taking photos

yesterday I went for a quick spin
took a ride on the urban single speed around THE RALLY TO RESTORE SANITY
did not want to get caught up in the sea of people
which was fine
my approach was pretty much around the time of the rally's end

there had been consideration to ride the bikes down to the rally with the family
but having taken the boys for a ride over 12 miles after a half day of school on Thursday I did not think that I would be able to enlist my six year old in another long ride
a ride that long for a six year old is like a kid century

so... after a morning of soccer and an afternoon of finishing up Halloween costumes I threw my leg over a bike and rolled down to the mall

I snapped some photos
but more of bikes than masses of people
there could have been a documentation of cool signs

but I left that photo project for others

I did enjoy snapping photos of people snapping photos
in fact
I managed to snap a photo of a person snapping a photo of me snapping a photo of them
then also I was able to take a photo of someone taking a photo while I rode through their field of view thus causing me to take a photo of someone taking a photo of someone taking a photo of me

very fun

these photos were all taken within minutes of each other as I came off the 14th Street Bridge after riding the Mount Vernon Trail from Georgetown
pretty much the same route I took the boys on days prior

lots of bike traffic

time is slipping away
I think I will throw my bike on the car and head out to the trails
it has been too long since I have been on dirt


DC is about to get wild

this weekend DC is about to get wild
plan accordingly

rally to restore sanity
rally to keep fear alive
and people trying to do all sorts of stuff

Capital Bike Share might have more bikes going downtown than going uptown this weekend
hopefully they have planned accordingly

capital bike share on gwadzilla

Cyclocross Movie Night

Cyclocross Movie Night


and then this
Cyclocross in the 1950's
watch now... thank me later


The Lil Belgians at DCCX 2010



the lil' Belgians
an interesting sidebar at the cyclocross races

within my list of tasks in hosting DCMTB's DCCX it is my duty to design the lil' Belgian's course
and to act as the unofficial official for the lil' Belgian's race itself

it is funny... I take this pretty serious
when designing the course it is stressful trying to design a course that will be both challenging and fun for the children
even though the "lil belgian's is really a "toy" version of the cyclocross race
I still find it important that it is fun for the children
fun and challenging

this year we moved the lil' belgian's race course site on the Armed Forces Retirement Home grounds
although I appreciated that the new location was more centrally located
I was anxious if the course itself was going to work
the space that I was given seemed small
small without very many features
not many features other than a slight hill then some flat

working with a few other DCMTB members we designed what was a pretty basic oval
it was a bit lack luster... an oval?
it worried me that it was too small and too boring
it also worried me that the uphill section would zap the fun out of the course

as with years prior I opted to use the barriers for the up hill section
thinking that most of the kids would have to walk the climb
it made sense to force the dismount on the hill

sure... it bothers me to make 30 pound kids life 30 pound bikes
but... to simulate the cross experience we have mini barriers for the mini cross racers
it was set up... a small multi-lap course that involved barriers

well... after setting up the course and putting up some tape I decided to expand the course
there was a serious stake shortage
we were able to scavenge a few stakes and tack on a little out and back lollipop
that minor edit really brought the course to a more interesting level

this extended the downhill... added a technical 180 degree turn
extended the straight away
and made the course larger as a whole

A much needed improvement

sure... the lap would be short
there would be lapped racers
but multi-lap is the cyclocross way
passing is part of the game


no.... no pulling of lapped racers in the DCCX Lil Belgian race
even if I did witness a mishap where a parent helping his child over the barriers
at Ed Sanders stood in front of my son Grant as he tried to get over the barriers
slowing him and aiding Ofori to make the pass on the last and final lap

the day before the race I spoke with my children about the race and the next day as a whole

it was agreed that my older son Dean would bypass the lil' belgian experience and step it up and join in with the older kids and race as a nine year old in the Junior 10-14 event
he had done this at Ed Sanders and enjoyed the challenge... although he feared finishing last... he still wanted to try
while Grant told me that he would not race... not race?

Grant told me that I always make him r
ace... and that I could not make him race... this
is true... I do always make him race
having been through this before I did not try to rationalize him
okay... I gave a few textbook statements about how he always refuses to race... I make him race... then he thanks me for making him race

my effort to rationalize with him only made him more adamant about his stance
it became a waste of energy getting the last word
instead of arguing the day prior
I felt it would be best to wait until not just the day of... but at the race start

it made more sense to argue with Grant right before the race rather than days or hours before the race itself
he would be registered
he would get a number
and if he did not race... well... I would deal with that then
I was confident that he would race instead of caving into his kid version of pre-race anxiety

it was discussed with Lisa that she would bring the boys and I would bring the bikes and helmets for the boys

morning came and I was out of the house while the boys still slept and lisa sipped her coffee and read the paper

I arrived at the AFRH and focused on trying to get my head right to race in the Men's Master B
there had not been much thought of cross since the NCVC Ed Sander's Memorial event at Lily Pons
while other racers ramped up... my riding dropped off

suited up in my White and Red DCMTB Kit... I warmed up by drinking a can of Red Bull... raced finishing in a solid but somewhat frustrating 31st... then into civilian gear

in street clothes I gathered with my family and got the kids on their bikes

Dean was lack luster about the day... perhaps more interested in reading his Harry Potter book than the bike racing around him
Grant was interested in riding the course but made it clear that he had no intention of racing
this pre-race anxiety and race refusal is nothing new
as said I did not want to discuss things with Grant until the race line up
I had anticipated this race refusal

against Grant's wishes I pinned a number and told him that we could discuss things later
we argued as I put the number on his Family Bike Shop GEAR DOWN t-shirt
after pinning the number on I had to peel away from the argument
with camera in hand I took my attention back to the adults racing around the course

time passed and I split my attention between taking photos of racers from various categories and trying to inspire my family to enjoy the day

the boys fought over the skinny tire bike
with less wisdom than King Solomon I tried to get them to stop fighting by yelling for them to stop fighting
then seeing that there was time for Dean to take a lap on the course I separated them

along with all sorts of adults on cyclocross bikes my child took to the course on his entry level children's mountain bike from the 80's
with his knobby 24 inch tires Dean meandered the course
it made me anxious to have the overlap of adult racers and my nine year old son

I tried to coach Dean to switch gears... I gave Dean a demonstration on how to grab his bike low on the frame and lift with his legs
it was clear that this Junior 10-14 race was going to be a challenge for my nine year old son
lucky for me... Dean was up for the challenge

I tried to stay clear of the Lil Belgian's course
the parents were in a frenzy
there was a visible level of anxiety in the parents that things were not ready to go

with thirty minutes before the race start I saw that parents were trying to line their children up in pole position

trying not to rush things I focused on helping Lisa help Dean get fueled up and get to the line

back to the Lil Belgian's I checked the time
other DCMTB-DCCX volunteers gathered to assist

knowing that the parents were anxious we started a few minutes before the 1PM start time
with the large volume of kid racers there was a simple break down... pretty much grouped by age except for the first race

tricycles-push bikes-and training wheels would race first
all the bikes that are powered by over zealous parents would go first
yes... the race to see who can push their child the fastest was about to begin

in an effort to be funny I let the parents know that making their child cry would be immediate disqualification

from there it was 4... then five... then six... and so on
until there was only one nine year old... who raced with the 8 year olds

for me the main event in the lil belgians is the SIX YEAR OLD RACE CLASS
the group that would contain my younger son Grant

before the first race was released I could see my boy waiting on the bike... grouped with the other kids without the guidance of his parents

before I could ask him if he was going to race in a non verbal fashion Grant told me he was going to race

I tried to make it fun by toying with the kids before lining them up
the same jokes for each class
there was Q&A involving questions being answered by a raising of hands
jokes about how many laps... jokes about skipping their group... jokes about kids lying about their ages
the kids were almost as amuses as I was

I tried to meet the desires of the children
when the boys wanted more laps and the girls wanted fewer... I split the classes
usually trying to please the majority
while knowing it is not possible to please everyone

when we got to the six year olds it appeared that we had a pretty big group

I coached the kids not to bump their handlebars into the other kids butts
the use of the word "butt" got laughter from the kids and perhaps disapproval from the parents

at the words GO! there was the release
it may have been a four lap race

much like the lil Belgian race at Ed Sander's that involved my son
it would be a two man race... excuse me... a two boy race
fellow DCMTB team mates son Ofori would be racing against my son Grant
as good as Grant may be... Ofori is better

at the release of the word go the kids were off.... there was some bumping and there was som
e rubbing
no one got tangled so much that there was any crashing or crying

Grant got a good start and took the lead
not sure where it happened but it could have been on the first lap and Ofori made a pass putting Grant in the position of chase

the boys made fast fluid laps
each of them weaving through the clusters of less intense racers

lots of racers were being lapped... but it was no issue
as the official I tried to keep track of the laps of the lead racers
everyone else was on their own



these kids were really racing
hammering at a good pace
pushing their own personal limits

actually racing... not just riding the course

sure enough... at the line it was the Ofori First and Grant Second just as I had predicted
Grant was elated... coming across the line with one hand raised and his mouth wide open both cheering and trying to regain oxygen that he lost on his little race

after the race Ofori and Grant gathered like good little sportsman and posed for a photo with their medals
Grant later told me that he did not feel that all the kids should get medals

I felt some agreement that there could be a 1-2-3rd ribbon to go with the "everybody wins" medal
within this competition is the building of friendship

Grant also thanked me for "making" him race
as expected he had a good time
it appeared to be a rewarding experience

with the six year olds finished
I then moved onto the next two races
Grant disappeared looking for mom and more french fries... I had agreed that he could leave right after his race
while Ofori lined up with the seven year olds and crushed them

finally the 8 year olds
there were no tears and there were enough medals
the Lil Belgians DCCX race in 2010 was done!

all the while I lead the lil Belgian's my older son Dean was out on the main course
during this race a section of my brain was devoted to the activity of my older son
although I could not see him... I knew he was out there
wishing that I could be there to witness his effort
wishing that I could give him the words of encouragement that cross racers need t
o push their personal limits
wishing that I could carry his bike up the barriers and up the stairs for him
but no... Dean would have to do these things without me

there was some thanks and appreciation which is appreciated
so many parents are quick to complain

while other parents were complimentary that this was a good course design and that their children had more fun on this course with its challenges than some of the courses in weeks prior

with the little belgian's done i was back to the course with the camera
snapping shots of adult racers

Bike Swap I hosted at John Eaton

Laird Knight
of Granny Gear Productions liked to host kids races at his 24 hour mountain bike relay races

the standard mountain bike race does not normally lend itself to the family experience
the ultra endurance events that involve camping are more likely to offer something like this

some words on Ed Sanders on GWADZILLA

stole this off my friend's FACEBOOK page

stole this off my buddy rob's facebook page

rob is on tour
not sure if it is with Thievery Corp... See I... or Fort Knox Five

check out the video SHIFT when I scan the GWADZILLA page for FK5
then I check for Fort Knox
and finally SEE-I and Thievery

I know the Thievery scan has a good shot of Rob with his camera... one of his cameras

Support Holly Bass... Support Local Artists

Holly Bass


Gwadzilla Mention of Holly Bass
worth a glance

I have not blogged about the Lil Belgian's at DCCX

I have some photos from the Lil Belgian's at DCCX
some of them are posted on the GWADZILLA FACEBOOK page
others... other photos from the Lil Belgian's at DCCX will never be posted
I take too many photos

hard to deal with all of them
expect some of them to be posted if I decide to script a report from the lil belgian's at DCCX

love your friends and family while they are walking with the living

Julio Ortega
a man from Salvador that lived the American dream

many people in both american countries will miss this man
a huge void has been created now that Julio is gone

unexpected... Julio died this week
kidney failure
Julio was not without health issues
but this was still very unexpected

Julio will be missed by many
from what I could tell Julio was a friend to all who knew him
I knew him for many years
we worked together for nearly every day for what may have been more than a decade

my heart goes out to all of Julio's friends and family... of which there are many
I know you will miss him
I miss him already

Julio had a great story
sorry it ended so soon
really... Julio's story was cut short
his life was full
already a grandfather at 48
but 48 is too young to die

rest in peace Julio
rest in peace

In The Crosshairs... quality entertainment


my head was not in the game
which means I do not get my head in the camera
well... my head gets in the camera for a second
but bill was not interested in interviewing me for IN THE CROSSHAIRS as we rode on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement home

VIDEO OF THE Master B 35+ at DCCX

then this... TANDEM CAM
and then some classic XTRANORMAL

I could base a RACE REPORT on the video of the Master B Video from DCCX
or at least a first lap play by play by this video
I was on Bill's wheel for the first quarter of the lap
then made an ugly pass... which is displayed on the tape

Bill was not in conversation mode
me... I was riding hard.. but my head was not really in the game
cross has not been on my radar
my effort was really nothing more than riding hard
not sure if I actually raced DCCX

one a sharp off camber turn I stalled and went wide... knowing that the racers in front of me were making many near stops on the technical turns riding several abreast
when I when high and wide on the up hill before the turn
well... bill was racing and bill took the inside like and the slot

for the second half of the lap I was chasing his wheel
still riding hard
not racing... not thinking smart
just mashing the pedals hard

also... fighting just to ride hard and maintain
when I should have been fighting for the front
even if the front is out of reach


Write Fenty in

write fenty in
it is not that I am anti gray
it is that I am pro fenty

write fenty in

joe foley photography

joe foley photography on facebook
joe foley photography from dccx


this is cool...
or I just like that this person has scavenged some nice wheels

RUN JOE RUN! Joe Dombrowski at DCCX

Joe Dombrowski
this kid is amazing
remember this name

this weekend at DCCX I got to chat with Joe
to be this young and this strong and yet so humble
it is inspiring

I heard that Jeremiah Bishop is his coach

this kid is calm, cool, and collected

Jared Nieters of Haymarket Cycles also passes down a fine example of how to behave on the bike
it was awesome to see Jared race in the single speed race then join in on the fun in the tandem event

the National Cathedral

Gwadzilla is so 2006

it gets old
it gets tired

photos of cyclists
bitching about traffic

the only thing that changes on the gwadzilla page is the season

got photos from DCCX?
this guy has some nice shots
one shot even made it to DCist!

Chris' Flickr Page

never is there a photo of gwadzilla racing
never is there a link to the gwadzilla photos

DEAD CITY Halloween Alleycat!

no bikes for the boys today...

no bikes today for the boys

today it is raining...
but that is not why the boys are not riding their bikes

the real reason is that my wife Lisa is
handling pick up
I can not get out of work in time to
ride to the boys' school and then ride home with them
actually... I am not working today... I was called in and then they canceled...
instead I am going to a funeral service for an old co-worker
which has me going into work to catch a ride to the service
unlike the others in the vans... I am not getting paid for my boond0ggle

this is fine...
not the unexpected death of an old friend from my old "work family"
it is fine that the boys are not riding their bikes because six year old Grant has been asking for a break
as far as the death of the old friend-co-worker... it is sad
dead at 48

this drop off with the bikes then ride home formula has been a great opportunity to spend more time with my kids
while getting the kids on the bike which has a long list of benefits
there are lots of benefits but there are also a great number of unnecessary


the roads are dangerous
the way that cars drive puts anyone at risk who is not surrounded by crumple resistant side panels and multiple air bags
the failure for car drivers to be respectful of others trumps their ignoring the law
car drivers no only ignore the law... they ignore common sense and common courtesy
in fact... laws are created because people have proven that they can not and will not behave unless instructed to do so
instructed to do so with the threat of punishment

in one day I can
have enough close calls with the kids on the bike to send me to the ER with a heart attack
okay... we have never really had any close calls
but the WORST CASE SCENARIO is always right around the corner

the four block bike ride from the car to school in the mornings can be anxious

we across town to school then park a few blocks away
I walk with my coffee as my boys ride ahead
riding on the sidewalk they have to cross numerous driveways, one alley, and several streets
each day I coach the
the boys are told to make complete stops at the corner and make sure that the car drivers see them
but really that is asking a lot of a six and nine year old

how do I ask the car drivers to look out for them
one would think that a car driver heading to drop their kids off at school would be al
ert and considerate of other children trying to get to school

well... maybe not

anxiously I look ahead at my boys as they race down the sidewalk to school
shouting EXCUSE ME as they approach others on the sidewalk

the inability of cars to make a complete stop at THE STOP LINE AT THE STOP SIGN is as dangerous as the left turning car driver who are only thinking of oncoming traffic an
d not taking into consideration pedestrian traffic in the crosswalk

although we have not had any true close calls... I fear the dangers
the dangers are out there
dangers that could so easily be avoided

on the way to go pick up my kids from school yesterday I rolled down Park Road right by my house and moved forward toward the Green Light that would take me down Adams Mill that becomes Porter Street towards Cleveland Park
I rolled in the right hand turn lane and traffic flowed straight along side of me
behind me I felt the fast approach of a taxi cab
the driver ignored the RED RIGHT TURN ARROW and proceeded forward
it was a near miss
I just escape
d his grill
he did not slow or stop for the RED TURN ARROW
he did not slow or stop for me... the cyclist traveling in front of him

I gave him a happy hearty F_CK YOU!
and well... he gave it right back
for a second I hated him and the country he came from
although I have no
idea what country he is from... I hated it just the same

not only did he nearly run me down
he made a
fast turn through the red light that feeds down my street
the street where my kids cross to get in the car or to hike in the woods

the cab driver's unprofessional driving style irked me to no end but... I let it go...
until this moment it had been forgotten
it is unhealthy to carry this stuff with you
I am trying not to carry this stuff with me

the rest of the ride was short and trouble free
primarily because I took a short cut through the closed off Klingle Valley
once back on the road shared with cars my anxiety returned

out of the park and onto the street I passed the driveway where people were leaving from picking up their kids from Washington International School
every day when I pass this driveway I am met with the same behavior
the exiting drivers refuse to stop when they exit the driveway and merge onto the street
then those who pass me... rush pass me to stop at the stop sign at the top of the hill'
often pinching over and blocking my space on the right

so mad... they make me so mad
and it is the same people every day

a few more blocks of the same and I am at my kid's school
although we have had people working hard to try a
nd create a fast, fluid, and safe PICK UP AND DROP OFF system at our kid's school it still involves elements of madness
on some days there are a number of buses idling...
buses and the single family vehicles
all those fumes

what are the top five forms of suicide?
I bet inhaling car exhaust is in the top five

it amazes me that a parent would be more concerned with having their engine running so that their car climate control can keep their temperature at the perfect level for napping is more important than the
kids at the school getting fresh oxygen to their developing brains

then on top of the idling vehicles there are countless cars that have taken the habit of illegal parking at pick up some of the non spaces act to make traversing the area more dangerous
we all contribute to the chaos
we all add to the madness
maybe we should all lessen our contribution
as we would all enjoy less chaos

the boys exit the school with their classes and the kid chaos ensues
there are some post school routines
I enjoy that my boys are excited to see me
my under-employment has allowed me to experience a part of parenting that had not previously been part of my world
I try to appreciate it... I hope that they will one day appreciate my efforts

after and exchange of hugs I offer the boys each a snack
nothing grand
each day I throw something in my pack for pick up
water... capri sun... juice box... bananas are usually an option... sometime breakfast bars or crackers something to fuel them

Dean usually hangs around me while Grant usually runs wild... often riding wild... riding his bike th
rough the cluster of people
it is chaos... somehow he does not crash or collide into the people
yes... he is contributing to the chaos... but... I can not contain him this little boy who says he does not like riding his bike can not get enough of his bike

in the morning he begs or should I say he demands not to ride his bike as I load the car
then after school he is on his bike and riding with immediacy

smiles all the way home

after snacks we finish our hellos with goodbyes and point for home
Grant has his route... I have mine
Dean is flexible to whatever we choose
I try to mix it up but it can be tough guiding my stubborn six year old son
we took the short way the day prior... so on this day we take the long route
approximately 3 miles... roughly a 20 minute urban ride

it has gotten to the point where we intersect with many of the same people each day we head down the road from our school...
it is not uncommon for parents to run the Stop Sign right by our school with their kids in the car... they bolt for nowhere fast


a parent who is a police officer sometimes volunteers and forces the stop
when he is not there... the principal often takes that roll
on this day there is no principal or off duty police officer
there is also no car running the stop sign putting our lives at risk... because there is no car

no risk there... seconds later as the three of us ride down the middle of the One Way street downhill a parked car pulls out in front of us causing us all to swerve and break hard
she never looked back... she never saw us
at the base of the hill we pass this parent of a child at our children's school
her car window is open
I bark something to her about being more alert

as we all turn onto the sidewalk on the sidewalk headed down the hill towards Connecticut Avenue I shout instructions to the boys
more than likely the wind in their ears are muffling my words chances are they do not hear me
chances are they are not listening


we stop at the corner...
there is a car coming up the hill
it is our turn... the car coming up hill from WIST (Washington International School) makes the predictable rolling stop not making a complete stop not allowing us our turn or our right of way

had we gone we would have been flattened
the car passes through what would have been our point of intersection
it is clear and safe... then we cross

the same adult latino man on a department store bicycle comes up our way
then the same silver haired woman clutching her big black bag walking on the sidewalk
it is Groundhog Day all over again
at the four way stop I roll ahead and block
it is clear so I tell the boys to roll through and stop at the next corner
we all stop
it is still clear just as we are about to go a woman driving a silver SUV approaches the four way stop
again... SLOW AND GO
she yells back... I DID STOP
she did not make a complete stop... she paused
she paused but did not factor in the variables
it was our turn to go she should have made a complete stop and allowed us to cross
but... the loose driving styles which I view as unacceptable are the norm

that is not a full stop
and beyond that
it is not enough to take in the variables
and to grant others their right of way and right to safety

the sloppy driving styles of our modern times is ugly
it is shocking that there are not more accidents each day

police officers drive with the same expanded parameters of the rules
excessive speed and incomplete stops

the boys roll down the sidewalk I roll down the street
in an effort to keep momentum I accelerate ahead and call out to the kids if it is clear or if they have to stop
the boys give polite EXCUSE ME exclamations as they move quickly down the sidewalk

the words are excuse me
but really
it means LOOK OUT

we cross Connecticut` Ave and then head South on the Sidewalk
there is always a good deal of foot traffic on these sidewalks the kids weave through the people the pedestrians seldom anticipate anything more than the incoming text or the next song on their iPod

we weave through making our way for home
around the corner we point towards the Calvert Street Bridge
the kids always have to make a complete stop at this corner the left turning traffic is always aggressive
the boys wait for my cue and we cross together
on the wide sidewalk the boys race ahead
there is lots of racing to see who leads

Grant often wins the 5 yard sprint with his lighter bike and his intensity
Dean with his significantly heavier bike and different approach to riding fights to make the pass while I always yell from behind NO CRASHING

we cut through a park trying to stay as car free as possible

when possible I will take the kids on quiet city streets over busy sidewalks

we stop at the corner before crossing in the crosswalk by Walter Pearce Park
a woman in a silver Honda rolls through the stop sign at speed
never glancing to see the family on bikes
never slowing for the speed bump or stop sign

my heart stops
that big WHAT IF

we cross... on the other side I instruct the boys to stay on the sidewalk
a car coming our way would have made things awkward for the boys entering the street
at the alley the boys re-enter the street
I have the boys line up behind me
we all try to get some speed
I roll ahead to make sure it is safe for them to roll through this stop sign

the boys would not make it up this short hill without some momentum
it is clear... I wave them on
the boys hammer up this short hill... each following the same routine of moving onto the sidewalk halfway up the hill at the next intersection
then breaking-braking at the top to gather their breath

then we get back on this Adams Morgan Side Street I instruct the boys to stay behind me
to be alert of on coming traffic
to ride to the right but not in the door zone
oncoming traffic irks me... the drivers could drive more to the right
the head on collision potential raises my heart rate

I hear Grant behind me... CAR
the boys are instructed to hold their ground
with Speed Bumps and a speed limit of 25 MPH we need to hold our ground
the car follows closely behind... not tailgating or honking
yes... cars tailgate and honk at the 6 and 9 year old cyclists...

often we are followed too closely by these cars sometimes they try to squeeze through and make an unnecessary pass
although I can not read this driver's mind... they seem fine with us being here
they follow the same path as us and are slowed for two city blocks

off the One Way Street and onto the sidewalk
Adams Morgan blends into Mount Pleasant
the red brick sidewalks of Mount Pleasant Street give Grant the feeling that we are close to home
I know this because he has told me

although I prefer to take the sidewalk on 16th Street Grant is adamant about going down the sidewalk on Mount Peasant's main street

we might as well be in Lima Peru the sidewalks are cluttered with a Latino Third World Vibe!

again the boys weave through the cluster of people only this time I lead and we move at a slower pace
there is less use of the audible warning as I do not want to spook people and have them move
it is easier to thank them after I make the pass

it is the same thing every day
the same set of students gathered blocking the sidewalk
the same sidewalk Pupusaria cart
the same stumbling drunk in front of the coffee shop
block to block
at the 7-11 it is a cluster of migrant workers
at the best way it is people loading groceries into gypsy cabs

we weave through
the minorities are not the minorities here
my two blonde haired boys are the minority
this is a very multi-cultural area
immigrants from all over central America migrate here

off the main street and onto the alleyways again... more instructions
watch out for cars backing up
it is an anxious experience trying to guide the kids through the chaos of the city
trying to have them expect the unexpected
although there may not be a car coming around this blind corner... there could be... and well... the cyclist needs to be ready
riding a bike is about focus

finally... we are home
down the alley behind our house the kids drop their bikes and their helmets and rush inside
I put the bikes away
inside Dean starts his homework while Grant plays some Wii
I make the boys a snack before I coach them in an informal afternoon soccer practice at Carter Baron just another day.

link exchange

I get emails everyday asking to exchange links or put a link to their page on my blog

but really

what is in it for me?





RICKY D is leading a fixie ride at Schaeffer Farms this weekend.

I wish I had a flyer


just so you know... there was more to DCCX than the tandem race

need to dig through some pockets and some bags
seem to be missing a memory card
that or I have had a memory card error

missing a card that included photographs from earlier in the day
oh well... I still have a good number of images from the 2010 DCCX
posting the lot of them on the GWADZILLA FACEBOOK page
then will try to migrate them to the DCCX FACEBOOK PAGE

Jacki has some photos from DCCX

Jacki has some photos from DCCX

FATMARC has some words about DCCX

a great post by Jacki

funny thing that I saw... only not so funny

this morning after dropping the boys off at school I was driving home
yes... driving
we drive to school... the boys ride a few blocks to school
then after school we do a short ride
usually a three mile ride... but today we took a short direct ride home

oh... getting off track

so... I was driving home from dropping the boys off at school
I was passing the Cleveland Park Metro
right in front of what is said to be the first strip mall in America... YE HA!

I saw this man holding open the elevator that goes down into the subway stop
it seemed nice
I saw a woman rushing to catch the elevator
she was moderately young and moderately attractive
which by DC standards is considered hot

then just a few yards behind her was another woman moving at a slightly slower pace
this woman was on crutches
she was moving along with the aid of crutches and one leg
her other leg was amputated from the thigh down

I thought...
hmmm... is this man holding the door for the attractive woman in a hurry or the handicapped woman who "needs" to take the elevator?

I did not wait to see the end of this story
how do you think it ended up?

living less car dependent! GO EMILY GO!

Emily has taken a GO BY BIKE CHALLENGE
read on here

6 Months down... a lifetime to go!

we would all do well to drive less


Golden Triangle releases another "artistic bike rack!"

PRE RACE REPORT ; 2010 DCCX as hosted by DCMTB

started this post then drifted away
not sure where I was headed with it
will re-read and try to finish it out
this will be less of a RACE REPORT
maybe more of a PRE-RACE RACE REPORT

much like most of my race reports... there is more to the day than the race itself
in this case... there will be no bitching about the drive to the race
as this race is hosted close to home
close enough to bike... if I were not bringing my bike... the kids' bikes... and all sorts of gear for the race set up

PRE RACE REPORT: DCCX 2010 as presented by DCMTB
as a member of the DCMTB race team... DCCX is about more than just racing
there are months and months of preparation
most of this work is done by the DCMTB Cyclocross Committee which I am not a part of
there are discussions open to the team at monthly meetings
but the lion's share of the decisions and duties are set by the DCMTB Cyclocross Committee

sure in the weeks leading up to the race there were multiple course work days which I attended
then on the weekend of there was great attention and time put into course set up which also had me in attendance
but really... I am just a small cog in this machine

if your focus is the lil' belgians... I am the master of ceremonies and the race director
if you are thinking of the race course proper... I am just another guy with a rake and a shovel

as said my contribution is not major
I am just a small cog in our DCMTB-DCCX machine
at the cyclocross clinics at Fort Reno I assist with organization, PR, set up, and then more PR
then for the DCCX race itself I am a foot soldier doing the grunt work of clearing and cleaning the coruse
trimming low hanging branches... clearing the course of debrie... putting in posts... setting up course tape

the brick pathway was something that I found on an archeological dig when the team was designing the course for our first year of racing at The Armed Forces Retirement Home
since then this project has been a big part of my contribution
this year there were many more hands to help me with the labor of clearing the bricks and extending the path
that help was appreciated not just by me... but by the racers as well
the brick pathway is a popular feature

the day before the race once the race course was set up I got a chance to take a look at the plot of land that was selected as the lil Belgian's Race Director I gathered with some other DCMTB team members and walked to would be course
the plot was small
we would have to make due with what we had
there were some stakes put down then the tape
after the initial set up there were some additions and some tweaks
in the end we were satisfied with our results
but had no idea how the kids would respond

in cyclocross course design is all about making good use of the variables presented by the environment around you
course changes to the 2010 DCCX race course were such that we moved the Lil Belgian's course
at first I was worried that it would not be a large enough space for our lil event
but after walking the course and setting some stakes it looked like things would work out well for a multi-lap event

the Lil Belgian's course was small and tight and challenging
our barriers were on an up hill march
then there was a flowing descent that fed into a up and back lollipop
there would be some racers bumping and some aggressive passes
sure... there would be some lapped racers
but that is part of cyclocross

just as with the adult race... we would offer multiple laps varying with age and desire

in the late afternoon with the both of the courses set up I got ready to pre-ride
I pulled my Specialized Tri-Cross from the Honda Element and located a seat post clamp that Jonathan of Family Bike Shop had brought for me
over the past few years I have had some seat post slippage issues
which lead to a stripped bolt
an issue I had not concerned myself with since racing at Ed Sanders a month prior

well... the clamp was the right size
but the asymmetrical design did not work for holding my rear brake cable guide
so... I went trying to scavenge... went begging to borrow this part from anyone on the team
no dice rock slice
no one had a 31.8 seat post clamp that would work for me

frustration set in... frustration and fear
I wanted to race... why did I wait until the last minute for this?
why do I always wait for the last minute

knowing that my bike had to be ready the day before the race so that I could race I rushed off to City Bikes... the former sponsor of DCMTB

to my pleasure... the Adams Morgan location of City Bikes had just the part I was looking for
it was not cheap... but it was there when I needed it
that is one reason why we support our local bike shops rather than shopping online
also why we do not burn our bridges with old sponsors

with the part in hand I rushed back to the Armed Forces Retirement Home grounds so that I could pre-ride the course
ah.... the benefits of everything being local!

the bike was fixed and the seat post and seat were set to the desired height and I was on the course
not much of a warm up... warming up is not really my thing

early in the lap I was not feeling it
a combination of lack of fitness and a tough course
wow... this is a tough course
towards the end of the first lap I was thinking... man... I hope this is a one lap race
it hurt
my legs felt like lead

I tried not to let my lack of fitness or lack of preparation get into my head
I knew that other racers were starting to peak while I was starting to taper
that is my reality every year... cross comes after mountain biking for me
I had a great mountain bike season with some epic rides and awesome races
but somehow cyclocross has been low on my priorities

there has been little or no riding in my life
most of my rides are to get my kids from school... where we then take a three mile cross town mostly downhill ride home

most of my riding is mountain biking
fall is a great season for mountain biking
but... I broke my fork at the West Virginia Mountain BIke State Championships
then also broke my single speed frame at the Cranky Monkey Race at Schaeffer Farms
which has left me mountain bikeless...

there was no time to cram for this test
on my second or third lap Raul Rojas jumped on the course and I got on his wheel
luckily he was previewing the course and not doing "hot laps"
we rode together at a pace much slower than race pace
there was conversation as we rode
I marveled at his fluidity on the corners and his ability to be nimble on the bike
on the run ups Raul accelerated ahead of me
it was humbling

I did my four pre-ride laps then loaded up the Element and headed for home
once home I packed my bags for the following day

the morning came and I woke and packed the car
as I headed to the event I knew that there were all sorts of DCMTB team mates and a number of DCCX volunteers already on site setting things up
shamelessly I did not attend the early morning set up session

sure enough
when I arrived people were buzzing around getting all sorts of things done
while I just got ready for my race
once suited up I drank a can of Red Bull as I watched others warm up

after a short spin on the bike on the pavement I did a lap on the course and took my position on the start line
three rows back seemed like a good place of me start
lots of familiar faces around me
lots of DCMTB team jerseys in my race

there was the usual banter back and forth
good to see familiar faces that have become my friends

bikes in washington dc

some podium photos from the 2010 DCCX Cyclocross Race

Podium Pics by Jonathan

and RESULTS from the 2010 DCCX

PHOTOS FROM THE 2010 DCCX Cyclocross Race as Hosted by DCMTB can be found on my FACEBOOK PAGE
Gwadzilla @ www.facebook.com


Capital BIke Share

is the supply meeting with demand?

just another day on the bike?

okay... so
after mucking around on the tandem Jared Nieters stepped off the bike right onto the podium for the Single Speed Race
which he won the after racing in the men's elite race
which was an impressive effort after an early mishap that pushed him back in the pack

oh... that kid on the back
that is Joe Dombrowski