never sure what makes the page...


I just got the urge to hear some LUCY BROWN

a few Lucy Brown Videos on YOUTUBE

the comments from this post about Gene Hawkins has a comment from Josh
Josh has since died of cancer
life can be sad

alright Fenty... you joked with the kids at John Eaton about starting a Tri-Team...


maybe Adrian Fenty can answer the question...
"If high school students in the DC area wanted to be part of the NICA... where would they train?"

oh yea...
the kids would drive an hour plus each way to Frederick or Patapsco... each time and every time they wanted to ride
no problem. all the kids who want to mountain bike have access to a car
all these kids have all this free time to just drive around

all the National Park Service would need to do is take down the NO BIKES signs in Rock Creek Park
then the kids could ride locally

once the trails are open to mountain bikes invite MORE AND IMBA to take a look at things to make the trails more sustainable
I am confident that the bodies would come out like an army for trail days to make this happen!

what would it cost the National Park Service?
all they have to do is allow the bikes to ride on the natural surface trails in Rock Creek Park

so many of these trails are nasty off camber revealed roots
reroute the trails

high school cross country runners would benefit as well would the cities hikers, runners, dog walkers, and bird watchers
oh yea... and of course local mountain bikers

oh man... Washington, DC needs to get on this momentum

the positive ripple effect of opening the natural surface trails of Rock Creek Park to mountain biking would be fantastic

not to get off topic....
after that... there can be a push for BIKE CLUBS in schools around the city
Bike Clubs for more than just mountain biking
Bike Clubs for bikes in general.
but that is getting off topic

what would Fenty need to do?
he would just have to get behind the idea...
there is momentum

can car drivers learn to behave?

I ask the question...
can drivers learn to behave?

there are situations where I have seen changed behavior...
red light cameras... bring people who are cognizant of the device to a complete stop
speeding cameras... guide the masses to slow down to the actual speed limit... until of course out of view of the camera

then there is also a more interesting one... a device that is a little more complicated

on Porter Street in Northwest Washington DC there is a speeding camera that measures the vehicle speed...
and if that person is speeding
then mid-block there is a red light

this changes behavior
as in the other cases with the other devices.... the driver "learn" to behave in that space in that time
but... since this is a little more complicated device which alerts the driver to be aware of their speed
with measures both on their speedometer and on the speed camera itself
perhaps inviting the driver to be an active participant in the driving process

comparing the speeds.... the speed they are going versus the actual speed limit

it is wonderful
just as in the cases of the other devices... this device changes behavior
but the real question
are the car drivers evolved enough to transpose what they learned here to other driving situations

does the driver realize that their unsafe speed versus the actual speed limit bring them to their destination at pretty much the same time?

I had a rant a few years ago that I like to REPOST
I think that this would be a good PSA for the DDOT or even DOT as a whole to pick up
our competitive society loves a challenge

can drivers learn to behave?
for pedestrians and cyclists to survive... we are dependent upon car drivers evolving
which means... when we are car drivers... we need to behave

oh... that speeding camera with the red light mid block... it also punishes the cars behind the speeding car
in fact... the speeding car usually speeds right through the mid block red light
then the next car... that may or may not have been speeding
gets stuck behind the mid block red light

Cyclists passing in front of my camera on the streets of DC

alter our nature...

the driver of the modern age is far more likely to try to go around someone than to hit the brakes and slow down...

that has been the basis of car and truck ad campaigns for the last decade
drivers swerving to avoid all sorts of dramatic obstacles
rather than taking the foot off the accelerator and tapping the brake

had this person selected to slow down and stop rather than swerving to avoid things
I guess it is not worth trying to re-script the past
the past can not be undone
but... we can try to dictate the actions of our future

people need to RELEARN HOW TO DRIVE
the current methods are not working
people need to rethink... actually... people need to think



Cross Country Adventure... well... a really really long ride

three friends ride from St. Louis, Missouri to Portland, Oregon!


ah... the cross country bicycle trip
that adventure is on my life list!

so far so good... they have made it to Kansas!

DC is a small city... the subcultures within it are even more small

an old outdated image from the archives

Jess Because Is Lightfoot's blog: http://www.hellolightfoot.tumblr.com
Jess Because Is Lightfoot's site: http://hellatuff.com
Jess Because Is Lightfoot's myspace: http://www.myspace.com/lightfootva

Cyclist Killed by SUV in Montgomery County...


the driving style of the modern age is FAST AND LOOSE
people are more likely to try and honk the horn or swerve around than slow down or brake
with this as people's second nature it is shocking that there are not more pedestrian and cyclist injuries

not sure what happened here
but... there is information about a driver in an SUV killing a cyclist this weekend past in Montgomery County Maryland





Friday we went to the Beaver Dam Swim Club

the archive brings back some wonderful summer memories

that was a fast hack job in photoshop
running the levels and touching up each layer would have tripled my time on the montage

I was never really a fan of the whole moped thing...

there was a time when many people were drawn to the moped
I did not get it... I still do not get it

all over town there were mopeds... lots of mopeds
more than just Al La Carte and their moped brigade

indy rockers and self proclaimed rock stars were rocking the moped

I did not get it

nice photo... great time capsule

W@W #1: Race Report 2010 Wednesday at Wakefield #1

days have passed and the memories of the moment have blurred... there have been multiple unsuccessful efforts to get down some thoughts... the passage of time has definitely blurred things... details have been forgotten...

a few images from the event may stir some memories... as of yet nothing as surfaced... not finding any photos from wednesday at wakefield postings on the web
there are a handful of photos on the memory card that may aid in jarring my memory


no lap split... times... but no lap times

splits would aid in better understanding my efforts on the course
it is also interesting to compare the sensation of an effort and the actual results of an effort
results but still no photos from wednesday at wakefield

Race Report 2010 Wednesday at Wakefield #1
W@W #1

Sunday... Father's Day the Sunday before W@W#1 I decided not to drive south to race the Massanutten Hoo Ha
there was too much to do... my life is not my own
Father's Day Fun with the family and a number of pool parties to attend took priority over dad racing his bicycle
I woke up in my own bed rather than in my tent
I was greeted with the surprise of a unicycle for Father's Day rather rolling out of a tent and lining up to race in the George Washington National Forrest
no... instead of racing my bike in Virginia I was in the alley behind my house going head to head with my nine year old son to see who learns to ride a unicycle first

after a cautious approach to the slow learning curve that is the unicycle Lisa left out with the boys for a bicycle ride on Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park this freed me up for a quick session at Schaeffer Farms
I loaded the Jamis Exile Single Speed into the car and drove out of town
at Schaeffer
I was not shocked to see the parking lot full of cars on this wonderful summer day

fueled with a mixture of excitement to get on the bike and a can of Red Bull I took to the trails with high intensity
off the pavement of the parking lot and onto the dirt trails in the woods I was already pushing things hard
aggressively I attacked each corner... thrusting over each logs and log pyramid in front of me
nearly sliding out on one corner I spoke to myself to tone it down
but before I could take my own advice I decided to launch the set of logs in front of me


not sure how it happened or didn't happen
all I know is that I was lying face down on the trail then my bike landed on top of me
my chain ring tearing a gash into my forearm and my wheel landing on my head

quickly I was back on my feet

at first glance it looked like my handlebars were tweaked
then a blink of the eye made it more clear
my front wheel was taco-ed
the bike was not rideable

game over.

no more then 10 minutes into my ride and I was limping out of the woods
walking out rather than riding out
the front wheel was taco-ed to the point it could not make a full rotation without making contact to the fork

to my pleasure there was a bike demo in the parking lot
I walked over to the EZ UPS and signed a waiver and took a PIVOT CYCLE into the woods

there were no XL 29ers available so I got on an XL 26er
my confidence was down due to my crash
while my sensibility was high
I knew the bike was diminutive and unfamiliar
so I tried to take the trails at speed without crashing

it was my goal to ride fast and hard without any more injuries

a few minutes into the ride and I had somewhat adjusted to the unfamiliar bike
the brakes and gears were spot on
the small wheels felt strange
the bike seemed to lag a bit
clearly the 29er is my native language

although I dwarfed the Pivot Cycle with its small frame and small wheels I still rode with confidence
perhaps foolishly so

a series of right hand turns and then a quick loop around the open field and I was hammering back to the parking lot
the bike felt good... I was excited to do a comparison between 26er and 29er

back into the woods pointed back to the parking lot my right foot caught a root of a fallen tree and like Icarus I crashed down to earth


nothing bruised on this crash other than my confidence and maybe my toe

bringing my tempo down a notch I rolled back to the Pivot Cycles base camp
still no XL 29er to ride
I drank water and shot the shit with the Pivot Cycles Reps
then decided I could wait no longer
the events of the day were calling me... it is not much of a Father's Day celebration without dad!

as I walked back to the car I started to wonder about my wrist
my left wrist was feeling a little off... I was sheltering it... cradling it... protecting it...
the crash on the Jamis Exile Single Speed had been pretty ugly...
that crash had taco-ed my front wheel and left some bruises and scratches on my legs and arms
this crash may have done more

with the car loaded up I accessed my situation as I started my drive back to town

anxiety swelled up inside me
the wrist did not feel right there was no swelling but there was intense pain
I drove towards the hospital...
a wrong choice at the 495 split sent me to American Plant to get some Butterfly Bushes and some Milkweed as a donation to my kid's school with money earned from The John Eaton Bike Swap

then back in the car I continued my way to Suburban Hospital
it had been decades since I had been to this hospital in Bethesda
I could remember my last visit to this hospital... it was a visit to this hospital that gave me a cast on this same wrist from a motorcycle crash
it shocked me that this information that was pre-computer was in their system

X-rays and review showed no break
it was just sprained
I left out of the hospital with nothing more than a splint and the recommendation to take it easy for a few days

arriving at the pool party a few minutes later than planned
the splint came off for swimming in the pool with the boys
but no rough housing... no tossing of the kids... no wild jumps off the diving board
there was pain... but not much more

a few days into the week and the pain had subsided
by Wednesday the splint was off and I was ready to resume regular activity
which meant... W@W #1
there had been a short discussion
but more than anything it was decided that my boys would be racing at Wakefield as well
so... when my wife Lisa got home from work we as a family drove out to Wakefield Regional Park for the evenings events

school was out so I hung with my sons Dean and Grant
our day was pretty mellow
we woke up slow with no rush to make anything happen
after some breakfast the boys went between Wii and Plants and Zombies while I walked the dog

before the day could slip away we left off for the pool
on the way to the pool we grabbed some new goggles for the swim season and some carry out Chinese for lunch
after splashing and swimming and eating it started to look like I should alter my focus to the bike

we drove back home and the boys rushed back to Plants and Zombies while I started to load up the car

the Honda Element would be loaded down with bicycles for all... including mom
when momma Lisa got home from work we would all head to Wakefield as a family

we got their early... plenty early for my Clydesdale Race at 6:55
but this did not offer the time for the SINGLE SPEED-CLYDESDALE BACK TO BACK
no... the kids were brought so that they could race in the Juniors Under 10 Event

with numbers on the bikes the boys lined up
I went to various parts of the course to cheer them on and snap photos

a little gap between 9 year old Dean and 6 year old Grant was enough that Dean left the Finish line looking for his family
which of course then became a panic for mom and dad
so... rather than warming up... I combed the area for my older son

luckily my friend Joe Coleman spotted what appeared to be a lost boy and helped him to find us

once the family was reunited I lined up with my group
there were some familiar faces but I was not sure if their were any HEAVY HITTERS in the Clydesdale group on this evening... GregP was not there... Koch was not there... Redlack was not there...
there were some unfamiliar faces whose threats had yet to be known

all the 6:55 Classes were unleashed before the big boy class... ah... the pleasure of passing

the race started at its usual base of the gravel road start
only... the gravel is deeper and looser than usual
which made for an exhausting effort for all the classes
I lined up to the far right to avoid any shouldering or elbowing that would take me down in the first 30 seconds of the race

there was a minute warning... then a 15 second warning... then a five second warning with a silent countdown
then we were released
at the sound of GO! everything stood still
no one left off... everyone remained dormant
then all at once... everyone lunged forward
it was a strange stoppage of time that often happens at the start line

the sound of tires kicking up gravel and cleats clicking into pedals
my heart and lungs started pounding and my legs started pushing
I raced for the gravel hill in an effort to try and select a hard packed line
although the race is not decided by the hole shot... it is nice to try and take control of the race early

on the hill I was in the lead
I could feel that there were wheels around me
at the crest of the hill I toned it down and avoided a mini-van doing a three point turn
then pointed for the singletrack
I had won the hole shot and could drop my pace and allow my body to regroup

my heart and lungs were working hard in the heat
I knew I would need to find a grove or else I would blow up

on the dry and dusty trails we rode the boardwalk bridges and ducked into the woods
it had been some time since my last ride at Wakefield things were not that different
different... but not crazy different
on lap one I went around the now easy to clear log as I worked to find a groove
not far into the woods and I was already catching up with Sport Women

one by one I passed the Sport Women
always trying to be respectful of everyone's right to their race
while also trying not to be slowed so much that my efforts to break away from the pack are not erased
there were times where I slowed my pace early so that I would not have to tailgate at a slow pace but rather intersect with the racers at a point where I felt I could pass them with momentum

on each lap the double track by the creek was a good place for passing
always asking the racer ahead of me if I could enter the woods before them

the race course unfolded and revealed itself as classic WAKEFIELD
in and out of the woods... up and down some sweet singletrack turns... blazing below the powerline
business as usual!
until they rerouted us towards the PHASE ONE BMX S-Curves

not unlike the "dippity doos" this sort of riding does not really suit me
the turns in the trees are where I am most comfortable
I appreciated the notion of mixing things up
but this addition did not flatter my riding style

on each lap I nearly crashed on the dippity doos
on each lap I was only able to rail the third and fourth banked turn with any speed
and even that was not so speedy

I felt that the climb leading to the banked turns was a greater factor in racing than the bank turns themselves

at the end of lap one I was feeling that classic Wakefield Wish
wishing that the race were only one lap
it was hot... it is always hot at the W@W
I tried to hydrate as I moved
water was in the bottle... it was vital
the dust filled my mouth and I was losing water fast

half way through lap two I saw what appeared to be two of the Clydesdales from the line
when the trail double backed upon itself I tried to get a better idea of who was chasing me and how far behind me they were
yep... sure enough... there were a few Clydesdales following close behind
maybe two or three turns behind

I knew I would have to pick up the pace

I would have to race smart... avoid the crash... avoid the technical malfunction... avoid the flat... and of course... pick up the pace so that there would be no argument on who crosses the line first in our category
there was a race... those other Clydesdales were challenging me

having crashed the Jamis Exile days prior effected me in a number of ways
there was some fear of crashing and getting injured
but there was also the issue of the bicycle
the notion that this is the wrong bike for this set of trails
too much travel and too big of a bike

the Niner Rip Nine may be the wrong bike for Wakefield
the long wheel base made it tough to arc the turns fast
I even crashed on the climb leading to the bank turns on my last lap when my pedal contacted the ground on a tight right switchback turn

the bike wanted to go faster... but the trails were not straight enough for the Rip Nine to just LET IT RIP

the trails may be too tight for the flow that the Niner Rip Nine enjoys
this is a better bike for Patapsco... or better yet The George Washington Forrest... or even courses like Greenbrier... but Wakefield... Wakefield may be perfect for the single speed

my unfamiliarity with the Rip Nine contributed to my anxiety
on laps two and three I cleared that very clear-able log with ease
but on no lap did I make the dippity doos look pretty
in fact... some of my approaches were ugly... Polish Wheelie Ugly... near ENDO UGLY!
too fast with no flow

it felt good
it felt good to be on the bike
it felt good to be out racing
it was really what my mind, body, and soul needed

even with my lack of control over my bike I felt good

the experience of seeing my boys ride and race was a joy
then to top it off with a solid execution of racing on my part gave me great sensation
I came across the line and was greeted by my beaming wife and my smiling children
it was a great reward... it was a wonderful moment

exhaustion and elation
all while being out of water

then a minute later the chase group of Clydesdales came rolling in... 2nd Place... 3rd Place... and then 4th
all of them closer to each other than they were to me

it was a race... the were there... not far behind me... not quite nipping at my wheels
but threatening me just the same
it was a good day of racing
I pushed myself and I was challenged by others in my class

Potomac Velo Club once again delivers the pleasure that is Wednesday at Wakefield
A Mountain Biker's post work softball game... a four game season... a great gathering of mountain biking friends
a good time for sure
everyone had their tales to tell
most everyone was walking around with wide smiles... even the ones with flat tires and broken bicycles

ah... Wakefield
I will definitely try to make it to a few more of the PVC Wednesday at Wakefield events this summer
and... maybe I will be able to bring my boys out for another night of racing!

Plants Versus Zombies

Plants Vs. Zombies

my kids are totally into this computer game
we bought it for the MAC
which means I have to share the computer

their Plant vs. Zombie time is cutting into my FACEBOOK and BLOGGER TIME!


another Beaver Shot...

this image is from the official web page of The Beaver Dam Swim Club
it is low res... but it appears to be me and my older son on the rock
funny... maybe a shot that my wife lisa took that was posted on my page


scroll down this archive for better beaver shots!



10 Bucks At the Door!


RACE REPORT: W@W #1 THE KID RACE (battling child size demons)




I already scripted something about my race at Wakefield last Wednesday trying to get down some words about my boys and their race experiences at Wakefield... from my perspective
it has been too many days... the best time to write this report is of course... the evening o
f the race
but really... who has the energy for blogging after a long hot day
oh... usually me

here is what I said about my race W@W#1 my report
now the words that follow are about Dean and Grant's mountain bike experience at WAW number one

shamefully this is the combination of two separate posts
two post and two separate ideas
I think I had BLOGGER open on two machines
making edits on two different set of idea

a set of ideas that I was convinced would come full circle and met up

no dice rock slice
that is not the way it played out
I guess I will give it a quick hack and put it on the page
too much time thinking backwards
time to start looking forward

I wish I could recall the dialogue between Grant and myself
I was more "Father Knows Best-The Andy Griffith Show" then displayed here

Wednesday at Wakefield #1 Summer 2010
the kids' race from my perspective

the parent's responsibility is never ending parenting is about anticipation
anticipation of their child's needs

will they be hungry? will they get cold? what are they thinking now? are they scared? what are their worries? what are their fears?
what do they need? why are they bored?
the list goes on... think of all the what is best for my child questions

parenting can also be about making decisions for the children
not just the decision that keep the children safe but decisions to guide the children to be the best people that they can be
children can not always be trusted about making the best decisions
sure... the child should have a say
but... there should be some guidance as a child may make their decision based on the immediate without any ability to think of the long term

think ice cream and cake...
is it always up to them what to eat and how much?

there are many reasons why a then the child may prefer something for the moment with no consideration of what will be missed later...

earlier this season my older son Dean had try outs for a travel soccer team
Dean is a good little ball player but not a stand out player
it seemed unlikely that he would make the team with so many kids trying out and so few slots

then... a rain date postponed one of the tryouts such that Dean would miss out on a bunch of friends and families going to a neighborhood pool for dinner and hanging out
I could see that Dean was wanting to go to the pool but I thought it best that he still go to tryouts
stick to the plan
think long term rather than immediate

Dean had a good time at tryouts... hours of soccer and smiling
no... Dean did not make the team... but... I think that the tryouts were an experience
if nothing else... Dean has to understand that if making the team is important to him... then he will need to play more soccer

Dean had anxiety about the tryouts... nothing sever... but it was there
butterflies in the stomach
maybe a little more than butterflies

yet not so much that Dean went running for shelter

Dean also had the distraction of the immediate pleasure of the pool party

Dean fought back his demons and ignored the distractions
we all get some sort of anxiety butterflies swam in most people's bellies before the start of something bit perhaps the more it means to you the bigger the butterflies
the same can go for soccer games or basketball practices sometimes there is not a choice... sometimes it is a matter of commitment... fulfilling an obligation other times... it is a issue of confronting one's fears as in the event of performance anxiety
like a child fearing getting up in front of their class or a child not wanting to compete due to some fear of failure

people need to learn to approach their fears
to stand up and meet the challenge
as a parent it can be our obligation to educate our children on how to battle their demons
this year when working with my third grade son Dean on various class presentations I guided him to talk about the topic rather than memorizing a presentation
we reviewed the information... we discussed the information... we wrote the paper... then we loosely scripted a presentation
then of course... we practiced...
we practice talking on the topic
it is far more comfortable and entertaining than reading or reciting things

racing a bicycle is very similar
in the end... RACE DAY is just another day riding your bicycle
when I get pre-race jitters I have a few mantras that I recite in my head
it can be a little Stuart Smally-ish but... it works
simple phrases and simple breathing
we all know... IT IS BETTER ON THE BIKE the start of the race is a painful part of the process especially if you have any stake in the results
one night a few weeks back the family was on the Metro train headed to the National's baseball stadium to witness the first day of pitching for the new young gun
on the the somewhat vacant train I saw a friend of mine's father...
I asked Dean to go and say hello... asking Dean to tell the man that his father is friends with his son
Dean declined I coached him... explaining... I know you are nervous... I know it is awkward... but do not cave into your fears...
approach them and over come them

Dean did... it was easy... but it was also easy to say no and to not do it
that was a short exercise in confronting your demons and not caving under your fear

it is not so easy for us as adults to be aware of our fears and for us to fight back our demons
so... when our children get scared... we do not always know the best way to have them ov
er come the anxiety of the moment

yesterday afternoon as I packed the car with bicycles for the whole family for the Wednesday At Wakefield post work mountain bike race series my younger son Grant told me... "I am not going to race"

"not going to race?"
having been in this situation with this little man before I knew that I had to try to crack the c
it is not always so easy to solve the puzzle
"okay... we will bring your bike... and discuss things there"
I continued to load up the car Grant went back in the house and got ready for the evening

in the car the boys played their Nintendo DS games as I stressed over the traffic and our arrival time
I had considered bringing the boys to Wakefield so that they could do some sort of pre-ride... but t
hat never happened I tried to measure or arrival time and our opportunity to warm up after registration

as I drove... Grant spoke... "you can not make me race"
"yes... that is right... I can not make you race... " the conversation continued...
each time Grant said he was not going to race I may have said something short as a rebuttal

reminding Grant that he had this sort of feeling before
but he had raced and he had been pleased that he got involved
those wise words did not sway him

I tried to show him that I was on his side... "no... you do not have to race if you do not want to..." all the while knowing that it was my intention to get him on the bike and have him race
"hey Grant... why don't we decide when we get there... if you decide not to race... you can still ride around" stubborn little Grant was fine with that as an option...

the thought of momma Lisa riding with him as he raced did nothing to sway him

stubborn little Grant was fine with that as an option... the thought of momma Lisa riding with him as he raced did nothing to sway him

from my perspective both my boys have ridden at Wakefield a few times... not this year... but they have been here before over the years neither of the boys have ever raced at Wakefield Park... in fact the little riding the boys have done at Wakefield has not been on the race course... the creek trail

yet... knowing their comfort on the bike I felt that this event was well within their grasp
both Dean and Grant hav
e 20" BMX style bicycles
both Dean and Grant also have geared bicycles
interestingly enough Grant wanted to race his 20" geared bike while Dea
n thought he should stay on his 20" single speed BMX style bike instead of his newly acquired slightly used 24" inch GT mountain style bike with gears

as th
e father of these boys I also take on the task of coach and manager
I thought about their experience on the bike and their comfort on each machine

I considered the weight of the machine and the use of hand brakes versus coaster brakes in the trail riding situation
there was also some question of Dean being too large for his 20" wheel bike

in anticipation of the Wednesday at Wakefield bicycle race we rode the geared bikes home from
school on Monday and the BMX style bikes the next day
the boys each seemed comfortable on either machine
without running a mountain bike time trial I did not think I knew which would be the more logical machine

the night prior to the race I took a look at each bike
Dean's Redline BMX bike was in need of a new rear tire.
after swapping out the rear 1.75 I stressed over the idea of swapping out the front tire as well

Grant's bikes seemed to be in well working order
there was a glance at tire pressure then some lube on the chain
nothing more

Wednesday came and there was not too much discussion of the evening's bicycle race
there was too much else that needed to be done the boys woke to their first day without school and rushed to the computer to play some PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES
which all went well until I bumped them off the computer which sent them to the Wii
once we were all awake and ready to start our day I had Dean practice the unicycle in the basement as I scurried around and tried to gather the gear for two adults and two children for an afternoon of bicycle racing-riding
then with bags packed for a quick escape in the afternoon it was off to the pool

on the way to the pool we grabbed some new goggles for everyone in the family
goggles and then some Chinese food
here would not be time for cooking
we splashed and played for hours in the pool then took off for home to load up the bikes and get mom

on the way home I heard something I had anticipated... Grant told me... "I am not going to race...
going to..."
this is not the first time I have experienced thi
s "I am not going to race"
six year old Grant can be a stubborn monkey the ha
rder I try to sway him... the stronger his stance can become
so... I avoided the argument and respected his stance
while also ignoring his position
all the while understanding that young Grant is feeling the same thing that adults feel
Grant was caving into pre-race anxiety
Grant was collapsing under the pressure of his internal demons

as the afternoon progressed the conversation continued
Grant would tell me... "I am not going to race... you can not make me race" to which I had no rebuttal just agreement... "of course I can not make you race... I will notmake you race"
all the while packing his gear and prepping f
or him to get on the bike

Dean's attitude was far more agreeable
the boys have very different personalities and very different approaches to t
he things that they do
Dean will try new things... while Grant can be a little adverse to the unknown

Dean can be guided into trying new things... while Grant can
take a stand of refusing to try new things
this goes beyond activities like the bicycle races
this goes back to things as basic as trying new foods

with momma Lisa home from work and the car fully loaded we drove from downtown DC to suburban Virginia
thank goodness for the HOV lane because Interstate 395 was a parking lot
I tried to breath as I drove not knowing how this was all going to unfold
the traffic on the drive is nothing new
the traffic is part of the experience
anticipating the traffic I allowed the boys to bring their Nintendo DS devices telling them that they could play until I told them to put them away

when we got off 395 onto 495 I told them to power down the video games and to start getting their mind on mountain biking
again... Grant feeds me the "I am not going to race... you can not make me race"
rather than argue... I continued w
ith what I started trying to brief the boys on the race
ideas of safety
thoughts on passing and being passed
advice on how to dismount and run or walk a climb off the bike rather than straddling the bike

we were early... we arrived around the same time as the TRAILS FOR KIDS people which was perfect
I tried to piggy back out effort on their actions but they were as disorganized as us we all had to register and warm up there would not be time for an actual "pre-ride"

as I hustled around the car passing Gatorade to the boys and unloading bikes I was approached by Grant... again with this "I am not going to race"

we moved about and looked for the registration table
I had the boys ride around and warm up as I got them registered
as Grant rode by he said very matter of factly... "you are just wasting your money... I am not going to race"
to that I had an answer... "that is fine... it is only five dollars and the money goes to a good cause"

the boys rode the man made rock section and the wooden boardwalk a few times
as much as I wanted them to pre-ride some of the course I knew that we did not have time

I still needed to sway young Grant into racing
and we needed to find the START LINE

TRAILS FOR YOUTH (formerly Trips for Kids) are the organizers of the kid's race www.trailsforyouth.org POTOMAC VELO CLUB aka PVC is the host of Wednesday at Wakefield Experience www.potomacvelo.com



is this bridge in the Zoo?



teen killed on cross country bicycle ride

very sad.


somehow I can not place in my mind where that building is


Grant then Dean on the bike path that goes along side of Rock Creek Parkway
on this day we stopped in at the National Zoo
the boys went through Amazonia real quick
a ride by experience would be far less convenient in the car
on the bike... it was impromptu
we were there... we made it happen

we had no lock... so I waited outside with the bikes
all part of the post school bike ride
where the journey is the destination

this post was started and never finished...
lately there has been a great deal of that I start a post... run out of time... run out of energy... or just get distracted then... NOTHING! the words and the images never make the page

I will give this a quick glance
something less than a edit

the school year has ended...
the boys are done with another year of school
each of the boys had excellent years with awesome teachers
both boys developed and prospered
nothing short of proud of my boys for both their efforts and their achievements
very proud of my boys for who they are and who they have become

Dean is advancing to the 4th Grade
while Grant is making that massive leap from kindergarten to 1st Grade

my little boys are getting big!

Dean in the crosswalk... the boys roll in the sidewalk while I roll along side them in the street
my tactic is to rush ahead to the next intersection
the boys are instructed to stop at the corner
if it is clear when I get to the intersection before the boys... I wave them through
if there is traffic... I remind them to stop at the corner

my presence is a moving pick
even if the children have the right of way
I can not be sure that the car will see them
I can not be sure that the car will grant them their right of way

I am proud of my boys for who they are

this year I learned a little bit about life and about education
school is not so much about the product but the process
it is about "education"
the process of learning... not the scores achieved on a test

not sure if all the teachers get this...
the boys teachers this year certainly got this...

I pay far greater attention to the conversations with the teachers than the grades themselves

when a child does a presentation... it is not so much about the presentation itself
but the process of preparing the presentation
if the process of preparation is done correctly... then the presentation is really no big deal
but if the process is ignored and the focus is on the presentation itself
well... then the presentation may not be as it should

Grant in his England World Cup Jersey... number 7... Beckam

Dean following behind patiently
Grant always wants to lead... it can get competitive on the sidewalk

this year when working with my boys on various projects I stressed this idea while trying to avoid stress itself

there is always going to be some anxiety about getting up in front of people... but we tried to lessen the anxiety

my wife lisa is very good about planning ahead we tried to approach large projects in small pieces
that really seemed to make the assignments less daunting
we had good success with both boys this school year

yes... it was a good year
each of my boys were lucky enough to have teachers that they connected with
teachers that understood them
teachers that helped them to grow and develop as they should

on our rides home we sometimes dip into the woods onto some short... very short... but good for kids loops
unofficial unmarked trails
perfect for the boys to get a taste of what it is to go mountain biking
this may be Dean's first ride on dirt on the newly acquired 24 inch wheel bike

Grant did a few loops then played on the swings while Dean did a few more laps

not sure why I am focused on this notion of presentations... but that is where this tangent took me... so that is where I am

I tried to teach the boys that presentations should be a casual discussion about the topic
they should simply talk to the people about their project rather than memorize things or read off cue cards
it really seemed to work
they learned the topic well enough that they were

there were some words here... not sure where they went not sure if they are coming back

puzzle of how to lock up the two usually shaped kids bikes to the U shaped post with a U Lock
not as easy as it sounds

we "tried it" and "we liked it"
the process was fluid
it was a situation that my previous life would not allow
it was an opportunity that was well worth harnessing

the boys looked forward to it
the thought of the afternoon ride was often a draw to get my younger son out of bed

then... the afternoon became an adventure

ah... the journey is the destination

initially before the effort for the post school bike ride I was running a standard routine that many parents run
after picking the boys up from school we would migrate to a local park just a block from school
there we would eat and afternoon snack and join in on the activities in the park

in an effort to make things fun
in addition to the afternoon snacks I also brought afternoon activities
soccer balls one day and then frisbees the next

there were times when the boys were not excited about my options
but I tried to help them to understand
when dad offers to throw the football with you... you should take it
soon enough dad will have a job and that offer to toss the ball will not be available to you

well... that job did not and has not presented itself yet
so... there were more days with more activities

yet... there was some frustration with my efforts
I wanted my boys to have an enriching good time
I brought things that I thought would be fun for my boys and their friends
but... if you bring something to the park... all the kids want to play with it

one day I brought ROCKET BALLOONS

well... I brought two pumps and enough balloons for a number of kids
but before I knew it... there were so many kids swarmed around me that my boys got tired of waiting in line and were off doing other things
this made me a bit bitter... I had to toughen up... the other parents would need to step up and entertain their own kids... which they did not

when I brought Croquet... after things were set up I got mauled
one by one I turned the kids away
croquet is not as easy a game to grasp as one would think
there is order and strategy

I did not feel that I could entertain the masses
so... I held my ground and played this game with my kids and my kids only
telling one father who brought his son over "some times I like to throw the ball will all the kids... some times I just want to throw the ball with my own kids"
this was one of those days where I only wanted to play with my own kids

shortly after that I removed this park as a post school option from our routine
it was a little after that I designed the post school bicycle ride

this post would be far better with just images and no words
but I guess... there are those that feel that way about this blog as a whole

sorry... that went all over the place
to me...
if I read this in a few years
it will amuse me
I will be able to connect the tangents in my head