this is disturbing...
nothing short of frightening...

Driver PLOWS through a Critical Mass ride in Brazil


this is not self defense... this is attempted murder

this man needs to stand trial
either stand trial... or release him to the dogs
or at least release his home address


Dad Life!



at 5MPH
how long would it take to ride this across the country?

MORE... they do so much... they need your support

MORE: Mid Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts

MORE is about MORE than riding bikes on natural surface trails
MORE is about bicycle advocacy for the sport of mountain biking
MORE works to OPEN new trails for mountain bikes
MORE is actively working to keep our favorite trails open to mountain bikes



MORE works with IMBA to develop sustainable networks of trails that are good for our mountain biking future!

I need to get to Fountainhead! the new man-made terrain looks AWESOME!

remember... don't just take
give back
become a member of MORE
check the MORE Website for trail days... show up... lend a hand

Little Bellas!

Little Bellas!
Mentoring on Mountain Bikes



many aspects of this story are sad


award shows?

Award Show?
come on! really... who needs em?

I would rather watch re-runs of Celebrity Death Match!

Celebrity Death Match on MTV

NAHBS:North American Handmade Bicycle Show

NAHBS: 2011 North American Handmade Bicycle Show has come and gone
all sorts of people made the pilgrimage to Austin
next year a similar group of people only larger will migrate to Sacramento

NAHBS: North American Handmade Bicycle Show

scan the web...
I am sure that people tweeted or blogged on the topic

not sure if my bakfiet would have fit in
as I do not see a Fat Albert and the Gang class

2011 North American Handmade Bicycle Show WINNERS!


funny stuff from Lego Land! clever

Clever little piece on Greater Greater Washington
New Streetcar brings gentrification fears to Lego City


there has to be something to say...

images and words from a few weeks back
not sure if I said something on this already
there has to be something to say...
just what? the bakfiet is built and is now part of my life it is still a novelty and it is still fun boys like toys and dads like tools the bakfiet is a combination of a toy and a tool the homemade bakfiet is a old man's tall bike for the short around town rides with the kids it is the perfect machine I can carry backpacks and snacks while still having room for soccer balls, kites, or whatever the adventure of the day may ask for there is room
the shots here are from a Friday at the start of a four day weekend for the boys not knowing how to entertain them I gave way to Grant developing a plan that plan involved Grant spending some of his "birthday money" Grant is victim of that common young boy sensation of having to spend that money before it burns a hole in his pocket there is no saving things for a rainy day for this newly turned seven year old a trip to Target in Columbia Heights sounded like a fine way to get the day started the addition of breakfast at the IHOP made it an even more efficient early morning escape plan as it is too easy to loose massive chunks of the day to slowly waking up and twiddling the thumbs in between television, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo Wii things that are all well and good in moderation but definitely no way to spend an entire day! the ride from our home in Mount Pleasant to Target in Columbia Heights is short too short to constitute exercise sure... everything is cumulative... but still... that ride is not enough for us to put a chalk mark on the board saying "exercise done" now back to "screen time" so... I tried to swap The Diner in Adams Morgan for IHOP Grant held strong telling me we had a plan and we were sticking to it that seemed like solid logic it sounded like something a parent would say so... we suited up and left out for Columbia Heights

our trip was a few minutes past what I thought would be RUSH HOUR

I wanted to take to the streets without putting the kids at unnecessary risk
car drivers can lack certain insight into the situation
car drivers have proven that they are not fit to make decisions about the life and safety for others
so... I often have to make those decisions for them
especially when traveling with the boys

so... we travel as a pack
I block for them

I try to teach each of my boys to ride in a way that puts them where they are most safe
but really... blocking for them is the most important thing
I try to stay together as a little cluster

we arrived in Columbia Heights and locked our bikes to a tree
the bicycle parking at the box stores in columbia heights is sparse

it is an obvious problem that should be simple enough to fix
with bikes locked we took off our helmets and gloves and grabbed some breakfast at IHOP

they sat us in a side room with a television
since no one was seated before us I took control of what was on the tube
ZORRO with Antonio Bandaras and Michael Douglas' super hot wife Catherine Zeta Jones
the boys were pleased and no one seemed to complain

being me... in a matter of time I was involved in some conversation with some of the people at the tables around me
we talked about Black History Month and the thought that the IHOP is in the spot where the old Post Office once stood
I learned that the older gentleman and older woman each at different tables had gone to Cardozo and Coolidge High Schools

our conversation ebbed and flowed as we split our conversation between local history and the actors on t
he screen
we compared Michael Douglas to his father Kurt Douglas
which then brought up Martin Sheen and his two kids Emilio and Charlie
the older woman offered up a big question mark when Charlie Sheen was brought up

when Zorro ended there was one of those somewhat stuffy shows where they interview the great actors of our time
ironically enough Charlie Sheen was the guest
which brought some measure to his resume and some insight into his growth as a son of a Hollywood actor

once breakfast was finished we said our goodbyes and left out for our next adventure... TARGET!
it was a short breeze through everyone's favorite box store
Grant bought what he wanted and the boys got to take a glance at a few other toys on display
I tried not to let Grant deviate from the plan

he was able to purchase the one thing he set out to buy... a toy tank... a toy too big for a backpack
good thing I had the cargo rig!

fearing the vortex of the homestead I proposed a few options
everything was met by opposition from young Grant
while Dean was accepting of anything that was proposed

so we rode
Grant entered a panic when he though I was sending us down 16th Street
as he did not want to get any further from home and he definitely did not want to have to climb that hill to get back
many of us are in winter conditioning mode
Grant is no different... he is definitely not as conditioned on the bike as he was when we were riding home from school several days a week during the warm months

our ride took us through Adams Morgan, then across the Ellington Bridge
then we dipped into the park and turned towards the National Zoo

I had considered hanging at the Zoo
but when we exited Target the boys were surprised to see a handful of kids sitting and playing on their bicycles
those kids scattered when I approached
which removed the opportunity for me to instruct them on the notion of not playing with other people's stuff

I was glad the bikes had been locked... as I felt they would have been gone had then not been locked
this thought had me thinking that I would not be able to leave Grant's toy in the wheel barrow as we walked around the zoo
so... I sent the boys into Amazonia while I chill-laxed with the bikes all by my lonesome

after the boys finished their unsupervised loop through Amazonia we finished our ride home where Dean and Grant were able to play with Grant's birthday toy

a window into someone's world

the open house...

it is interesting to be invited into someone's house
whether they are strangers or friends... there is still some insight to be offered
a chance to get to glance into their lives
a chance to get to take a peak into their world

how have they chosen to decorate their space?

what sort of things do they display?
what are they saying? what are they trying to say?
what do these things tell you about this person?

Manhattan Apartment

if the digital camera had come along sooner I would have started documenting things earlier on
film was just darn right expensive

there were photo projects that I always thought would be cool

a Fourth of July photo project...
a group house photo project...
time lapse projects
some of these things were started... but never developed
most of that stuff has been long since lost

not speeding.


the child "darted"
the truck driver was "not speeding"

it is all about perspective



vanity press
self published books
this is the modern world

the potential to be a writer, photographer, or musician all from your laptop or desktop
the capacity of the computer is never ending
we can not even scratch the surface of what can be done with these devices
yes... there is more to the computer than downloading porn

for a long while I have been wanting to self publish a photo book
I feel as if I owe it to the library of photographs to do more with them than to let them get lost in cyberspace and to be forgotten with each upgrade of each hard drive

earlier this year I worked to try and organize my images
which was a chore on its own
then I tried to create a few books
which with the help of the software at BLURB DOT COM I did

but... somewhere along the way I lost momentum


I made no changes to the current drafts
the books are as they were several months ago
I did not do so much as glance at them

instead... I sent them off to BLURB for printing
not for printing and sale
but to be print so that I can take a glance at what I have thus far

going on the notion that the books do not need to be perfect
the books just need to be done

I have thousands of images... literally thousands of images
rather than seeking to make one perfect book
I will stick with the GWADZILLA WAY and go for quantity over quality

BOOKS BOOKS and then


what are your top five favorite photos from the GWADZILLA PAGE?


local to me

Franco Jazz

Self Defense for Kenyan Women

on WAMU the Sensei of my children's Karate class talks about her involvement with a Self Defense program for Kenyan Women

Road Ride

The Frederick Bicycle Coalition is holding a group road ride this weekend

check their page for date-time-meeting place

not local enough for me
I have a hard time putting the road bike on the car to do a ride
I can get my ass kicked easy enough riding my bike around my neighborhood

but this may work for you!

High School Kids and Cars

High School Kids and Cars

boys will be boys
this is not so much about the over privileged children with their over inflated sense of entitlement
this is not an effort to say that schools like Landon and Gonzaga are creating the assholes of tomorrow... although it seems that they are

no... this is something more general
boys will be boys
boys like toys
cars are not toys
driving is not a game

in short...
a few weeks back I was hustling across town on my bike
I had spend the mid part of the day at my friend Adam's house on Capital Hill building my cargo bike
after some progress and some clean up I had to get across town to get my car so I could get my kids from school

there I was crossing town doing what cyclists do to be fast and efficient
which really is not all that different than what cars do to be fast and efficient
I was putting me and my bike in the space large enough for me to travel through
riding to the right where the right was clear
then splitting lanes or riding to the left of the double yellow line if that were the most safe place to be

at a light I moved up the right side of traffic and moved to the front of the queue
moving ahead of the cars who had moved ahead of me

when the light was about to turn green I moved forward
like a baseball player leading for the next base before the ball leaves the pitcher's hand
moving forward going about my way I could feel the presence of a car close behind me
real close... uncomfortably close... in my space close
then I heard and felt the high RPM rev of the engine

the driver was F_CKING with me
they must have put it in neutral and hit the gas

disconcerting to say the least
my heart raised with the measure of the RPMs of that engine

the car that was tailgating behind me faded left while I followed the road as it split right
feeling safe I glanced back at the car as they pulled away
then the driver of the car honked
the driver honked while driver and the passenger visibly laughed and each gave me "the bird"

feeling as if I had been invited into a conversation I turned around and approached the car
like a tourist who realized that they may have come too close to a bear at Yellowstone National Park the driver
stuck in traffic... red light in front of them... cars on each side
frozen in place with the window up and more than likely... with the doors locked
I tried to invite the conversation... there was no discussion
I assumed he could read my lips I said a few words and then snapped a few photos and went on my way

I did not approach them aggressively
there was no anger in my approach
I just wanted to talk
I viewed them as children... not as a threat

after getting my kids from school and getting back home I decided to make a call I called Gonzaga High School to try to talk with the Dean of students

the car had a GONZAGA bumper sticker...
the kids were in uniform with the GONZAGA emblem on their chest
and we were two blocks from GONZAGA High School
deductive reasoning made me think that these kids were Gonzaga students

I made the call
the woman who answered the phone forwarded my call to the Dean's office
there was no answer
I got the machine and left a message requesting a call back

I never got a call back
sure... I had the plate
but I was not trying to isolate these boys
no... I wanted to the Dean of students to talk with all of their boys
as these are not the only obnoxious GONZAGA students driving to and from school in a dangerous fashion
I often find myself in a situation as a pedestrian, car driver, or cyclist where I feel as if the teen driver is out of control
not understanding their contribution to what could be a "worst case scenario"

but no I did not get a call assuring me that there would be an announcement, an assembly, or a message sent home to the parents
in fact I do not even know if the Dean did any more than hit delete when my message was played

the most rational resolve could be to raise the driving age... but I do not see that happening
16 may be too young for kids to drive
I guess if they could be driving a tank at 18
they may need some practice

so... if we are going to allow kids to drive... we should instruct them on appropriate behavior
then if they step out of line
maybe they should be drawn back in

there should be an additional driving certification for kids who are going drive to and from school
it would be best for the kids driving and those around them

each school needs to take a certain amount of responsibility for their students and their behavior

The Green Door... well... the back of The Green Door

The Green Door
the local watering hold down the road from St. Mary's College of Maryland
not much more than a bar with a pool table, a ping pong table, some video games, and cheap beer
what am I saying?!?!?!


ah... The Green Door
if only I could remember the memories
I can remember the hang overs
but not much more

outgrown riding in the alley...

looking forwards

my boys have long since outgrown riding their bikes up and back in the alley
that was all well and good when their scale to the alley was such
but as they have grown the alley has become smaller
as they have grown they have ventured out and ridden in more interesting places
the notion of pedaling up and pedaling back then pedaling up and then pedaling back has lost its appeal

yet... I would still love for the boys to be able to ride their bikes outside my shadow
without my having to be there for supervision

it is important for me to build some options to make riding in the alley an option again
ramps... jumps... and maybe a teeter totter?


the tangent links are always interesting... at least to me
try it
search the blog in the upper left hand corner for something random

they have been stealing bikes since the invention of the bicycle

their were horse thieves
then thier were bike thieves

bikes are one of the easiest stolen items to "move"
both usable and sellable
there is a used bicycle market

bicycles may be at the top of the list of stealable-sellable items
even above stereos

man steals bikes in Fort Myers Florida

don't buy stolen bikes
it perpetuates the "cycle"

a few more shots of nothing in Mount Pleasant


Fat Albert and the Gang

that is a trip
I totally spaced

there was a Fat Albert and the Gang movie
I am still hung up on the original with Bill Cosby
yes... from the Cosby show
the cosby show? you have got to be kidding!

Fat Albert and the Gang opening on YOUTUBE

then I do not know what on TV.COM

sure enough... ignore that YOUTUBE clip
skip right past TV DOT COM
heck... I do not even know what that is
there are dozens of episodes at HULU DOT COM!
and that is for FREE... not even a pay version.... maybe a short commercial at the start of each episode... and then wow


when traveling I did not bring any DVDs for the kids
they just watched THE PINK PANTHER cartoons and stuff like that on HULU

Kelso's Husband Rides a Bike

The Schalk Diaries on the TREK King of the Mountain page

Jeff Schalk, husband to Anna Kelso, rides a bike

Jeff rides a bike for long periods on dirt
Jeff rides his bike fast on dirt


Jeff is the NUE Machine

Jeff also likes to bake cakes
Jeff's bakes cakes that look pretty
Jeff's cakes taste as good as they look
or so I am told
as I have never tasted any of Jeff's cakes


the perspective is skewed

speeding car kills a child on a tricycle
police blames the child for not wearing a helmet

4-Year Old On Tricycle Killed By Car
Sacramento News Story


shouldn't people be driving in such a fashion that they anticipate a pedestrian stepping off the curb
or a child riding their tricycle down their driveway into the street

alcohol was involved...

but not beyond the legal limit

there needs to be a different perspective when evaluating these tragedies

famous image by Bill Owens from his Suburbia Series


a little help here... does anyone have an opinion on this


recently I was hooked up was a coupon to get a ROAD ID
in turn... I will do some investigation on the product and then toss up a report

anyone have an opinion or better yet...
has anyone had an experience with any of the various ROAD ID models?
and by model... I do not mean Liz Hatch or Bob Roll
although Liz Hatch would be a nice option

the options for me would be between the Sport and the Elite wrist bands
although I think that the Jim Fix is super cool
and well... I grew up in the age of the Ripper wallet... so the Shoe ID also has its appeal
yet... I still think that wrist band would gel best with my style


oh... after checking out the various ROAD ID ID options...
check out their FIREFLY PAGE where they have a few blinking light options that would work well for cyclists and runners and then also some reflective safety options that may very well peak at super cool with reflective shoe laces...
I think those reflective laces would work just as well for dancing under the black light as they would work for the night cyclist or the night runner

I was given several coupons so I am seriously considering the shoe laces... but they are so inexpensive
it may make more sense for me to get hooked up with one of the more expensive products and just buy the laces!


seriously... I am a big fan of reflective
reflective tape on the bike
I know that I sometimes end up riding after dark without a light
reflective tape on the bike frame can aid in the ride home being as safe as possible

lights to see and be seen
then some reflective tape to take safety to the next level
and ROAD ID has reflective tape

Liz Hatch on the GWADZILLA PAGE

Columbia Heights in the NY Times


Columbia Heights in the New York Times



the Bicycle Film Festival is accepting submissions!

Submission Deadline: April 1

Submissions are now open for the Eleventh Annual Bicycle Film
Festival! The BFF is looking for films with a bike-related theme. Any
style is acceptable: animation, experimental, narrative, documentary
and music videos are all a go.

There is no fee to enter your film, simply download a submission form
from the BFF website, and send a copy of the film to the BFF Head
Office in New York.

dusting this am... not enough of this to justify my planks on the porch

my planks have been on the porch all winter
we got some snow
but I only got out twice
local... both times local
Rock Creek Park sessions and nothing more

better than nothing
but nothing that qualifies as "epic"

photo by my neighbor lisa
along with lisa's dog Karma

Karma was my house guest for the last few days
it is nice to build a relationship with such a sweet dog

Careers Headed for the Trash Pile


Jobs Outlook: Careers Headed for the Trash Pile


I wanted to hear both sides of the story...


turns out...
she has lost her love for the blog



no bicycles in this shot

Gold Rush on The Discovery Channel... and planting trees in Georgia

this weekend past a stomach virus invaded my house
Sunday morning my older son Dean woke at a sleep over at his grandmother's house to projectile vomit
while I woke to a similar less violent episode at my house
only to be followed by a recurrence while I was out trying to ride my bike in the woods

Dean recovered by the next day
while I had fever and chills through the night then woke weak the following day
useless... more useless than usual I was couch bound while Lisa spent the Monday Holiday taking the boys to see Gnomeo and Ju

on the couch in front of the tv I was introduced to Gold Rush on the Discovery Channel

ah... Reality TV
intellectual Soap Operas

funny... MTV's The Real World may have started it all
or at least popularized this format of television series
as much as I enjoyed MTV's The Real World I felt that I lived in The Real World and did not find it neccessary for me to congregate with members of my group house to witness what was going on in the group house of total strangers

amusingly enough... when SF bicycle messenger Puck was being bounced around the SF Real World my buddy Johnny Ray aka Mickey was working on the TV crew and gave me insight and forewarning to what was going on behind the scenes of a show that I was not watching

where was I?

this tangent was supposed to be going somewhere

let me try to draw it back

sick on the couch I stumbled upon Gold Rush on The Discovery Channel
in this long list of reality television shows I have managed not to get lured in to too many of them
Pawn Stars and American Pickers may be the only reality shows as of recent

I have seen the ads for Ice Road Truckers and Ax Men while not being drawn in
with my boys I dabble in Survivorman and Man Vs. Wild
then there is the conscious decision to not get involved with Survivor, American Idol, The Bachelor, and so many other shows I would not know existed if it were not for conversation around the water cooerl
conversation I have far less frequently than I used to as I am under employed

being under employed is not why I am ranting on the topic of Gold Rush
although it is interesting to witness 6 men's effort to resolve their under employment-unemployment situations

since this tangent is not wrapping around to the point as quickly as I would like

FLASHBACK! January 1991

it was January 1991
I was living in a group house in Columbia Heights with an odd assortment of messengers and cops... excuse me... DC police officers and couriers... bicycle couriers and motorcycle couriers

I was a recent college graduate and unsure of my future

there was a good deal of anxiety about what was going on in the world
the whole house was glued to CNN following what was going on in Iraq and Kuwait
fearing that there was going to be the next Vietnam
anxious that the "Crisis in the Gulf" would escalate such that the US would institute a draft

the pressure built and built
then George Bush senior gave an ultimatum
that ultimatum was not met... so the US took action
it was intense

the technology of the day presented the actions in ways that they had never been delivered before
both in the actions of the military and the actions of the media

our being glued to the television had reached an unhealthy level
a number of us felt like we needed to escape
a night on the town with discussions over beers and a seed was planted
almost literally

along with my housemate John Reardon and a college friend Spencer Moser it was decided that we would leave DC and head south to plant trees
this action was pre-internet
this effort was pre-cell phone
this whole affair was not all that well thought out

the discussion over beers became action
bags were packed
the three of us climbed into a diminutive pick up truck and pointed south
often driving with two in the cab and one person lying in the cap covered flatbed of the pickup
an action that was more acceptable in an age where people were still transitioning into seat belts usage becoming the norm

our trajectory was pointed south
our destination was Georgia
we were headed to the headquarters of Green and Gold Forestry where we would join up with a small troop of migrant workers to plant trees... small trees... saplings
trees that would be planted for a glorious average of 4.25 cents a piece

we had no idea what we were getting into
we just knew that we wanted to get away

the drive involved all the insanity of a road trip
pointed south on Interstate 95 we watched the numbers count down on the Pedros South of the Border signs as we headed towards the border between the Carolinas
then in the rear view mirror we could see the numbers count on the Pedro's signs up as we continued south to our destination
there were far more Pedros signs in that day and age

we arrived at the Green and Gold headquarters in the dark of night and set up camp without making contact with anyone on the premises
we woke the next morning to our first introduction of what would be a five week introduction to a unique ethnography of work and an introduction to a cluster of people we would have never met before had we not taken a moment to step into this world

it was trial by fire
we met the boss and took our position in the pecking order
as in may situations... the newbie takes a slot at the bottom of the totem pole
forced to earn their respect
often resigned to disrespect rather than mutual respect
often only allowed to speak when spoken to

we may have arrived on day one of their planting season
just as we had arrived others were starting to arrive
for the seasoned tree planters it was a reunion
migrant workers who had all worked together planting trees together each season for years

it was a colorful sketch
a number of very strong personalities

maybe I will try to remember who these people were...
the names and details are a blur
as this was an event that occurred decades ago

my memory is blurred and my memory is skewed
as a man over forty I am trying to resurrect the memories of a young man in his early 20's
my perspective of people and life at that time was different then as it is now
what is old or older is different to a person in their young 20's than a person in their early 40's...

Rick Long maybe 50 years old then.... maybe longer... maybe his name was Rich... maybe not: the owner of Green and Gold Forestry also the foreman of the crews
a large man... a very large man...
standing tall at what may have been 6'7"... maybe taller
tall but not lean... he carried a little extra weight around the mid section

bearded Rich age unknown... lets guess mid 40's: that interesting cross between red-neck and hippie
maybe an Alman Brother's hippie
this guy was a tree planting machine
to see him plant trees was a sight
he planted trees faster and longer than anyone on the crew
earning his keep... making money when he could how he could
living out of his van

Random Woman with Rich maybe the same age: also a mix between red-neck and hippie
she had a few less teeth than her boyfriend rich... together they may have had a full set of teeth
not sure how much planting she did... maybe she was just along for the ride
maybe she did some office work while others worked in the fields

Dave maybe in his early or mid 30's: perhaps the college graduate in the group other than us
a kind gentle sort... strong and soft spoken
there seems to be an idea of National Rugby Team floating around when he comes to mind
Dave was in attendance with his wife and toddler age son named Forest

apparently Dave had been planting trees for years
each year bringing a different girlfriend along with him for the experience
until one of these woman became his wife and gave him his son
this woman who is now his wife may very well have been the tree planting-tent partner of another migrant worker the year prior... I can not recall

Dave's son Forest may have been 4 or 6
again... 20 year old boys are not so good at guessing people's ages
especially those significantly older and those significantly younger
it amazed me to see Forest's ability to navigate the camp
wandering out to visit his father in the fields and then finding his way back
seeing this little boy walking around with a rattle snake in his hands was quite a site as well
a snake that Rich may have taken and skinned

Rich's van that was converted into his living quarters was as much a museum as it was a bedroom
with all sorts of snake skins and arrow heads

Mike Moonie and Toad: Mike Moonie age 50 may have been the most colorful character in the group
In Georgia by way of New Mexico
just as Dave would bring a different girl with him each year... Mike Moonie usually traveled with a young sidekick in his shadow
Mike was ex-Military... maybe navy
he had a chip on his shoulder and a serious lone wolf approach to things
when we would head out to a site Mike would always drive out ahead leading the convoy of trucks
even though he seldom knew where we were going

not sure if there were any others

more on this later

Gold Rush Alaska on the Discovery Channel
Discovery Blog

my experiences with Green and Gold Forestry were far closer to Jeff Foxworthy than Andy Goldsworthy
yet I thought I would share the links just the same
The Art of Andy Goldsworthy

Mickey aka Johnny Ray

need to just hit PUBLISH AND POST and revisit this later
or else it will get lost in the digital shuffle

more fun than pong

yep... quitting cigarettes is more fun than pong

I was never cool enough for smoking


Key West... artistic bikes!

Key West artists decorate beach cruisers to be sold to raise money for an Art Not For Profit in the Keys


The Outspoken Cyclist on WJCU

The Outspoken Cyclist interviews Ray LaHood and Joe Breeze


a few more photographs from Mount Pleasant Washington DC

Rosaryville Ride... no pictures.... just a few words

this was started but never finished
I guess I will give it a glance then hit PUBLISH AND POST
not as much time as I would like for developing these thoughts
so... accept what you get and get on with your day

it has been a while since I have been on dirt... too long

there was one short loop on the Baker's-Snot Course with the MORE Board
but other than that
there has not been any dirt to speak of for quite some time
really... and this is not the talk of a stealth riding sandbagger

cyclocross was the only biking I did in the fall
and honestly... I did not do too much of that
raced a handful of times... but did little or nothing with the bike in between
watching my fitness drop each race that lacked anything resembling riding or training in between
it was a less than a stellar performance
and it was a painful experience

racing in shape is hard enough
racing out of shape can be humbling

yesterday I got a message through FACEBOOK about riding Sunday
the boys were going to be at my mother's for a sleep over Saturday Night through Sunday morning so it sounded perfect
I would get to ride with fellow father who may be at some sort of winter fitness
that same friend that I went to the West Virginia State Mountain Bike Championships
that same friend that I pre-rode the course with the day before that gave me the insight to race that course at my fitness best
never was an confirmation made
never did we reconnect

so... when I woke up this morning wanting to ride I called Cargo Mike
sure enough... Cargo Mike had plans to ride with a friend who may prefer not to be named
so... Cargo Mike and this friend who prefers not to be named invited me along for their trip to Rosaryville
I was thankful that they let me tag along

Cargo Mike drove over and picked me up
we loaded my bike onto of his car and my bags in the back and we headed out of the city into PG county
from the back seat I tried to play close attention to the Suitland Route that appears to be faster than my usually route down Pennsylvania Avenue onto Route 4 out of the city

before we were out of the city Cargo Mike passed me a breakfast bagel with eggs and sausage from Heller's Bakery!
we all talked... ate... and hydrated as we drove

I made mention of not feeling 100 percent... something about throwing up earlier that morning

when I woke in the AM I was feeling all sorts of pain in my gut
it seemed that my foolishly not eating dinner before seeing TRUE GRIT with my wife Lisa was a bad idea
during the movie I filled the vacancy in my stomach with a massive soda and some nasty movie popcorn... popcorn that was not even popped on site

I thought that my movie snack and my post movie nachos that I ate when I got home had betrayed me
throwing up in the AM had seemed to set things right
although I was not feeling 100%... I was stoked to get out on the bike

in the parking lot I joked that they should ride and I would wait in the car
I changed my clothes in the crowded parking lot
ready to go Cargo Mike sent me off to set the pace

with a big question mark I took the lead
trying to keep it fun I tried to move fast
not race pace... but faster than a pleasure cruise
I was feeling pretty alright on the bike
the legs were spinning and the arms had the steering such that I was arcing the turns

the bike and body were feeling a tad off
the bike's headset may be pitted or may be missing some parts
and my handling
well... riding in the woods is a skill
and my skills are rusty

I was not feeling all that great
my stomach was bloated
there was some grinding in my stomach that was causing some displeasure
animals scattered as the movement in my stomach sent an echo through the woods that sounded like a bear waking from hibernation

after a few minutes of me trying to lead I let Cargo Mike pass... then pulled over to let the person who may prefer not to be named pass
as I stood over my bike on the trailside I seriously considered vomiting

not feeling so great but not wanting to fall too far back I adjusted my seat height and started to chase
there was a lack of intensity to my effort
but I was able to move the bike as a decent clip
yet it is irrational to think I could reel these guys in

at a fallen tree we regrouped then moved forward again
and again
I drifted back
unable to stay in the shadow of these two riders

we looped around and dipped into the interior at Rosaryville
I marveled at the touch and control that Cargo Mike has on the bike as he rode the log skinnies
me... I have never really tried that stuff
and not feeling so grand
it made more sense to just ride through the center

again... Cargo Mike and the person who may prefer not to be named accelerated out of sight as I tried to find the strength to push forward

out of the interior and back on the trail we pulled off to fuel up
water and energy snacks

I unclipped my helmet and unzipped my two jerseys
the pressure of the collar and the helmet strap were evoking the gagging response
with the unzipped collars and the unclipped helmet I was able to breath
then without warning I projectile vomit came to surface like a volcanic eruption

the morning coffee and the breakfast sandwich launched through the air

I threw up once and thought it was over

resumed conversation and took a few steps closer to my fellow riders
then it happened again
this time not once... but maybe five or six times

more coffee... more breakfast sandwich... the chewed banana... and all the water and gatorade from the morning

everything in my stomach was thrown to the trailside
there was some release to the pressure in my stomach
I thought I had resolved my problem
I rinsed my mouth out with water from my bottle and then got ready to ride

back on the bike and I had nothing
no energy... no power
my body felt weak
no longer did I feel as if I was going to vomit
but... I also did not feel as if I could hammer on the bike

it felt like someone had driven a spike through my skull
just off center
behind my right eye there was intense pain

I sent the boys ahead and moved at a meager pace
although I tried... I could not keep a solid pace
it was enough just to keep riding
the deceptively long nine miles of Rosaryville were longer than usual on this day

a little bit behind my two riding partners I made it back to the parking lot
it amused me that I had wanted to try two loops
really... I was unable to manage one
as it turned out.... my riding partners were ready to return to the city

I apologized for my performance... or lack there of

we drove back to the city
again... Cargo Mike introduced a route that would be an improvement to my current route home from Rosaryville

back home and I was greeted by my wife and older son
as it turned out my older son Dean had also had a series of projectile vomits

it was not the overload of junk food
it was in fact a virus of some sort
a virus that would

Dean and I each got under a blanket and on the couch in front of the television
I put on Smokey and the Bandit for Dean... asking him if he was enjoying it several times before I drifted off to sleep

nothing else has entered my system other than gatorade and water since my volcanic eruptions earlier today

as a joke I stepped on the scale
sure enough... not eating and vomiting will make a man lighter


long time Mount Pleasant Resident