broke a spoke

so, I broke a spoke... no big deal
the wheel is still straight... well sorta straight

the issue is not so much the broken spoke
the issue has more to do with my slacking on replacing the spoke
the issue has more to do with my forgetfulness and riding a bike that is broken when I have other cycling options

okay, I need to cut myself some slack
the spoke broke on thirty year old Colnago set up as a fixie Friday morning on my way into work
while, Friday night was spent prepping my geared Surly Karate Monkey for Sunday's Karate Monkey race at Wakefield Park in NOVA
then Saturday night was spent double checking my gear for the next day that was approaching fast
so... it was not so much my failure to replace a broken spoke
it was my absent mindedness that allowed me to ride a bike that was in need of some TLC
sure there was Sunday night
but, Sunday night was spent resting after a morning at work, an afternoon of racing my mountain bike in the hot sun, and an evening of swimming with my two boys

the broken spoke was realized early into the morning ride
which altered my path from pre-work ride to a straight to work ride
maybe I was looking for an excuse not to ride the day after a race
the excuse not to ride in the morning extended to be an acceptable excuse not to ride in the afternoon
honestly... my idea of a ride is little less than an average racer's day off
so missing my little work out can be a big deal
especially with the Shenandoah Mountain 100 in my sites

now it is important for me to manage two ideas
fixing that rear wheel
remembering not to ride my fixed gear until the wheels are straight

this as me thinking about the bike
the front wheel although has no broken spokes was starting to look like something from the travels of Lewis and Clark

this is all good
this is the perfect opportunity to give this bike a make-over
I have a set of mustache bars that my friend dave gave me
as well as wanting to swap the tires out for some cross tires
the cross tires are well worn with no real knobbies
it is not the knobbies I am seeking
it is the wider tire
a little more cush to my ride

the mustache bars are not as wide as I would buy
but... will put the bars on and give them a try
the fixie is just a giggle and a scream
not my main thing
not my tribe
a fun way to get around town
the fixie is far from my second nature


uncle ben said to peter parker
(and I paraphrase)

"with great power comes great responsibility"

stan lee on wikipedia

explain this...

explain this...
how does this happen?
how is a 12 year old back stage a the Palladium with The Clash?

found this on Harley Flannagan's myspace place

although I am bald
I have never cared much for the skinhead thing

I am certain that this guy could write a tell all book that could be the basis of a dozen hollywood movies
from what it sounds
he has not slowed down a bit!

Harley... Keep Up the Intensity!
I will have to check out the links on your MYSPACE site to find out why you were in all those places at such a young age
guess all that history will give me an understanding of how you got to where you are now

Landis at the 24 Hours of Canaan

I was out searching the world for a little information on Floyd Landis and his humble beginnings as a mountain bike racer on the east coast
and where do I find it?

right here in the AUGUST ISSUE OF SPOKES magazine!

seek it out!
should be in your local mid-atlantic bike store or your local mid-atlantic gym
if they do not have it
have them request it
it is free
it is informative!

DC Bike Shop Survey

a local news show is having a survey of the viewer's favorite bike shop in the area

Cast Your Vote!
Check it out!


WAW#3 Pics by Gary Ryan

Gary's WAW#3 Photos
Gary's Blog
WAW Results

custom paint job

just one of larry's bikes with a special larry paint job

Cranky Monkey #1: Wakefield Park

the results are out for the Cranky Monkey #1
photos should be on Will Ramos' site in the next few days

I should have report in the next day or so

in short... it was hot

then... I learned the value of the hole shot
well... so many times I have gotten burned and learned the value of the hole shot
from the "I missed the hole shot" perspective
this weekend I got up in the front did not win the hole shot but was up in the front managed to ride pretty much the whole race with my brother
then got passed on the last lap by a racer from NCVC
was edged out by 10 seconds

did I mention that it was hot?

a good number of racers from DCMTB/City Bikes at this event

salvadorean pride

Cranky Monkey #1

Yesterday EX2 Adventures had their first race in their Cranky Monkey Series
amusingly enough... the race was at Wakefield Park
seems WAW means Weeks And Weeks (of Wakefield)

it was hot
it was darn hot
did I mention it was hot
it went well

the race was interesting
the tale of the tape to come

there were two local events
Cranky Monkey at Wakefield
RFK Crit



some of the faces from the City Bikes Chevy Chase Store
there are more to the equation than what is seen here
these folks just happened to be there when I passed through the other day
city bikes

by your request

got some email requests for a close up of the ink
to see a larger image...
right click... OPEN IN NEW WINDOW

bike or suv?

if jesus were alive today would he ride a bicycle or would he drive an SUV?

do you think jesus would support the war in Iraq?

what do you think jesus' feelings on George Bush would be?

do you think jesus would treat issues as Black or White?
or would jesus approach things with thought and understanding?

have a nice Sunday!

the right thing to do

bikes are not toys...

bikes are not toys
cars are not toys either
life is nothing to be played with

it amuses me
people put all these stickers on their cars
stickers making some sort of claim that they are concerned about life

there are the support our troops stickers
there are the fish stickers
there are the anti-abortion stickers

when I am on my bicycle and a car passes me fast and close
I always find these stickers a tad ironic
ironic in an Allonis Morrissette sort of way
I find it ironic that they make this global claim of care and concern
yet they can not respect the life of the person right in front of them
that person on the bicycle deseserves their safety, their healthy, and their life

the annoying sticker paradox continues
the car drivers with roof racks and athletic stickers really piss me off
the car driver headed to the gym
the car driver with their kayak on top of the car
the car driver rushing to their ultimate game
(or maybe it is kickball or flag football)

the car driver headed to watch the game at the local pub
the car driver with their DIVER BELOW sticker
the car driver that passes the cyclist with total disregard for the safety of the cyclist
the car driver is devoid of empathy for what it would be like for someone to buzz past them while they are trying to enjoy their sport

the human powered boaters know how they feel about a jet skier buzzing past them and creating a wake disrupting their flat water canoe or their crew work out
yet... they do not realize that they are leaving the same wake as they buzz by the bikers

the diver sticker I spoke about...
just as the diver does not want the speed boat speeding overhead risking their life and safety
the cyclist craves the same respect for space and safety

the list goes on
there needs to be some basic respect
but... that is too much to ask
so... if we could get human power to respect human power
that would be a start
if all people who are fit and active would spread the word about responsible driving
that would be our start

while driving
runners should yeild to all runner's in the crosswalk and on the road
these same runners should extend their courtesy beyond other runners
they should respect all walkers and cyclists as well

the boaters....
the boaters rushing to the water
especially the local ones here in DC headed to the boat houses on K Street
the boaters should expand their empathy
just as the canoers, rowers, and kayakers have distain for jet skiers and power boaters
they should realize that their action behind the wheel is just as hazardous to those on the road
speeding past runners and bikers is no different than a power boat zipping past a human powered boat

to all the jesus people
take the stickers off your car
get off your soap box
take the day off from going to church
remove that cross from around your neck
put the bible on the shelf and away from the table by your bed...
none of that stuff measures up against anything other than how you live your life
if on your way to and from church you are an asshole in traffic...
you are just an asshole
the same as the asshole headed to starbucks
less church... better living... please
it always amuses me to have a car speed past me fast and close and see that little fish on the bumper
going to church does not balance off the life of tony soprano
no does going to church balance off your everyday selfish and obnoxious behavior

here it is Sunday
no... I am not going to go to church
but... I will try not to be an asshole to each and every person I encounter

(dc has a church population that has a history of double parking on church day
can you imagine thinking that you can block the roadway because you are going to church?
give me a break.... roads are congested by church traffic... that is another rant for another day
there is talk of legalizing the double parking.... THAT IS ABSURD!)

slow down

we have all got to... SLOW DOWN!

this morning I heard some sad news

a man I work with lost one of his sons
not sure of the specifics
he was the passanger in a car that was wrapped around a tree

this news
this incident
this loss
it all saddens me very much


henry garfield

i saw black flag
i never saw soa
i just saw the henry rollins show

i also saw henry's spoken word at dc space

do tickets change behavior?

do traffic tickets change behavior?

outside my window this morning I have watched the flashing lights of a dc cruiser
all morning long cars have been pulled over for running the red light at the top of the hill
I like the fact that they are trying to slow traffic and curb the red light running behavior
but... I am not sure if writing tickets changes behavior
the threat of a ticket can change behavior
but issueing a ticket?

issueing a ticket just generates revenue and pisses someone off
not sure if people reflect on their action and change their behavior
I think they just complain about the ticket and the officer
never realizing it was a classic case of action and reaction

what changes behavior?
the presence of an officer
the never ending threat that a ticket will be issued if you break the law

gotta roll
lisa is back with brutus from a morning run
we missed our yoga sessions
now we are out of town for a trip to a beach on the bay and a water park
should be fun
if the rain holds out

code pink

terror level has moved to CODEPINK


another shot of a cyclist from down the block from me

here is another shot of a cyclist who lives around the corner from me
apparently she works around the corner from me as well

ran into her a peoples drug store... they call it CVS... but it is people's drug store

(tried to find the previous image postings of her)


I love backgammon

in my short life I have played a lot of backgammon
in college some people were playing Nintendo
while me and my friends were playing backgammon
we played rummy 500 for a while
but we really played backgammon

on that once in a lifetime right out of college trip to europe with my buddy rob and our bicycles trip
on that same trip
I spent some of my time in the south of france
nice, frejus, and agay
in agay I stayed with a best friend's girl friend's best friend's parents
parents of a college graduate I had never met before
but she was a friend of a friend of a friend

while relaxing poolside we chatted
the backgammon table was out
so as we met for the first time we got to know each other over backgammon
we would go to the beach, or around town, to lunch, to dinner, to a bar
then there was backgammon

short into the short stay at their summer house in the south of france I was playing backgammon with her father
he was a charming man with wonderful stories from an interesting life
we were talking over backgammon

as we played we talked about the game and the gambling
we talked about money
actually we did not talk about money
he had class
I wanted to talk about money
we talked about the doubling cube and the odds
we talked about the percentage of luck and the percentage of skill

we talked about backgammon

we never talked about cheating
I started to understand that people sometimes intentionally miscount in their own favor to aid in winning the game
on purpose
if the error is in favor of your opponent it is an accident
otherwise it is intentional
the player knows going into the game that this is part of their strategy

I am not sure if I get it
leading and stealing in whiffle ball is different than intentionally miscounting in putt putt at the beach
what is the pleasure in taking a cab to win a marathon?

there seem to be games where on the highest level cheating is built into the process

somebody explain this to me?

I live in Washington DC, home of Mayor Marion Barry
the world can be unbelievable some times

one last tangent
when I first met my wife we were out on outing with a group of friends
there were darts and backgammon as we waited for a pool table
while waiting for the table I lost thirty five dollars to her
later that week I showed up with a backgammon table as payment of the bet
she accepted the payment
when I got married... I got that backgammon table back

since the arrival of my two sons I do not think I have played backgammon once
there has been very little scrabble
almost not croquet or bocce

not just a pretty face... a bicycle person

bicycle advocate
bicycle racer (triathalons)
bicycle shop employee sometimes/part time

bicycle specific traveler
I mean
bicycle commuter
a bicycle person

(and a pretty face aw well)
(yes... she does have nice get away sticks)

XS Energy Drink

At each and every Wednesday at Wakefield Race this summer there has been a guy handing out free energy drinks and water
the product is
XS Energy Drink

I need to read some reviews

from the standpoint of a regular Red Bull user this stuff is pretty good
still curious about the review

I will have to say
on the short course this seems like the rocket fuel of choice but... just like NITROS in your Bad Boy Club Car
after you give it a burst of energy you need to give it more juice ater on

fueled up before the first race

then fueled up before the second race
was super thankful after the race was super thankful for the water afterwards too

at 2am that night
was thinking I may have over done it
fueling up may have meant more than one can before each race
there may have been other sources of caffiene in my afternoon pre-race prep

on a more postive note

my testosterone levels are normal
while my levels of XS Energy Drink in my urine are high

the SWAG at these events are actually good marketing efforts

I have been turned onto some really good stuff that I have continued to use over time


Honey Stinger

I am sure that I will be more likely to grab an XS Energy Drink from the cooler at the gas station now that I know what it is

it is nice to get good stuff for free!

Race Report: Wednesday at Wakefield #3

a few days have passed
the wednesday night race is fading as a memory
this morning's ride and this sunday's race are more on my mind
yet, I want to try and sort out some ideas just the same

Race Report: wednesday at wakefield number three

this week there was the third race of the four race wednesdays at wakefield summer series
trying to mix things up a bit I decided to race with the single speeds at six
trying to get a little more of a workout I decided I would also race with the clydesdales at six fifty-five on the geared monkey

the finish time of the early race and the start time of the late race would be close
but the idea of doubling up the races is nothing new
the one race is twenty bucks
the second is ten bucks
as I am sure the first few that considered this argued that twenty and twenty was too much

doing the early race involves the getting to wakefield early
which means getting out of work early
not sure... but I think that the single speeds are unemployed
that is why the do not have gears
as they can not afford them
there is no other explaination how the class with the greatest numbers of entrants can start while most people are at work
silver spoons? guess that nulifies the notion of single speeders can not afford gears
any way...

got out of work early
loaded both the rigid skid mark brown
single speed surly karate monkey
and the geared army green karate monkey with front shock
with both bikes riding high on the roof rack of the already tall and boxy honda element I took 14th Street out of town
it is painful for a bicycle commuter to rush head on into car commuter traffic
it is always a good reminder that I could not exist as a car commuter

the traffic was its northern virginia best
the dangerous mix of people moving aggressively fast
along with the people moving foolishly slow
my heart rate went up when the traffic slowed to a crawl
I got aggravated when I saw that traffic was slow and dangerous due to never ending cell phone conversations about nothing and blackberry emails from a job that they just left and will return to the next day
there was question if I would make it in time for the early race

in the end I got to wakefield pretty much within my forty five minute estimate
which was just enough time to change and run up to the registration
just enough time to arrive as scott scudamore announced that registration for the early races closed in forty five seconds
I paid my money and filled out my forms at the same time

arriving late did not offer for much socializing or much warming up

I gathered some gear and stowed it along side my geared monkey
the geared bike had a number for the clydesdale race
the single speed had its own number
normally I race against the clydesdales on the rigid monkey
on this day I was going to mix it up with the single speeders
so I brought the geared bike with shock so the beating would not be too brutal on the second set of laps that night

as I ran about getting ready slamming free energy drinks (XS calorie free energy drinks) I learned that the PVC promoters were mixing things up this week
they were going to run the course backwards
I chose to race a double on backwards day
luckily they shortened the course... as common sense would say that a course that is all burmed out and flows so well one direction... this same course run very different if taken the opposite way around

arriving late I shamefully got myself into the second or third row of racers
the single speed is a big class
the hole shot is vital for top five
I was not shooting for top five, but
I was not looking for getting stuck behind a pile up fighting for the single track

so I lined up at the side of all the starters not far off from a few familiar faces

greetings and questions were shared with various people in the seconds before the start
there was no time for anything more than a smile and a hello
the air horn sounded and the gravel started to kick up
the racers mashed forward up the the course in the opposite direction
going up sections they usual go down
while going down sections they usually go up
in case you could not figure it out... that is what happens on backwards day at wakefield
when you run any course in the opposite direction

the race up the first hill in many ways decides the race
too far back...
you will never make it forward
the lead guys were burning up the riderless course in front of them
I accepted my position as I saw who was pacing right in front of me
familiar racers whose speeds and times are often similar to my own
chris redlack and jason stoner entered the second section of singletrack right before me

things seemed right

just a few yards into the woods and redlack dropped his chain
which scooted me up to stoner

there were times where I wanted to go faster but accepted that there was no place to pass and that the pace of stoner was more than likely a good pace for me

the course revealed to be quite a surprise
it was fun for the course to be switched around
it did seem like more work
lots of efforts to accelerate halted by sharp corners and hairpin turns
the familiarity was there
but it was more of a tip of the tongue phenomena than actually knowing what to expect
yes, it was familiar
but not familiar in this direction other than site
not by feel or anticipation

lap one went by quickly
the removal of some of the creek trail had a shorter course and sped up the times
then lap two began to flow as things got more familiar
managed to pass stoner and got passed by another
pretty much held that place
the third lap I was on the tail of another single speed
was waiting for an efficient place to catch his tail and make the pass in one move
but he pulled a tad ahead after a few passing opportunities
unfortunate inability to pass juniors and beginners let him sneak away
energy had to be conserved for the clydesdale race
having strength for the next three laps was more important that bursting myself for one or two more places

came across the line
left the celebration to the others and headed for my other bike
while fueling up with more heavily caffinated drinks I went ahead and changed my shorts, gloves, and glasses
filled my tool-less mini-camelback
put my helmet back on and cautiously rolled down towards the start finish
fearing the whole time that the expert class would be released causing one ugly game of chicken

arrived thirty seconds before the expert release
just in time to finish my can of XS ENERGY drink
free energy drink that is calorie free
I love free!
with my drink finished it was time to go

the horn sounded and we were off
I had gears
and ya know what... I used them
the little roller climb that started things off
I switched gears and enjoyed it
hit the gravel road then into the woods again
felt a clydesdale racer right on my back

tapped my front brake
had to grab my front brake
did a little polish wheelie but was able to correct and get back on trail
the following clydesdale was forced to do a little panic stop himself
the aggressive stop knocked something loose with his disc brakes
I could hear him on my tail through the woods

in no time at all we were catching the tail end of the sport class
one by one
group by group I tried to make a pass
some were good in granting me a path
others made me take it
there was the usual joker that raced me as I tried to pass along side off trail
that is to be expected

two laps through the race I was feeling pretty good
was getting a feel for riding with gears and shock
also getting a feel for my control with what seemed to be a slow leak in my rear time and my less that powerful braking in the front

not far into lap three I hit something
not sure where or how
could have been on an aggressive off the trail pass
it could have been just a standard hit with my fat ass on a tire that was quickly losing air
maybe it would not have happened with a fresher less worn tire
how or why?
who cares?
it happened
two weeks in a row I flatted out
again I was riding without tools, tube, or pump
so... like last week I tried to run it
just like last week I ran it for a hundred yards
only to remember that I am not a runner
I am a mountain biker

so, just like last week I mooched a twenty six inch tube for my twenty nich inch wheel
even borrowed some CO2 from a mechanic from the Pro Shop who had pulled off due to a mechanical
sure enough everyone passed
everyone passed
all the sports I had passed
all the clydesdales that had been behind me
all the women sport racers

with heavily sweaty hands I tried to finish the tube replacement with outside assistance
then put the wheel back on the bike
wrestled with the monkey nuts
only to feel the tire rubbing as I took off
dismounted and remounted the wheel straight... ignoring the one monkey nut that was not doing its job

with what little energy I had I tried to catch so many that had passed me
the course is not passer friendly
I passed what I could
I rode the pace of those that were before me
I pulled over for the leading experts
and I tailed them as best I could
made a number of passes
enjoyed the flow of some of the other racers
accepted that I was running out of course

finished pleased with my efforts
felt good about my energy levels
felt like a fool about my flat and my lack of concern for the performance of my bike

fell from first to fourth in the Clydesdales
managed to finish 12th in the Single Speed
would have liked top ten
but felt pretty okay with 12th

WAW# 3 Photos by Gary
photos of #1 and #2 from Pete
waw#3 results

XS Energy Drink

support? trying to cash in?

found a link to this in my comments section

not unlike... the notion of support our troops
there is an idea of support
there is an idea in a person's mind... maybe I will get rich

if the support our troops sticker and magnet people were interested in supporting troops
they would make their product without making a profit

go... go... gadget

the only thing more wild than the way this man dresses
is the way this man rides
every time I have seen this man on the bike he is moving as if he were racing in a time trial

adam has the wheelie gene

more from City Bikes


tried getting adam and hugo to do some tricks for me
they did not have the terrain that inspired them
and well
I am not so good with the action shots
practice... practice... practice...
take lots of shots
not just 20 shots in 5 minutes

a girl at the shop

excuse me
one of the women that works at the shop

Washcycle.... NEW AND IMPROVED!

City Bikes Chevy Chase

rolled by the City Bikes shop in Chevy Chase Maryland on my way into work today
had the camera
so I stopped in to take a few shots
was reminded of a few things....

my camera works best outdoors
should use the flash when shooting indoors
I am not a very good photographer
I am especially poor at action shots...
those are soon to be assembled


why is bega in the center of the action? just because!!
why is shawn so big? because he is so big
why are their two pictures of the women at the shop? cause she is a women

Chain Reaction in DC

Chain Reaction in Washington DC
the site is new and improved
I have yet to check out the new and improved shop space

check to see how you can help Chain Reaction
or maybe
check to see how Chain Reaction can help you

maybe they have all the parts to build that beater fixed gear you have been dreaming about

shot these on the move

was walking and talking with a friend
just hit the button a few times as I passed

the word according to floyd

got to hear Floyd this am on CNN International
you can hear him on Larry King today
the floyd landis site is down
the Phonak Team site is down

larry king

Friday's show

Friday's show
Floyd Landis

Primetime exclusive: The Tour de France racing champ, Floyd Landis speaks out about testing positive. Tune in Friday at 9 p.m. ET.

E-mail questions for Floyd Landis.

Sunday's show

Sunday's show
Floyd Landis

The Tour de France racing champ, Floyd Landis speaks out about testing positive. Tune in Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.

Monday's show

Monday's show
Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow in her first prime-time interview since her breast cancer diagnosis. She opens up about that and her breakup with Lance Armstrong. Tune in Monday at 9 p.m. ET.


velo news tries to explain testosterone to people like me
don't read much
it hurts my brain


love the randomness

out trolling the Internet
looking for landis stuff
just looking around

went to myspace for a bit
went to the lance site
saw a stolen underground posting on the lance site

I opened up a few windows
one of the windows played a social distortion tune
social distortion has always made me think needles

what have you heard?

taking down your site
having your sponsor take down your team site

deciding not to go to your appearance
on the tonight show

it does not look so good

what have you heard?

wonder what people are thinking?
what is the truth?

should we ask for the short list?

that list would be the list of clean pros

need to get deeper into the functions

some black and white on the digital

mail order wife


I saw a little of this last night
not a must see
but it amused me
partially because I am attracted to the premise

mail order wife

not just an album by the police



playstation etc....

when I was a kid I would go to my neighbor's house
we would each get a large empty glass
then head out to their porch
that is where they kept their water cooler

we would take turns filling our glasses and chugging the water
all for the glory of seeing and hearing those large bubbles rise to the top within the jug

then came pong
now they have playstation and all sorts of things I have never encountered
at least I have not encountered the game boxes in the last 5+ years




FATMARC has given up BLOGGING and has gone into advertising
check out his INFO-MERCIAL

(just busting his balls... his stuff is good... buy his product... not since Dick Gregory's Bohamian Diet have I seen anything as good in a can!)

what does this mean?

News Story

Jul 27 2006, 10:08 AM EDT

Doping-Tour de France winner Landis gives positive drugs test

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) - Tour de France winner Floyd Landis has given a positive drugs test for the male sex hormone testosterone, his Phonak team said on Thursday.

"The Phonak Cycling Team was notified yesterday by the UCI of an unusual level of testosterone/epitestosterone ratio in the test made on Floyd Landis after stage 17 of the Tour de France," Phonak said in a team statement.

((Editing by Bill Barclay, London Sports Desk; Reuters Messaging: bill.barclay.reuters.com@reuters.net; +44 207 542 7933))


dopers suck

dc pedi cab....

no celebration on the podium last night

here is a photo from pete from last week's WAW#2
that is my clydesdale buddy Don Watkins

Don is just coming back from an injury

he is back on the road
soon to be back on dirt

Don will be lining up with the Clydesdales soon enough!

last night I flatted again

old worn tires....

totally my bad for not replacing that stuff
paid for it at Big Bear
paid for it at Greenbriar

paid for it at WAW last week

paid for it again at WAW last night

got to get some fresh tires on the bike

have to swap out the gear sooner

no need to get that last mile out of a chain or cassette
willl have to clean some stuff up on the geared bike so my tail end of the season is not tainted with more mechanicals
mechanicals happen

mechanicals can be avoided

((don is a fireman... although that is not the standard fireman's carry... I do not think he was straining to carry someone tipping the scales around the same point as himself))

WAW#3 Results
(I raced in the single speed and the clydesdales this week)
((the times are faster this week as it was not only backwards loop day... but they cut out the creek section for the reverse loop))

too many people after the race said tubeless... maybe you should try tubeless
sure... tubeless... who is buying?

family vacation

pretty soon we will take a major family vacation
maybe in the fall we should take a minor vacation
cedar point and famous ray's?

mission accomplished

these guys can say it
mission accomplished
soldier ride has arrived in california

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backwards day at wakefield tonight

tonight was race three of wednesday at wakefield
my third race of three races at wakefield
tonight was backwards night at wakefield
that is the night when the run the race in the opposite direction

ah.... backwards day
they choose to make backwards day the same night as I decided to try and double things up
by doubling up I was going to try and race early at 6PM with the single speeds
then line up on my geared bike with front shock with the Clydesdales at 6:55

by running things backwards it is more than just so confusing that it almost like riding a totally different course
well, it is a totally different course
sort of like the down hill way versus the upwards way
the backwards way is also the upwards way
although it is a roller coaster so it is not that much up or that much down

the drive out was not a pleasure
even getting out early had me in traffic
getting there in time for the single speed race was not a comfortable experience
not quite rush hour traffic, but basic commuter traffic bullshit just the same
slow and stupid
or fast and foolish
tough mix out there.... especially for the sections that the cars slow to a parking lot for some unknown reason
had me watching the clock

got there just in time to register
scott scudamore called thirty seconds when I was still filling out the forms

no time to really warm up
needed to fuel up
and lay out my bike for the second race
the finish and start of the races would be close
had different gloves, glasses, and shorts... just in case

like a fool I decided to ride bareback again
sure I had thought about bringing stuff
actually had a packed camel back
but work a tool-less mini camelback instead
so.... not entirely bareback
but rode like just the same

had I not learned my lesson the week prior?

raced the single speed with no mechanical issues
the new tire and new tube in the front rolled nicely
my guesswork with the front tire pressure felt good
my body got worked... but felt good enough for the second race
not sure of my final placing in the class
opted to mellow on the last lap
conserved energy for the laps to come in the next race

rolled across the finish and tried to fuel up with some more of the free energy drinks and free water provided by... (will find that name and link! as I dig them and their product)
switched shorts, gloves, went with clear glasses.... stuck with sweat soaked shirt and sweat soaked socks
rolled down to the start line as the pre-race meeting was still on its way
a minute later I would have been playing chicken with the whole expert class

there were 5 or six clydesdale
the backwards course did not give me any advantages of familiarity
well... I had the three previous laps of familiarity
but not the familiarity I have with the course run in the standard direction
the gradual climb at the start also seemed like less of an advantage

the fog horn start with the megaphone sent us sprinting forward
gears are different
gears give options
I was using those options
the pack fought forward and thinned out as we got into the first hundred yards of uphill singletrack
there was another clydesdale right on my tail
I could hear him
I could feel him

out of one section of wooded singletrack past a few sport racers
then back into the woods again
rolling fast into the woods I learn that the set up of my geared bike is not so dialed in wiht the whole braking idea

almost went over the handlebars
well.... started a polish wheelie then recovered
the brakes did not slow me down so I had to slam on them to stop me from hitting a few trees
the closely tailing clydesdale slammed on things hard
we managed to return to the trail without a full stop and without making contact
no trees and no polish wheelies
I try to factor in the quality of my braking with each future turn

the first lap went by well considering that my rear wheel felt a little squishy
felt good at the start
felt like it was getting more squishy
again more to focus on when trying to corner fast
not sure how close the trailing clydesdale was
the legs and heart were pumping along using any lungs that would be needed for talking
the body was feeling good
the shock felt good as well
the shock felt super good on the man made boardwalk sections

halfway through lap two the slow leak becomes a flat
not sure where or when
but the combination of my rough riding style and my old and worn tires allowed a snake bite ontop of a slow leak
thought I could race the clock
beat the slow leak to the finish
instead I was running
then stopping
a few minutes of conversation took me to deja vue

another flat
just like last week
people pass
lots of people pass
all the people I worked so hard to pass get to pass me back
then a familiar face
not a friend but a familiar face on the trailside offers me a pump
that was when I learned that my slow leak was a pinch flat
I was going to just inflated it and try to finish it out
or at least ride to the next pump

just like last wednesday I am bumming a 26 inch tube and pump from outside help
not exactly norba rules
but.... this is not norba
and it is a 26 inch tube in a 29 inch wheel

with outside assistance from some cat that works at the pro shop in georgetown my flat is replaced and filled

back on the bike
lots of people to pass
not so much trail to try and pass them back

I work my way through the course
psyched to be back on the bike
feeling like a total joker for flatting out again
just one week later
not bad karma... bad tire pressure and worn tires

bad to my bicycle
bad to myself

this week I was not as fortunate as last
the course is too tight and too short for me to reel in all that passed me
a slow tire exchange did not help
maybe I need a better pit crew
just kidding.... I learned that lesson when i saw Cars with my son the other day

finished the race
rolled into the finish fourth in my class but satisfied just the same

the night was a great night of riding and racing
the back to back races did not effect the outcome nearly as much as the flat
the flat which was an ignorant error dictated my fate
time to race smarter
even for the short, local, fun races... I still want to race and I still want to finish

it is vital that I approach the events with my bicycle properly prepped
I need to ride with everything that I may need
even if it is a small seat pouch mounted on each bike so there is no debate on to carry it or not to carry it

great night even with my flat and less than stellar finish

it was great to be out racing
it was great to step it up and try to double up with the two events

it was fun racing with the single speeders
that class really flies
there is a different feel racing in that pack
although the pack dropped me pretty fast and there I was riding on my own

it blew my mind seeing some stylee riders busting a move over that log like that image of camps
I am sure that there will be some great gary shots tomorrow
along with the results

the night migrated from the race, to the gravel road, to the local watering hole
had the steak and cheese
the halapenos really made it for me

good times

cranky monkey on sunday
one more wakefield next week

best just publish and post
kids get up early
it is idiotic for me to stay up late
it is already late

guess I had one too many of those free energy drinks