIO-BLOG for their digital memoirs while driving down the road. I too modify these laws.....I tried to go the speed limit, but it was insighting ROAD RAGE to the drivers behind me. So instead I try to exist under the notion of being Courteous with Common Sense. Aware of my surroundings and knowing that going absurdly above the speed limit is more likely to cause an accident and will not get me their any quicker (as a cyclist I tend to travel a 7 mile radius around the city faster than most cars, even on the low geared single speed) Then when I dip into the woods for short stretches as I move across town on my bike I know that the sign says, "no bikes" (thanks for reminding me) but what I see as being more important is that I am riding safely and courteously. I slow and yield for all other trail users, always exchanging a pleasant hello. To me the law is one level, but the more important level is to be Courteous and exhibit common sense. Now, don't try and say that the courteous mugger with his pleasant hellos and his business like approach to taking your wallet is a good metaphor for my actions; cause it is not! ((more on this later))

Everyday I cross the street in front of my house several times, most every time with dogs or children, and sometimes both. The speed limit is 25MPH, yet people go 50. The center line is double solid yellow, yet people choose to slow to 35 MPH and swing wide around me. Exhibiting neither Kind, Courteous, or using Common Sense in their actions. When my life is put in danger I get angry, when my family's life is threatened I get ENRAGED. This morning as I walked Dean to the Rosemount Center just several blocks away. Dean and I waited patiently for the lights to change and for the cross walk to give him the WHITE HAND SIGNAL/Right of Way. As Dean peddled across the street in the crosswalk I moved along side of him with the dogs as a moving pick. As I looked 20 yards up the hill I could see a cab approaching the intersection ignoring the Red Turn Arrow and rolling straight for us. I stopped blocking the road and pointed at him. Obstructing the road with my 6'4" body point at him and making eye contact. Dean continued across the road, up onto the sidewalk then u-turned back towards me as I shared words with another ignorant cabbie. My words were censored and cut short as I was more concerned with getting Dean across the street and to art class than trying to educate another ignorant taxi cab driver who fails to understand the driving laws and regulations of this country. Taking some third world sensibilities and applying them here. It is hard enough to change my own behavior, how can I expect to change his. But I did fantasies....A swift kick to the balls and a few punches to the face, and maybe a few more kicks as he fell to the ground. A short simple fantasy that got my coffee ingested system operating at a higher level. Then the fantasy gets shut off......I am a father in front of his house. Such actions are for Cane in the old Kung Fu movies or maybe Billy Jack as he fights to protect the rights of the hippies and the Indians, not for me......I would go to jail or get my ass kicked or worse yet both. No lessons would be learned. And Dean would see his daddy at his worst and maybe on weekend visits.
I am not a tough guy. Have never been a tough guy. Never in my life have I thought that violence was a solution to any problem, in most cases it just acts to add more problems. Yet, when my family is put in danger I get these Incredible Hulk fantasies, "don't make me angry, you would not like me when I am angry -Bruce Banner."

So I walked on....
The cabbie stopped in his tracks...
He hung out his car door and I gave him hard stares..
Dean questioned what the exchange was about. And I tried to explain....there was no explaining
that is life in the city
the more people you encounter
the more idiots and assholes you will meet

people are selfish and stupid
with that said
I am on the late shift today
my time would be better spent spinning my single speed in the woods
and showering at work
rather than BLOGGING away and ranting on a topic that may only act to enrage me more

time to lose the morning on the bike
My Landcruiser....
so I am trying to sell my 20 year old truck
I have had all sorts of calls with all sorts of questions
most of the questions could be answered before calling me if the people paid attention to the make, model, and year....

"does it have driver side airbags?"
did any car have airbags in 1984....no
expand from there

"does it have a sunroof?"
did that make or model have a sunroof....no
expand from there

"is the truck clean?"
the truck is 20 years old, it is a truck, it is a truck....did I mention that it is 20 years old....no
expand from there

does the ac work?
there is ac for that make and model....but it does not work
(if you are looking for creature comforts......this is not your car.....it is a truck....not an POSH SUV....A TRUCK....it drives like a tractor....it that is what you are looking for...a covered tractor...then this is your vehicle...if not....look forward and further)

if people paid more attention to the make, model, and the price they would have a better idea what they are talking about

thus far I have spent more time talking people out of buying the truck than coming to see it
I have tried to give people directions to see it and offered to send pictures
you would be shocked at the number of calls from people without email or internet
these are the people without MAPQUEST and many of these people are the same people without a clue....

those are also the people without knowledge of bluebook value or other asking prices for such a vehicle, but I am not trying to rip anyone off
I am trying to sell a great truck; a truck that has served me well; a truck with many years of life left in it

"I am looking for a first car for my son..."
this is not the right car for him...stopping distance and handling are not like new cars
the way kids drive today....talking on the cell phone while taking the driver's test...I would be scared to see 4 high school kids coming down the road in an '84 Landcruiser

"I am looking for a car to take my kids to and from school..."
this may not be the car for your....it takes a few minutes to start and a few minutes to warm up on the cold days.....and sometimes on the warm days....not the car for Mr. Mom
(for less money there must be a Honda Accord out there that would suit such needs)

there have also been some other interested callers
people have looked at it
some people have already tried to haggle me down
but I have not arranged any test drives as I have not had the time
and have not wanted to waste my time
wanted to set aside last sunday.....but got called into work
wanted one day where all interested people came by
as two nights this week I have been on full dad duty...not possible to show the truck with Dean running one way and Grant crawling at turbo speed the other

if the truck does not sell this week with the forever dropping price (now $2,000)
looks like I will just donate it to whomever
but not the JAWS of LIFE
as this truck still has too much life in it to have it be torn appart by the Rescue Squad and their hydralic toys
Donate it to a foundation that will sell it and profit from it
maybe I will just trade it in for 50 cents when I buy another car



as Andrew said in my COMMENTS section....TYLER

Innocent or Guilty? (reuters)

or more recent....
as of 2 Hours Ago. (bicycling mag)

as a born cynic I always believed he was doping
also feel that a whole mess of those guys are doping
on top of that I believe that it is a fine line using unband substances that are one step ahead of the rules
that is just my opinion from the sidelines
it makes sense to argue that it is not cheating
I have heard both sides and understand both angles

cheating is cheating
winning is not taking a NYC Taxi cab to put you first at the finish in the MARATHON
it is not about who crossed the finishline first...somehow there is more
apparently there are some subtle differences that go missed by some
BLOGS and the NEWS....
I said to a friend of mine who works for 60 Minutes that she needs to pitch a story on BLOGS...
well, I said a few different things.....all of them a sentence....none of them a pitch...all of them a topic and not exactly an idea. But I felt that there has to be a story in the phenomena of THE BLOG. It really is a wonder of the modern times....
Did she listen?
recently BLOGS are breaking the NEWS before the networks

Kerry's Running Mate selection was first made public on a BLOG, seems a baggage carrier saw them painting the Kerry plane with Edward's name.

This girl on Capitol Hill that got fired for her at work Blogging and her blog topic.

now this soldier in Iraq

and the CBS Rather story....

all BLOG related
oh well
time to wake sleeping Dean
we should be walking to school right now


as the Bumper Sticker Says.... NO ONE DIED WHEN CLINTON LIED
and we all know I get all my political theories from bumper stickers

This photo is a composite of American soldiers who have died in Iraq over the last year.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Or in this case, hundreds of lives. And growing daily.
Please consider forwarding this note to eligible voters.
And let's remember in November...

and I ask, "for what?"

do you feel safer?


Old Friends, New Friends, and Smiles
Today after work I was able to get Dean to go out into the woods with me and the dogs
The only way to get him to come and do that same old loop across the street in Rock Creek Park was to invite our neighbor and his friend Elijah
Elijah and Dean are buddies.....it may be safe to say that they consider themselves best friends
Elijah was away in Spain all summer with his younger brother and his parents
Off visiting his grandparents while dodging the humidity and the mosquitos of Northwest Washington DC
Dean expressed missing Elijah on various occassions.
Elijah was good enough to write Dean a letter from Spain.
well, Elijah and his family are back and Dean can not get enough of him
They wrestle and they run then they wrestle some more til someone bonks their head and they break for some crying and then wrestle some more; and of course they laugh. They laugh a lot, their laughter is infectous. It is funny to see them.....they talk very little, yet they are always communicating.
This weekend past we Lisa and I got a babysitter for Grant and took Dean to the RFK parking lot for the weird and cool performers of Cirque de Soliel
Oddly enough....James and Ross had also booked a babysitter for their younger child and took Elijah to that same 5 o'clock show on Sunday afternoon.
Dean and Elijah were so pumped at the performance that seeing each other at intermission sent them running in circles. Twenty-five minutes of running in circles.....the full duration of the intermission only breaking to pee
Never once did they talk about what they had seen, yet they shared the experience.
Dean asked to sit with Elijah as we were corraled back to our seats after intermission then again a few times as the show started. After the show they ran smiling out of the yellow vynyll big top out into the parking lot, smiling , laughing, and holding hands until Dean rammed his head into a side view mirror.
Apparently today after Lisa picked up Dean from Rosemount Elijah stopped by and the boys unproductively played with their scooters....bicycles....tricycles.....exchanging and fighting over each vehicle all the while never doing much riding
so when I got home and offered to take Dean out with Elijah I found that Elijah had left minutes before my arrival and that Dean had not yet fulfill his Elijah fix.
A call to Ross and James showed that Elijah was excited to hike which meant that Dean was excited to hike as well.
The same hike that Dean refused to attend when it was just Roscoe, Brutus, and myself.
We hiked.
They ran and tripped and ran some more only to trip again. There was some game where I was to chase and they were to run all the time they taunted me with a gesture around the eyes like a bird watcher holding his binoculars. I kept a good pace right behind them occassionally catching them as they slowed to cross a fallen tree or to manover a technical rooted section. At this point I let out a deep belly growl, more comical than scary, and they would unleash the laughter. Energized to speed on ahead.
After a fair amount of running, a good amount of tripping, and a whole lot of screaming we came out of the woods to the end of Rosemount Road right behind the Rosemount Center only to find an odd looking Bohemian looking character with a thin framed body, loose fitting black clothes, and a wild scraggly beard. I had Roscoe and Brutus by the colar before we even made the turn and saw this strange man sitting on the log. Just as we were about to turn the corner to head past the man down the hill and onto the last bit of trail to home I heard a voice say my name. Without having to turn and look I smiled, it was Sven, I knew that voice. I walked over releasing Roscoe and then Brutus, Roscoe fell comfortably at Sven's feet. I then introduce the boys to the not so odd man resting on the log with his guitar. Sven was neither strange nor stranger, he is an old friend. A person who has always brought a smile to my face no matter how negative I may be trying to be. Sven and I have hiked together many miles with our dogs and ridden many miles together on our bikes. Our lives have taken similar yet different paths. Both continue to love nature and the city and that Sven is also a father and I am sure a wonderful one at that as he showed his skills by sharing his guitar with Elijah and Dean. Sven instructed them with his gentle voice as he got them to each strum the guitar. The meeting was brief, but enough to make me leave smiling and wondering why I do not smile more often.

more on this
the story never went full circle
but there are parental duties to tend to

night for now
(this blog entry was typed with Dean in my lap....Dean and I talked while I typed..He watched my hands on the keys and we discussed which letters were which and what buttons do what....at times Dean tested different keys ((F3 being his favorite of the day, a find command))....Dean is pretty good with the MOUSE....well, he can guide the cursor to hit play on a QUICKTIME MOVIE....which for three is a good start...the entry was ended abruptly when Grant woke up and started to cry, at which point I had to put Dean to bed and check on Grant...then the Disney movie began....Dean was in and out of bed....I was up and down the stairs....Grant was wide awake in my arms as it is hard to sleep when I am trying to be stern with Dean while trying to make him go to sleep or at least stay in bed....Dean eventually went to sleep or stayed in bed, Grant and I went downstairs, put on a CD, Roscoe was resting at my feet, we all relaxed til Lisa and Brutus got back from their errand......it is amazing to see 7 month old Grant respond to his mother coming through the door....the Love and Attachment is evident)
Pretty Cool
to bolster interest the hosts of the Lily Ponds Cyclocross Race are offering a 5 dollar off entry fee to mountainbikers without a USCF license (as to balance the annoying one day fee)
seems like a cool thing to do
I did the event last year (as well did my brother and Evan)
I got my ass kicked in the Bs (sometimes known as the KILLER BEES)
had a great time
(not to mention the free massage afterwards was pretty sweet)

read as follows
the message is from a person I have never met
or maybe I have....the cycling culture is small
he seems to be associated with one of my comic book character arch enemies.....KEVIN DILLARD a member of NCVC
one of the few mountainbike members of NCVC
one of the oldest cycling clubs in Washington DC
and also the former sponsor of one of my Clydesdale Comic Book Arch rival characters; Bill Davis
(well, maybe Bill Davis is more like a pro-wrestler....he is definitely a character!)
((if you care.....go to a race report to read how I got played by Bill Davis
in a 22 mile single track clydesdale event))

((((you have to scroll down past the images))))
should be a good event
if I am not celebrating Indian Summer with my family and my dogs in the Outer Banks I most certainly be there...cross bike and all

it is actually Lilypons
it looks like the money goes to a good cause

Hi Joel,
One of my mtn biking teammates, Kevin Dillard, (who is coming to lay down smack against the roadies at this cross race) suggested that I send you a bit of info for your blog.

We'll give any mtn bikers w/o a uscf license a $5 dollar discount for the race as they'll need to purchase a one-day license for $5.


2004 Ed Sander Memorial Century and Cross Race
October 2nd
Buckeystown, MD

In August 2001, NCVC member Ed Sander passed away in a training accident. To honor his memory, National Capital Velo Club and Edís former employer, Lilypons, hold an annual century ride with the proceeds going to a college scholarship fund for Edís only son, Chris.

Last year, we added a cross race to the day to spice the event up a bit. This race will be the First Event in the MABRA Cyclocross Series and the preseason warmup for the Verge Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Championship Series.

Start Time Class Duration Entry Places Prizes

10:00 Men's C 30 min $15 3 Medals
10:02 Women's B 30 min $15 3 Medals
10:45 Master's 35+/45+ 45 min $20 5/3 $250/Medals
10:47 Juniors 45 min $10 3 Medals
11:45 Men's B 45 min $20 3 Merchandise (100 value)
1:00 Women's A 45 min $20 5 $300
2:00 Men's A 60 min $20 8 $600

Online registration at www.bikereg.com. Pre-registration closes September 30, 2004.

To register by mail: send entry fee and 2004 standard release form to:
(Make Checks payable to NCVC)
Rob Campbell
4112 Wexford Ct.
Kensington, MD 20895
treasurer@ncvc.net 301-949-7970 (no calls after 9pm)

Registration: Opens at 9:00 am and closes 15 minutes before each race.

There will be a $5.00 unattached rider fee and a $5 day-of-registration fee. USCF or NORBA license required (one-day licenses are available). Minimum of 10 riders per category. All USCF/USA Cycling Cyclocross rules apply. Mountain bikes will be allowed WITHOUT bar ends. Field limit: 60.
USCF Permit Pending.

Directions for both Events:
>From DC: I-270 North to Exit 26 and proceed West on Route 80 (Finger Board Road). Left on Park Mills Rd. Right on Lily Pons Rd. Follow signs to parking.

>From Frederick, MD: Route 85 to Lily Pons Rd. Left on Lily Pons Rd. Follow
signs to parking.

>From Leesburg, VA: Route 15 North to Route 28. East to Route 85 North. Route
85 North to Lily Pons Rd. Right on Lilly Pons Rd. Follow signs to parking.


an american soldier blogs from Iraq

I read an article in the NY Times or maybe it was the Journal
NPR did a piece on this in late August.....

I have not read too deeply into it
it is worth a look

BIKE DC was a success!
wet, but a success

WABA (Washington Area Bicycle Association) held BIKE DC rain or shine this Saturday past....to the displeasure of many it was held with rain. Roughly 1,500 to 2,000 people braved the rain and took part in urban bike tour; many of the pre-registered riders stayed at home hugging the pillow while anyone and everyone who was a "maybe" turned out to be a "no" and hid under the sheets in their warm dry beds at home. There were 12 miles of blocked off car free road of family section plus an additional 22 miles of open road riding through various parts of the city. On the unrestricted parts of the tour the cars did their normal thing....which could have very easily been dangerous in some situaitons, but I did not hear of any injuries. Very little of this course was new or different for me. It seemed as if the whole course circled my house, never going more than a five mile radius from my warm bed. At times when I pedaled closer to home I lost focus for the BIKE DC path markers and felt my internal GPS take control of my body and point the bike towards a warm bed and dry clothes. Lucky for me I was riding along side fellow City Bike Mountain Bike Team member DT. On this day DT had no desire to cut the ride short. Having arrived on the scene at 5am that same morning to aid in the registration of the riders one would think that DT would have been ready to pack it up and head for home. But no! DT wanted to do the whole ride on his Bianchi PISTA track bike, for him there were parts of the city that he had never seen before. I was on my Surley Karate Monkey Single Speed geared a little easier than DT's track bike, but he was good enough to drop the pace to keep it social.

After a little while the rain was not an issue, it rained intermidently through the morning and got a tad chilly with some strong gusts of wind, but all in all it was a good time and I ran into very few people who were complaining. It was a gathering that united a small tribe of people, a tribe that calls themselves cyclists. There were all sorts of people out there ranging from CAT 1 roadies to families pulling toddlers and infants on trail-a-bikes and in trailers. The pace was mellow for all...a pace vehicle lead the pack in the front while a sag wagon picked up the stragglers in the back. DT and I were just two among many volunteers that day. Cyclists were standing like lycra clad soldiers standing guard at various corners to aid in directing the participants in the correct direction as well as cheering on to improve the moral of the troops. The rain did not break the spirits of any of the volunteers. There were familiar faces and familiar bicycles. I ran into old friends and made new ones.

The City Bikes Mountain Bike Team seemed to have a good representation at the event. I ran into and passed a good percentage of squad, even ran into old faithful, City Bikes shop owner Phil Kooperman, at a repair station at the START/FINISHLINE. It always amazes me...I see Phil volunteering his own time at all of these community events (some of which he and his shop host others he and his shop sponsor) yet, seldom see him at the shop. I must say, I do like his priorities. Phil was there with his bike and his heavily loaded down Burley Trailer where he was going to go from aid station to aid station leading the mechanic is speedy repairs to get troubled cyclists back on the road. Phil was not the only faithful contributer to the bicycle culture....there was also MORE President Scott Scudmore. Scott was also there early, he too was pulling a trailer offering aid to any and all cyclists in need of a quick adjustment or a flat repair. The bicycle culture would not be as tightly knit if it were not for leaders like Phil and Scott to pull us all together and to inspire us to give a little back outselves. We all may not be able to do as much as Phil or Scott, but even if we all do a little, it all adds up. Phil and Scott were just two of the many volunteers....there was the whole WABA staff along with their regular cast of volunteers....the POTOMAC PEDALERS....and various other clubs were represented (NCVC, CITY BIKES, MORE, etc) There were couriers and ex-couriers, there were racers, roadies, and freaks and yes....even geeks...the bike culture has it fair share of geeks. Everyone out there braving the wind and the rain in an effort to have a good time and to make our place in society stronger.

(foolish of me not to stress the employees of WABA. it is people like the employees of WABA that work to insure that cycling has a future in Washington DC and the surrounding area. with that said...my friend mike k.' s wife works for WABA and was at the STARTLINE setting up and tearing down from 4am til 4 pm and she is eight and a half months pregnant....that is the type of commitment that gets things done...thanks to mike's wife and others like her)


That is what this whole BIKE DC thing is about; Solidarity.
Getting out there and getting together.

Having the cyclist all stand together. On this day it is not a race on the dirt, a race on the track, or a race on the Capitol Crescent Trail....it is a chance to ride together. Old and Young.....Doctors along side of Computer Technicians....couriers along side of policemen....the Titanium Road bike along side of the steel clunker purchased at Walmart. On this day we are all the same.....CYCLISTS.

Once it was all over and the cold wet miles were behind me I gathered with a slew of cyclist at the WABA table which was convienently next to the DOMINOS table where I ate some slices while sharing the final minutes of the day with some fellow cyclists. There was very little talk about wet feet or soaked gloves....some did joke that a climb or two were missed and that they should be added for next year, but over all the course was more than pleasant. It was a feel good day even inspite of the rain. Very glad that this event exists and just as glad that I participated and offered my assistance.....even if the only bike I had to do a repair on was that of an unregistered homeless man with a flat tire. I figured although he was not registered for BIKE DC today....it looks like he rides BIKE DC everyday.

next year I plan to be out there again
hopefully the weather will be more welcoming
and that there will be a greater turn out


Time to Get Back on Track.

Okay, it is time to get back on track. Those small pockets of moisture are again starting to gather and group to form into that omnious BLACK CLOUD. Time to get PROACTIVE.
This morning I have taken small actions that should have been taken sooner....

My '84 Landcruiser must be sold. Enough time has passed. Although I am still greatly attached to this rusty old beast I must let it go. This truck has served me well, but it does not suit my needs as a father. It just is not practical for a father's needs. An ad has been placed in the Washington Post for this SUNDAY. I hope to sell the truck Sunday Evening....Wishful thinking?
Yes, but if I do not sell it by Monday Night....I will take steps to donate it by Wednesday.
(then I need to buy something.....what should I buy...what should I buy? I may ask my friend Phil what he thinks of his Honda Element...or go with the poor man's Passat...the Subaru Wagon)

The Shenandoah Mountain 100 off road mountainbike race is behind me. Mission Accomplished. I raced it and am pleased with my efforts. It was a daunting undertaking that caused me some un-needed stress. With that event behind me I started to slack on the cycling. Time to get back on the bike. Yes, the cab that hit me has added to that list of excuses as to why I am not riding. If I am going to slow my riding I should also slow my eating or I will be fatter than Tom Turkey on Thanksgiving and more plump than Santa on Christmas. Time to dust off the CYCLOCROSS bike and get the legs over that thing.....still a few mountian races as well.

The PERMIT and The DECK is also something that needs to move forward. Fall is upon us and the mosquito count is dropping. Fall could be a great time for the deck....not sure what I need to do to get this Permit through this Third World Process....but I need the Permit in hand and start banging my thumb with a hammer again.

What else....
What else.......

sure I need to clean the garage and the basement
but those are tasks that will always loom over every husband's head
first things first
time to move forward with these things on my list
(don't be fooled that this is all that is on the list.....these are just the greatest priority)


mornings as a parent are far different than that of the single person or the childless
(no dogs do not count, I know....as I have two)
the morning is no longer my own
each morning I wake when my children wake
usually waking hours before I would like to get up
at times I am able to steal a few more minutes of sleep as Lisa takes on some of the earlier responsibilities, yet I still have to be up for lisa's departure to work
but those last moments of sleep are never real or true sleep....always one eye open and an ear on the action
always poised for either Dean or Grant to slam upon my head
eventually lumbering downstairs to get some mandatory coffee
children wake at full power....
adults need the effects of coffee to get up to speed

this morning Dean woke up a few minutes before 5am
I think he needed to go to the bathroom....somehow on his trip down the hall he managed to get his finger slammed in a door which caused him to cry out for assistance
while running cold water on his hand I turned on the light to see the damage
the bright light burned into our sleepy eyes and took us to the next stage of being awake
Dean came downstairs with me and climbed into bed with the still sleeping Lisa, Roscoe, and Brutus...Grant lied dormant in the Pack-n-Play along side of the bed

waking up to a rainy day and getting a finger slammed in a door set the tone of Dean's morning
children can be moody
on this morning Dean was moody and Grant was enthused to be awake and was exploring the toys
with Dean's mood the answer to any and all questions was "NO!"
well, less than emphatic...just "no"

which leaves me with a morning of tricks and coersion
with the new BIONICLES DVD playing I dressed Dean in his outfit for the day
having him distracted can be to my advantage
as he can be picky about what he wears
often choosing to wear what is not available
even more often opting to wear his Superman or Batman PJS....complete with caps
I refilled my coffee and got Grant some Cherrios and Dean got a Capri Sun Lemonade and a banana

with Dean

had to bail
boss man showed up
and well
my mornings are not that exciting any old way


Blast from the Past....
Sometimes I wonder...

"Where are they now?"
"What ever happened to....?"
"How has so and so spent the last many years?"

In this modern age with the Internet most any and everybody who has a pulse can be located. And if they do not have a pulse....well, you can find that out as well

the other day a random name from high school popped into my head, Ceres Madoo
so being the geek that I am I did a quick little search with the help of our friends at GOOGLE.com
sure enough
there she was
right on the computer where I expected to find her
we had a short email exchange
she is happy healthy and whole living out west
here is a page displaying some of sculpture, Ceres Madoo

check out Ceres' site
or even better
do a GOOGLE to try and find an old friend
people with names like Ceres Madoo have advantages over people with names like John Smith
One step forward....
Two steps back.....
honestly I do not know much about politics
yet....like any and everyone else I still have an uninformed opinion
even without any real facts about the man I do fear having Marion Barry slithering his way back into the system
people had talked about a Mayor Williams recall.....
well....I fear that these are the same people who would want Barry back in the office of Mayor
BUSHES in the White House for the next 12 years...
and Barry as a DC council member....
Idaho is looking pretty good to me right now!



This is one link that was sent to me by Dr. Vargas
Krypto Movie One

And this one was sent by Chain Reaction's Speedy Eric Welp the 165 Pound Clydesdale
Krypto Movie Two

I wonder how KRYPTONITE is going to Respond to this
let me to a GOOGLE and see

Dean just got out of bed

here is the Kryptonite Site

so much for locking up a bike?
(and a short list of other DOCUMENTARY MUSTSEES!)

When will this go to DVD?
Is it an effort to carry the theme of white trash?
Maybe they should only release it on BETA!

This film is a must see!
Jesco the Dancing Outlaw
Undo your belt and the top button of your pants, rest a six pack in your lap, and have some beef jerky within reach....you do not want a miss a second of this documentary epic about West Virginia Mountain Dancer Jesco White! You will not regret seeking out this film.

Here are some other personal favorites...
For anyone who loves culture, travel, photography, music, and life full of soul. This film will captivate you. This one is worth owning. I have seen it more times than I can count. I have never grown bored with seeing it again and again.

Anything by Ken Burns
If you have not seen THE CIVIL WAR....start there...then expand to any other topic that you have a slight interest in. Ken Burns will educate and entertain. Documentaries are like books for people like me too lazy to read. (like me)

Dogtown and Z Boyz
A new classic.....
Learn the early history of Skateboarding. Learn about the sport and the culture. Directed by skate legend, now documentary film maker, Stacy Perralta.

Another documentary master would be Bruce Brown
Two of his must see documentaries are ENDLESS SUMMER and On ANY SUNDAY.
These films are complete classics! Endless Summer will make you want to grab a board and hit the surf; while On Any Sunday will make you want to get off road on a motocross bike and kick up some dirt. Two great films for any viewer, not just for people who are into the sports of Surfing or Motocross.

Here is a quasi-intellectual one that will BLOW YOUR MIND! the 7 UP series is now at 42 UP. This film follows a random selection of British children first interviewing them at 7 years old only to do follow up interviews every 7 years throughout their lives. This may very well be the next addition to my DVD collection.

that should be enough for now
add them to my COMMENTS section

each year I go to the BANFF FILM FESTIVAL showing at National Geographic
there are always epic mountain films there
that festival is a MUST SEE!


A Week Has Passed and Still Feeling a small BUZZ!

It has been a week and one day since I raced in the Shenandoah Mountain 100 off road mountainbike race, although it seems like forever since the actual race took place there is still a little bit of buzz from the accomplishment. The RESULTS tell a tale in themselves, although they do not give the glory of the experience. I managed to finish in the top third of all the racers and first in the Clydesdale Class, yet....somehow I feel as if I should have raced faster.

The race....the whole experience was awesome. The full report is below if you opt to scroll down. In reflection I am beyond glad that I did not back down from the challenge. Everything operated as it should have on that day. The weather could not have been better....the trails were fast and dry. The heat was not an issue while the rain was able to hold off for most of the riders including me. My bike held up well and so did my body.

Events like this tend to have one of two grand effects on the racers. The participants come across the line and either say to themselves...."I am never doing this again' or "that ROCKED! I can not wait to do this again next year..." Followed by a list of things to do to make the body faster. As for me, I was the later, I am definitely going to put this event on my calendar. Hopefully next year goes as well as this race season and that next year's SM100 hold the same set of positive variables along with a few longer road miles and a few more climbs leaving me stronger for the full duration.
And baby makes......

This morning Lisa sent me an email about a good friend of hers who recently had her third child. Funny, Lisa seemed a tad envious. Initially I thought I wanted three or more children, now I am thinking that two kids will work just fine for me. I love my children. I would love to have more children. But I think that more kids will mean less time with the two children that we already have as well as meaning less time with each other and less time to ourselves.

this is escentially how I responded

three children would mean...
one more baby with diapers
one more stress filled pregnancy
one more child that demands expensive child care
one more drop off at a different school
one more soccer game on a different field
one more kid being rushed to the emergency room
one more set of doctor and dental bills
one more kid wanting his/her own room
one more set of sleepless nights
one more kid going to private school
one more plane ticket for each family trip
one more set of gear for each assault on the park
one more kid in a mood ruining our dinner out on the town
one more kid in a mood
one more body in the bed

with that said
time will tell if we have one more
who knows?
we may want one more
so for lunch I dashed down from my office at 20th and M Street to North Capitol Street where the Permit office is...and like an idiot I got hit by a cab on my way back...
to be quite honest it was pretty much my fault
I had weaved my way through the line of traffic and was at the intersection waiting for the light to turn green or the path to be clear or hopefully both
when the light turned green
the cab driver somehow did not see that there was a 6'4" 225 pound man on a bicycle in front of him
and he went forward just as I started to pedal
and smack
his bumper snapped my foot out of my SPD (shimano clip in pedals)
and his hood tagged my knee
somehow I managed to regain/maintain balance and ride forward
not feeling that there was any damage or that anyone was any more in the wrong than the other
I went on my way
went the final blocks into the office
and started to feel some pain in my knee
took some advil
and back at my desk
did I mention that this married man was looking at a women in the park eating his lunch when he should have been watching the traffic signal and more importantly the cars around him?
oh well....
another lesson that was forgotten and now remember.....
oh, yea

when riding my bike I should not be doing my taxes....I would do my taxes better at a desk with a calculator.....so do not worry about problems that can not be solved while on the bike....there are enough issues to concern myself with to keep my mind and body occupied

did I mention that my knee hurts

My life is conventional....Eric Jackson's life is not!

A few years ago there was this really cute Nissan Pathfinder commercial where a father is driving his brand spanking new SUV as he drifts off into some fantasy about taking the kids out of school and racing across Africa in the Paris Dakar....I am sure you can visualzie the clip of the cute little boy in the child seat trying to eat his ice cream as he bounced about until his ice cream falls off the cone leaving him ice creamless except for what remains on his face. (The truck may well have not been a Nissan Pathfinder....that is the failure of advertising....some of it may entertain or annoy, but does it help to move product?) Well, Eric Jackson not only said almost exactly the same thing....but he chose to live it. Eric Jackson a world class kayaker is also a husband, a father of two, and a business man. Most recently Eric has started his own kayak company, Jackson Kayak.....and if these boats are anything like Eric they will make you SMILE and they will make you RIP!
(eric jackson can without a doubt inspire you)

Years ago I met Eric Jackson....the sport of kayaking was not where it is now. I was managing Big Wheel Bikes on Capitol Hill where Eric and a friend of his Brian opened a kayak store upstairs of the bike shop. Brian and Eric were on the river more than they were in the shop....needless to say the shop did not succeed, during this time Eric got this crazy idea of customizing an RV and touring the country and the world from river to river from event to event. Over the years I have run into Eric and his wife, usually when I am hiking the dogs on the Billy Goat Trail I have run into Eric and his family in their custom RV in the parking lot...I knock on the door he invites me in....I ask if he remembers me....he says yes...I marvel at his life....say hey to his kids.....say my good byes...and leave thinking to myself....WOW! THAT GUY IS REALLY COOL! THAT FAMILY IS REALLY COOL! WHAT AN EXOTIC LIFE!

I can not imagine that it has been easy. Sure it has been interesting, but certainly never easy. Unique would definitely describe their life. I remember seeing young Dane a few years ago, he must have been six years old....and already built with a body full of muscles just like his dad. Young Dane looked like he was more pit bull than boy with all those muscles on his stomach and chest. Well, it seems that this young pup is growing into being the big dog on the waves already competing on the junior circut all over the world. In an article of a new outdoor magazine, HOOKED, I read about Dane and his potential of being 'the future' of the sport!

As a father this intrigued me.....everyone I meet is always saying something about how I need to put a golf club in my sons' hands...or a tennis racket....or a basketball. I am not the father of Wayne Gretsky, nor am I the father of Tiger Woods, and I am certainly not the father of Dane Jackson! That is the path of those families and the path of those athletes. I like my conventional lifestyle. I am not sure of the path of Dean or Grant's lives. As far as pushing my sons to be the best? People need to get a little more rational scope on things. Life is long. there are many factors, genetic being one of them as well as the competition around them. It takes more than an over enthused soccer mom to create the next Mia Hamm. Am I trying to push Dean and Grant to be the best? Personal Best, sure, but the BEST?

Exposure. Dean and Grant are being exposed to a wide variety of interests. Both Dean and Grant were swimming for a few hours yesterday afternoon. Dean spent a good part of the day in the Burley Trailer being towed behind me on the bike. And the rest of the day was spent being a kid. When I set the two HOT WHEELS tracks up along side of each other for a little LOOP DA LOOP racing was I thinking NASCAR? Was I thinking ENGINEERING or ARCHETECTURE? No...I was thinking fun and smiles. When Dean and I spent hours playing with the FLICK TRICK bmx bikes was I thinking....he could be a good mechanic.....soon enough he will be fixing my bikes....well, maybe. But, the goals are more immediate. Life is cumulative. All these experiences add up. Hopefully they will guide Dean and Grant towards having some strong and specific interests. At which point I will make an effort to aid in nurturing these interests. But not in an effort to create the next Tiger Woods, but maybe my sons can learn the lessons of hard work and a job well done as well as the spirit of competition and the glory of victory and the emotions that come from trying your best. (often falling short of one's goals or finding that there is someone better, someone better prepared, or someone who had a better day)

The life choices of Eric Jackson are to be commended. The world would be a boring place if artists and athletes did not make the sacrifices that they make. Not everyone can be a desk jockey; nor is everyone is wired for such an unstructured lifestyle. There are aspects of their lives that I envy, but I do not wish to trade places. That is the life they have created for themselves while this is the life I have created for me.

Do I want my sons to be a world class surfers? If so, I better move to the beach.
Do I want my sons to be world class mountainbikers, skateboarders, snowboarders, soccer players, volleyball players, sprinters, marathoners, croquet players, basketball players, football players, lacrosse players?

It may happen.....but right now we are more concerned with getting Grant to sleep through the night than going to the 2020 OLYMPICS.

Until then we are city people doing out city thing...hopefully we will all be kayaking in the Potomac in the next few years....who knows maybe Dane Jackson will be my instructor? If so I will tell him that I remember him when......



It is unlikely that I will venture out into the world of the single and the childless
but if I could go out
I would try to head out and see some friends do there thing


New Age Bullshit...

earlier today I wrote some New Age Bullshit about Inspiration and Love
all that talk about love for my children and love for my dogs made me realize a few things

many years ago with two young puppies I learned that when you go to pet one dog the other one comes running
this creates a bit of a perdicatment....you can not fully pet a dog with one hand
each dog gets a substandard one handed hug
this made me get realize that I needed to make time to give a real two handed hug, pat, and rub to each Roscoe and Brutus
this extends to Grant, Dean, and Lisa as our family has grown

we need to be concious of our actions and our distribution of our affections

this brings to surface a few other irrelevant ideas.....
in my new age rant I never made any mention of hugs for lisa
years ago I had a formula to slow things down.....Lisa and I would get a tad busy with our lives and I would try to slow things down a bit by asking...."can I get 8 seconds?"
lisa would ablige me by having us hug for 8 seconds
how do we know what a dog enjoys?
people share affection with hugs and kisses...
is this how our pets like to be treated?
and when we pet them...we stroke them with the same paterns and rhythms that we would think that we would enjoy
maybe they prefer an off beat rhythm
what do I know?
just killing time as I wait for the whistle to blow so I can end this abreviated work week and go home and hug my family
and I will be sure to hug them each one at a time
and maybe a group hug if my arms can open widely enough

grab inspiration where ever you can
when you see it...take it and hold on to it
use both hands and don't let it go
store it up and reflect back on it

the more you have the more you have to use
give all you care to give it replenishes it own supply

once you are done taking
try giving
try to give INSPIRATION
not advice
even if it is just through example

while you are at it
why not try giving LOVE
give a hug and you may get a hug back
(you may get your ass kicked...get fired from your job...or get slapped in the face*)
*user disgression is advised
I hug my sons all the time...the experience is like a shot of espresso for the soul

my dogs enjoy hugs
it is not fair but I feel that Roscoe gives love while Brutus takes
they both give
for some reason it seems as if Roscoe is more selfless in his giving
Roscoe is definitely less needy
Roscoe is my favorite, but I give more love to Brutus....as he needs it more
I will hug Roscoe when I get home

as for me
it is best I start taking my advice
my most recent advice being not to be giving advice
advice....I give more than I take
perhaps I should just live by example
if someone wants to pick up on it, great!
if not...no worries
best I don't waste energy trying to change others
when all that energy can be used trying to change me (and my family)

have a good full weekend!
I am going to have a full weekend at my house....
there are things that need to be done
putting my feet up may very well be one of those things

Single Speeds.....
why single speeds?
"If you have to ask....you'll never know."

Last weekend at the Shenandoah Mountain 100 there were far more people on single speeds than I would have expected, one of these singles turned out to be a fixed gear (this rider was in a class by himself.) Many of these people had fast finishes...many of which finished in front of me and all my gears....even the guy on the fixie finished in front of me.

For those not in the know lets get some ideas across.....
The mountainbike is a diverse as the human face, sure there are some basic similarities with each face...they all have eyes, nose, mouth, etc.....but there are different strengths and different weaknesses to each face. Since this metaphor is proving to be as complex as just explaining some different mountainbike categories I will drop the metaphor and go back to the bike itself.....

Mountainbike....basically a 26 inch wheel bike with lots of gears and knobby tires....
Well, almost....the wheels can also be 24 inches in diameter or 29 inches in diameter...I even owned a bike at one point that had a 26 inch wheel in the front and a 24 inch wheel in the back (cannondale SM600.) Once the wheels sizes are selected we look to the gears....technology gave us the 15 speed...then the 18 speed.....then the 21 speed and now the 27 speed (all factors of three, three cogs in the front ((big ring, middle ring, and granny gear)) and a rear sprocket in the back with a large number of cogs; now they normally have 9 cogs (3X9=27...I think, math like reading hurts my brain) Then there are also mountainbikes with one gear; singles speeds and fixed gears. The single speed has one cog in the front and one cog in the rear, minus the derailuer and the option to change gears/resistance. The fixed gear is similar in the single cog front and rear, but the cog in the rear does not spin freely, it is fixed, causing direct drive...like a tricycle. At one point in time all bikes with a chain were fixed gears, then technology gave the rider the "freewheel," then after that the invention of various shifting mechanisms and gears. Now the cyclist is evolving backwards with the single speed and the fixed gear, many racers putting aside any and all suspension forks and riding rigid. While at the same time there are bikes with more suspension both front and rear.....thus creating a broad spectrum of sub groups...
XC Riders: Fulls Suspension XC Bike, Front Suspension XC Bike, Rigid XC Bike, Single speed (usually rigid or front suspension almost never dual suspension,) and unicycle (more of a west coast thing)
Freeriders and Downhillers: Full Suspension Bikes....lots of travel (the shocks have lots of give for doing jumps and drops and for rolling over great big obstacles at high speed) Usually a heavier bike that does not climb well, but is built to take the abuse that these riders are ready to dish out
then there are recreational riders, commuters, road racers, recumbants....but this rant is about XC bikes so let me bring it back

To each their own...

In this world we have vanilla and chocolate and for those that look a little further there is Blackberry Crunch with Chocolate Chips and multicolored Jimmies.

It is my feeling that many of these riders and racers have ridden geared bikes for years and have taken their skills to what they may consider their personal limits and offer themselves a greater challege by moving to the Single Speed. Sure...most single speeders would say...."single speeds are just more fun!" The single speed can be fun, but I personally have a different set of rule for my use of the single speed. I only race the single speed on a course where I do not feel that riding without gears will cause me to finish significantly slower. I race the 12 hour of Lodi Farm relay and several of the Wednesday At Wakefield races in non-single speed categories on a single speed. Rode hard and finished strong, never feeling that a geared bike would have made a significant difference. But at the SM100 a Single Speed would have completely changed the event for me. I used my gears in this race....I used all of my gears in this race....the road secitions were fast...had I been on a single I would have been forced to coast which would have altered my pace....on much of the fireroad climbs I was in the middle ring while climbing....the single would have only given me the option to spin...spin....and spin some more.....
So for me...the single speed has its place...but it is clearly not in a 100 mile off road race.....honesly...it is not on a 100 mile ride.....or a ride with any significant climbing. But then again just as each bicycle has its own strengths and weaknesses so does the body of each rider. The Independent Fabrications rider, Tiffany Mann, who I was pacing with for a while was on a single speed....but...I must say that I am confident that I weigh much more than a 100 pounds than her....and my body needs to do different things to get up the hill than hers does. It amused me for Larry Camp to cruise past me on the climbs only to meet up again at the Check points...where I would be in and out while he worked on his tan.....only for him to spin his single past me again later on the course.... While at the same time I was pacing pretty well with one of Larry's Team Bike Lane teammates who was a tad discouraged and was wishing he had a geared bike.

What is my point....
there is no point.....
slacking at work cause it if friday!
I need to get some lunch and then knock out some work before the day is done!
J, J, & J
all reporting on the SM100

Jason perspective

Joe Foley's view on it

and well
you are already at my page Joel aka GWADZILLA

if only more people blogged.....


a few days have passed
and before the topic has lost its timliness I will Publish this Post
it is too long to merit an edit or a reread
I may just have to make another post about more specific details of the event

Race Report: The Shenandoah Mountain 100

This weekend past I participated in the Shenandoah Mountain 100, an off road mountainbike race that offers more climbing than I have ridden cumulatively in the year 2004. Needless to say anxiety and apprehension surrounded this event. In the weeks leading up to this dirt century I had the best intentions to pick up the pace and try to log some long training miles on my road bike, it did not happen. Once I went for an evening spin and another night I broke a sweat on the trainer, but as a whole my training continued to be nothing more than my 45 minute to an hour post work commute normally followed by a quick walking of the dogs. Two weeks prior to the Shenandoah Mountain 100 I entered the Fairhill Classic as a confidence booster.; twelve miles into a twenty-two mile race I was wishing that it was a 13 mile course. Confidence was not gained.....confidence was shattered; it ended up being a good race, but more humbling of an experience than I was seeking; my anxiety levels increased. Then weekend before the race I got a stomach virus from some bad sea food that had my meals racing right through me, exiting out the back in a brown liquid form. The excuses compounded on top of my fears, my mental approach was not positive. As Lisa prepped for a long weekend trek to Pittsburgh with the kids I waited and prayed that she forbade me from racing at the SM100. No such luck! Lisa supported my initial desire to race and did not offer me such a bullet proof excuse. I was committed. Finally, lacking a ride to the race was the Ace up my sleeve. To my sorrow and frustration, Joe Foley, fellow City Bikes Team member and neighbor just one block away offered to give me a ride. All of my excuses crumbled away and I started to plot my race strategy for this 100 mile endurance off road race. Had I not preregistered I would not have felt committed and I would not even considered heading to Harrisonburg for the Shenandoah Mountain 100.

My fears were not without merit. The last time I had ridden 100 miles in one sitting was the last time I had raced the the Shenandoah Mountain 110 (akaSM100) two years ago. In the year 2004 the longest ride I had ridden may have been in the upwards of 30 miles. When there was mention of this event and all of its climbs I braced myself for failure. Quitting is not part of my nature, but I had to maintain a rational approach. It was decided. My plan was to go out and ride hard and strong, listening to my body and accepting that I may have to drop out. Part of this plan was to not leave lights at Check Point 5. I decided that if I could not finish the race before sunset...that I was not in proper condition to be on the course and risked hurting myself. Duration is as much of a painful factor as distance. I could not see myself riding for 14 hours. It was settled. No lights were being left. Instead I packed a full change of clothes for Check Point 3 and Check Point 5. That was fresh socks, fresh shorts, fresh jersey, and fresh gloves. To some it seemed a tad over the top, but to me it seemed like one way to make this long ride a tad more comfortable. No need to pack food.....the support stations seemed to have that part covered two years ago and I would assume that they will be doing the same this year in 2004.

Going into the race I did not have a strong recollection of my time from two years prior. There was no notion of my desired finishing time. My Surley Karate Monkey is not outfitted with a computer so I would not be able to monitor miles or average speed. Knowing such things would not aid my efforts. To me there is a start and a finishline, goals such as finish under a certain time were arbitrary to me. Heart rate monitors would only tell me what my heart is doing not what I should be doing on the bike...if I can not tell on my own that my heart is about to explode and I best slow and rest for a minute, well, maybe, just maybe, I can ride through it. My body is certain to tell me when it is time to stop, rest, or give up. Upon arrival I learned that this year Chris Scott, our friendly Harrisonburg neighborhood promoter, would be adding a CLYDESDALE CLASS to this event. Easily qualifying as a racer over 200 pounds I was only more anxious as I was less ambiguous than when I faded into the Open Class. This was more pressure to perform. Yet, I made no effort to access the competition. In an event like this it is more important to run your own race and to listen to your own body. Had at any point in a race a larger rider passed me.....well I would have just let them roll by. I thought to myself....if the other Clydesdales race slower than me...than I will win the Clydesdale Class....otherwise...there is nothing I can do.

on with the actual race report.....

The Shenandoah Mountain 100 had its 6th annual Labor Day Weekend Event. After all sorts of bitching and complaining Saturday morning arrived and I was pretty much packed and ready to head down to the race. At 12:10 on Saturday I rolled into the alley behind my house right behind Joe Foley in his hip little blue SUV. Joe was expected at my place around 12:15....apparently Joe likes to be prompt. Lucky for me Joe is not only prompt, but Joe is real mellow. I was still all over the place. Rather than spend the morning double checking my bags I spent that morning in the woods hiking with the dogs, Roscoe and Brutus on the Melvin Hazel trail in Rock Creek Park, then off to my Ashtanga Yoga class at Tenleytown....a short journey that steered my rigid Karate Monkey down some of the Glover Archebald and then onto a patch of the Melvin Hazen and then home....home right behind Joe. After a few more things that slowed our momentum down a few more minutes and on the road. In no time at all we were at the City Bikes Chevy Chase store loading up Jason and his Cannondale Scalpel. Joe, Joel, and Jason were all road tripping down to Harrisonburg VA for the same 100 mile race where each individual would have a similar yet very different experiences. Jason was also mellow and made no mention as to whether we were on time or if he had time for my wild goose chase for a bottle of Jim Beam on our drive down to the race. Without any stress, strain, or trauma we were in Harrisonburg, actually Stokesville VA setting up our tents and then getting served a tastee pasta dinner with a three meatball minimum. I had mine with some red wine. Red Wine before the race and Red Bull during the race. Not too much wine, just enough to take away some of the awkwardness and displeasure with sleeping in a tent, well, it is not the sleeping in the tent that is so awkward, but rather trying to sleep comfortably on a thin and skinny thermarest pad which is oddly slick especially against a nylon sleeping bag (not to self invent a one sided Velcro sleeping bag with a one sided Velcro sleeping pad.) At least if I had brought the dogs I would the warmth of Roscoe and Brutus and the cushion of their dog bed. The cold morning came fast. There was no pillow to hug so I got up and meandered over to get a bagel and some coffee. People were pumped. All sorts of lycra clad freaks were po-going around trying to warm up and trying to stay warm. I worked my way back to the tent and suited up. My drop bags had been taken the night before and my camelback and been loaded and filled the day prior as well. My mind had to do nothing but get me to the start line fully dressed with a bike. I slammed a Red Bull and rolled down the grass hill feeling I did not need to spin around for a warm up as I would have a hundred miles to do such.

At the line up I gathered near my brother. I approached cautiously and was careful not to talk too much. I recall two years prior he was not so fond of my caffeine induced chatty chatty-ness so early in the morning. Soon there was a mass of City Bikes jerseys around me....Pooche.....then Susan...then Erza... even Welp and the list goes on. (This is not an episode of Romper Room so if your name was not called.....write your own race report.) Prerace exchanges were made and prerace jitters were shared. Then the gun went off....it was madness...wheels and pedals spinning everywhere. Some sort of fleshy mass riding a metal and rubber amoeboid monster that snaked off the grassy green field, down a dirt road, and off onto a paved state road to take the riders to the first of many many miles of climbing.

No worries.....

I too do not want to here a "play-by-play" account of each inch of climb and every centimeter of descent. It was a glorious ride......it started at sundown for all of us and ended before sundown for most of us. The journey was long and hard, my body and mind were better prepared for the event than I had anticipated. Somehow I managed to go off on a rock solid pace and keep it up for the first 50+ miles. It was a hoot and a holler and a scream (screams of joy on the downhills and screams of pain and anguish on some of the climbs.) The climbs were each rewarded with a sweet descent. It as an awesome trade off. The check points did a great job of breaking up the race. Each check point was like an Indy Pit Stop that refueled the body and the soul. Rolling into each Check Point to hear the sound of strangers clapping and cheering for you can only be beat by having someone take your camelback and water bottle to be filled with one of various vital fluids; gatorade, water, or something...then to have someone lube your chain and more if you need it...with a buffet table of SWEDISH FISH (a box of red and a box of variety, I ate red), PRINGLES, BANANAS, PB&J, more PB&J, SLIM JIMS, ORANGES,COCA COLA, MORE VARIOUS CANDY (and that is just what I ate.) Shamefully I not only pigged out at these check points, but I stripped out of my sweat soaked gear and slipped into that fresh pair of socks, shorts, jersey, and gloves...at both Check Point 3 and Check Point 5.....the fresh clothes were worth it and I needed to take a chair.....but perhaps I did not need to stay as long as I did. Perhaps some yoga inversions would have been more useful then yapping it up with the resting rider beside me and flirting with some of the volunteers.

During the race I rode with and made conversation with a wide variety of people from a wide variety of places....at times I even had the pleasure of sharing a painful foot march with some. Clearly fast draft lines on the hard pack were more pleasure than the mountianbiker in me would like to admit, but I would like to say that I lead more pace lines than I used them and I even got payment in the form of some E-Caps of which I am now a firm believer, as cramping was part of the game and the E-Caps and E-tablets seemed to have a profound effect in battling this pain.

The climbs were long. Did I mention, the climbs were long. The descents were awesome, yet brutal on the body. My hands are arms are what suffered the most. There were times on the descents that my hands were so arthritic that I could not use my thumbs to change gears. Once off the technical descents I did various exercises and positions to try and aid in the fastest recovery of my hands as I could as I knew that I would be needing them again before the day was over. I can not recall the names of the climbs or the names of the descents. Nor could I tell you which was my favorite or which one I dreaded the most. The climbing path to Check Point 5 may have been the worst climb as it came so late in the game and my climbing legs had long since retired by this point in the race. There were moments of great pain and moments of self fulfilling glory on and off throughout the whole event. The downhills made me smile widely even with the pain and left me smiling wider when I got up from a few crashes only to find my body and my bike each in one piece.

With about two thirds of the race behind me I began to grin with glee. It was at this point I was confident that I was in fact going to complete this event. Then I started to think about my placing as a Clydesdale. The thought process was short. I had no idea was behind me and less idea who was in front of me, with no idea who the Clydesdale competition was. I accepted my pace and my placing and pushed on. Late in the race as a few riders went by me as I proceeded slowly up the climbs. On each pass I made a feeble effort to have pleasant conversation. Once pleasantries were exchanged I asked if I could ask a personal question, "how much do you weigh?" There were no riders passing me over 200 pounds....my weak body was relieved as there was no place to did deep, no fuel in the tank, and no reservoir of energy.....all I could do was move forward.

The final miles of the course had changed since I had raced the SM100 two years ago. The last descent into the finish was a rush. My body and mind were running on empty. I had a feeling that I had a slow leak in the rear, but opted to ride forward and further to the finish, thinking I could get to the finish without having to stop and replace the tube. Once across the finish I was greeted by Chris Scott and the finishline volunteers. When I asked to be weighed as a Clydesdale I was ecstatic to discover that I was the first 200 plus pound racer to cross the line. I weighed myself in at 225, not a pound lighter than the day prior. Then checked my rear tire for its pressure. The tire was still maxed out at 65 PSI. The slow leak was in my brain.

I gathered with some fellow City Bikers. Susan had finished just in front of me, and Ezra just in front of her...my brother had been back for some time and looked clean, well rested, and fed. I was pleased with my results and felt no bother or frustration by anyone finishing in front of me. I had raced hard and was very pleased with my performance. My body was sore, but no so sore that I made any grand proclamation that I was not going to race this race again, but rather I finished and thought to myself, I can not wait till next year when I can take a few minutes off my time.

In the end I finished strong in under 11 hours. I place first in the Clydesdale Class which not only gave me bragging rights buy also scored me some awesome 26 inch Bontrager Wheels!
It feels good!
A great race that is a great addition to the mountainbike culture and community.
This events makes us more well rounded athletes as well as better people