Rock Creek Ride...

here it is Tuesday...
a rainy Tuesday... this rant was started after my Sunday ride
the rant was started then quickly forgotten

unfinished like so many of the projects of the day

after I finish sampling this chicken curry that I made for dinner I will give this a glance
if nothing else... I have some characters typed to go along with these images of my neighbor and friend Chris McGill

Chris McGill is a goofy bike racer

well... a school teacher who races bikes

Sunday Ride in Rock Creek Park

there has not been much riding in my life for the last few months
somehow... someway... I have lost momentum on the bike
actually it is not entirely uncommon for me to lose interest in the bike this time of year
this year it is amplified... with my job situation in flux I find it hard to prioritize the bicycle

here it is fall
mountain biking is really my pleasure
I am often a little burnt on the bike by the end of mountain bike season

sure cyclocross season can be a kick... but for some reason this year racing cross never really caught my attention
sure I have raced four cyclocross races this season... but I have not really been focused on it... each race effort was a bit lack luster

the mountain bike?

well... that has lost its priority in my world
partially due to not having any working equipment readily available and on hand

breaking a frame at the Cranky Monkey at Schaeffer Farms and cracking a spring in my front shock at the West Virginia Mountain Bike State Championships had my primary mountain bikes at The Family Bike Shop for a few months

the repairs were done... but I was slow to pick up the bikes
actually... I only got the Niner because Jonathan brought it to DCCX
I have yet to grab the Jamis warranty frame

hats off to The Family Bike Shop for being speedy
my bad for being slack

it is not that I have fallen out of love with the bike

I am just finding it hard to prioritize the bicycle in my somewhat chaotic life
there is biking... but most of that biking is with the family more specifically with the kids
the drop off with the bikes then riding to ride home with the boys from school is really all the riding I have been doing

previously commuting was the stealth mode for finding time to ride
unemployment is not fun-employment
it is hard to find justification to step into the lycra kit
commuting is the all weather reason to ride

my unemployment situation is an under-employment situation
a few days a week at the old job to try and keep things afloat

yes they sacked me... but I need the money and I need the structure
it is a tough situation in these difficult economic times
a time where a man needs to swallow his pride and be creative in trying to make things work

so... when I go in on these few days a week I ride my bike
but I do not always work things as they should
I do not always get in a ride that equates a work out
the rhythm of the routine has been removed

which leaves the only riding in my life is the riding with my kids
the chance to do drop off and pick up with my young school age boys is the silver lining of my situation
the ability to handle drop off with the bikes then to pick them up by riding over and then ri
ding home with them... well... that upgrades my silver lining to PLATINUM
as nice as this experience may be
riding a few miles with a six and nine year old does not qualify as a work out

that silver lining extends beyond the post school bike rides
in addition to pick up and drop off... I have also been able to attend a good number of the kid's field trips as well as adding a second day of soccer practice each week for my boys

this is all great... but it has done nothing for my strength and fitness
in fact... that has nothing to do with my ride in Rock Creek Park

I am rambling... I am ranting
ranting and rambling

so... there it was Sunday
there had been some thought about heading to Wakefield to join up with the Trails For Youth ride
but... I could not rally the troops
nine year old Dean gave me the usual... "I don't care"
while six year old Grant gave a predictable objection that was a solid and stern "NO!"
Lisa held the power of a swing vote... but she was leaning towards an urban ride... avoiding the
car... not driving to Virginia

hence... no dirt ride at Wakefield for the family

so... I let Lisa take the boys for an urban ride that would loop through Rock Creek Park
I did not join them... I get to ride with the boys around town enough
it is nice to allow Lisa and the boys to have some time together without me

so... with the afternoon to myself... rather than putting the bike on the car and heading to the woods
I went up the stairs to the computer


this post brought up an almost immediate response from neighbor and friend Chris McGill... HEADED OUT ON THE FIXIE IN 20 MINUTES IF YOU WANT TO JOIN ME

there were no solid excuses why I should not join him
so... I responded back and went to the basement to get my gear together

Chris rode his fixed gear while I brought gears
our mismatched bikes would aid to balance our mismatched strength and fitness
Chris is a far fitter and far faster cyclist
on our ride I allowed Chris to set the pace... letting our intensity to be determined by a comfortable cadence of Chris' moderately tough gear on his Bianchi Pista

we talked as we pedaled
the park was packed on this glorious fall day
the tree canopy was a brilliant assortment of fall colors
there was the usual assortment of knuckleheads
the usual mixture of weekend warriors and families
everyone in the park making good use of this day

we did a quick out and back to where Rock Creek Park meets up with Garret Park Road
it was a good ride
good for the body
good for the mind

nice riding and catching up with a friend

time better spent than time on the computer

raining now...
back to work before I head to school to ride back from the kids' school in the rain