flip flops... when getting on a bicycle... I do not recommend flip flops... even at the beach

just watched RUMBLE FISH with my older son... my younger son was given "watch for ten minutes" and left at ten minutes and one second

Rumble Fish Trailer

beautifully filmed movie 

The shawarma guy was right in his simple and profound mantra

In life we need to accept, don't ask why, and move on 

and I joked with John as he pulled up at Thomas Circle for the Alleycat... I joked that we were the two oldest people racing... that is something that we need to keep in our minds when we test our limits...

John Dinn... a gentle giant... a man among men
I have not known John Dinn long... but when I met him... he invited me in to become his friend
always kind... always considerate... always caring
John is a good dude... a stand up dude

send John a positive thought on FACEBOOK

I do not know the details... but apparently John Dinn had a heart attack yesterday
during yesterday's Tour de DC Summer Alleycat John was not feeling well and dropped out of the race
at the finish I noticed he was gone
no one gave it much thought

not seeing John I turned to Morgan and had Morgan call him
simultaneously I turned to Alex to have him call him
each of them called\texted with no response

now we know why... I just figured he bailed
which he did... then today I see a message that John's bike is missing
so I check John's Facebook page
there I see a message from John wife Kim on Facebook telling people about the heart attack and his current situation

apparently John is in ICU... which to me sound serious
so... send good thoughts and prayers to a good person

John... you and your family are in my thoughts
take care
I look forward to seeing you back on the bike ASAP!

photos and words involving John Dinn on the Gwadzilla blog

Headed to Check Point Two: Hains Point to Madoff Skate Park at RFK... then from there... 10th and U Street....

I rolled through Check Point One in pretty good position
pedaling out the backside of Hains Point I slugged down the liquid in my water bottle... Gator-Rage: Gatorade and Red Bull
then I hit record on Strava and snapped a few shots

did not take many photos
having broken my elbow doing this photo of a cyclist while riding my bike thing has being being a little more cautious

riding at race pace and doing the camera thing is a dangerous dance
so after these shots I did not take any more photos until the alleycat was done

rolling out of Check Point One at Hains Point I tried to get a mental image of the best route to RFK
there was some mumbling about taking the highway
but for me... I-395 is not worth the risk
so I looked for alternates

there was a little consideration for Francis Case Memorial Bridge
but it seemed risky
if the bridge route were not faster than the Maine Avenue route
then I would set myself further back behind the fast legs

early on I got a sense that I did not match up well with the kids on their fixed gears
yet... I rode in their pack and worked with them
perhaps a tactical error

we rode together on Maine Avenue
traffic was pretty sparse
when the lights were not in our favor it was pretty free and easy

there was some discussion as we moved on our best route
I suggested 8th Street by Barracks Row
there was agreement
but there was this issue about intensity and pace

before 8th Street I ducked down 7th
I could not maintain their intensity
and while 8th was an obvious choice
I felt that 7th would offer fewer variables

down 7th Street then a right hand turn on E Street
from a block away I saw the boys on track bikes passed in front of me on 8th Street 
then on Penn Avenue I was once again ahead of the pack
but in seconds they were on my wheel ripping off my route

they were riding blind
I was open with where I was headed
they were going to follow me
best to reduce risk of bike on bike collision I voiced my next move

it was some zigging and zagging
but it was a decent enough path to the skate park

we all got into line and got our manifest stamped
as we collected ourselves and pointed to our next destination I heard Brian say something to the effect, "alright 14th and Upshur"
to which my need to correct people when they are wrong... I told Brian, "no... 10th and U Street"

it would have been to my advantage not to correct Brian... but to let him go on his way
sure he could have sorted it out... it was nice and all
but tactically not to my advantage
again I found myself trying to match intensity with riders of a very different style

so I let the faster\fitter\younger riders on fixed gears roll ahead
then Matt and Dave rolled up on me

Matt and Dave rolled up fast then dropped into a steady grove
not as fast as intense as the kids up ahead
in fact I felt that the pace that they were pushing at this moment was slightly off from what I was pushing alone
but it worked for me... nice for me to settle in

I was already getting worried about liquids
plotting pulling off at a corner store
looking for a hot dog vendor
anything that would quench my thirst but not zap up very much time

with Dave and Matt by my side there was some playful camaraderie but I did not feel any team allegiance 
there was talk of trajectory
I figured we would\should just head up Mass Ave through Northeast past Union Station and then on up towards the Convention Center at Mount Vernon Square

at Mount Vernon Square I altered my intentions
in part curious if Dave and Matt would follow
without any reason except for flow
I did some zigging and zagging

Dave and Matt did not follow
I had to overshoot 10th
actually... 10th was one way and I went up 10th
went right past Kevin Dillard's place

but 10th runs dead ends
so I had to do some corrections

I rolled up to the Check Point at 10th and Shaw right behind Matt and Dave
up onto the curb in line to get my manifest signed
those guys stalled in the shade for a minute
while I got back on the bike and took 11th Street up town towards Upshur

I recognize this big gorilla from the DC BIke Party

Skip and Buffy Get Ready... DC Bike Party has their September Theme

DC Bike Party
September theme... Country Club Cruise
meeting september 10th in dupont circle at 7:30 pm
event on Facebook

word on the street... the "bridge spot" is going to be bulldozed

this skate spot is being threatened
the glass... the graffiti 
this stuff puts people off
but really
if my dog is chewing something he should not chew
I do not just take it away from him and reprimand him
I take away what he is not supposed to chew
then I give him something he is permitted to chew

if the city removes this skate spot... they should replace it with something else
I say do not replace it... but embrace it
legitimize it
make it easier for people to keep it clean

trash cans... a tool shed with brooms
and some users of this area to volunteer to keep things respectible

after the tour de dc alleycat a cluster of racers gathered at the bridge spot to catch up
everyone got a chance to tell their tale of the tape

the old school cats say... "yo rookies... where am I at?"

what is SCOTUS?
where is SCOTUS?
how is SCOTUS important to you?

can't break down the acronym?
hint... POTUS

with the declining messenger industry... the new breed finds other delivery options...

Carlos did not participate in the tour de dc summer alleycat
Carlos was "on call" with Postmate

What is Postmate?
Postmate is a delivery business that fetches anything you want in less than an hour
Postmate has been around for nearly a year... it is a business similar to Kozmo of years past


Morgan Rides Faster in Alleycats when he does not pedal to DC from Richmond

Me, Edgar aka the stylish Photo bomber, and Morgan passing the US Capitol Building after the Tour de DC Summer Alleycat

Morgan finished first... six minutes before the next racer... but was unable to find the final check point at Blues Alley in Georgetown... which takes him from the top of the finishers list to the bottom of that same list...
but Morgan still gets bragging rights

Morgan is a bicycle messenger in Richmond Virginia
article on Morgan and his vision
great photo in that article

is that Chimborazza?
I recall racing a cyclocross race in Richmond... that looks like the spot

Morgan's messenger company is called Carbon Free Courier

always good to catch up with Morgan
he is a free spirit with a positive outlook
well... a positive outlook with that messenger edge
although I do not know Morgan well... I do feel a strong connection 

great hanging out... great racing with you
no... I did not have the legs to grab your rear wheel
Zorba's hit the spot!


Matt at the Tour de DC Alleycat...

great randomness when I search the gwadzilla page for matt

Results and Paul got some nice shots...

Results of the Tour de DC Summer Alleycat

with my buddy Morgan finishing first (from out of town) but not getting the signature at the Georgetown check point... everyone moves up one
which means I finished solid in 8th right behind Dave and before him Matt

satisfied with my effort
pleased with my finish 

Edgar and Alexander manned the last check point before the finish... the alley by Blues Alley in Georgetown... everyone had to strike a pose 80's rapper style...

great photos Edgar!
it is great to have a laugh and not take ourselves too seriously
I am exhausted at this point
no more water... nothing... Gatorade long since gone

so many times I wanted to hit a corner store but did not want to fall out of the top ten

starting to look at my photos from the Tour de DC Summer Alleycat.... I think I got a few shots before... but not much during or after...

 Tour de DC Summer Alleycat event info on Facebook

today was a good day
the event was well put together
challenging route around the city
the format was pretty straight forward
meet\start at Thomas Circle 
then follow a list of check points in order
first person to the final check point after visiting all the check points in the stated order would be the winner

people started arriving at 1 PM
manifests were handed out at sign up
there was time to review the manifests
which allowed for conversations and more importantly some smart phone searches

the promoters were younger than I would expect
young and non-messenger
high school students in fact
students at "walls"

the event was set to send people all around the city
hence the name... tour de dc
as I said... the rules of the day stated that the check points had to be done in order
this sets the tone of the race
making it more of a fitness race than a messenger race

knowing the city is not as much of an advantage
a skilled messenger an work to order the check points in an efficient manner
the top alleycat racers are not just fast... but smart
taking the most logical routes and visiting each check point in the most efficient manner

the routes to the check point were still up to the racer
so knowledge of the city could be a factor
but the movement of the packs
the working together of the racers
in pairs or clusters usually sorts out the best path

the release occurred a few minutes after 2 PM
the first check point was "the bottom of Hains Point"
there was a bonus for the first racer to the first check point
at the start things moved pretty fast and straight down 14th Street 

a handful of fixed gears pushed a fast off the line pace
brian was on the lead bike... he seemed determined to be the first biker to the first check point
I moved in a small pack that was chasing Brian
at one point after we passed the Department of Commerce I turned right off 14th and pointed my bike towards the Washington Monument
then took a left with the monument just on the other side of the sidewalk

tourists were everywhere

as I crossed at the light by USDA right before the Holocaust Musuem Brian came into the intersection arcing a left
he was alone... my turning away from the pack ended up putting me just ahead of the pack

at the light before the tidal basin I thought there was a chance for the light to change and slow down the chase
but early into the loop at Hains Point I started to get passed
totally random I saw a cycling friend Chris McGill was out for a ride tried to get me to draft
but it was not vital for me to expend any more energy
this was the first check point in a multi check point race

just the first miles of a race that would have people sprinting 25-28 miles depending on your route choices 

I did not turn on my Strava until after the first check point
spaced out

80% of today's alleycat on Strava

too busy socializing and taking photos to turn on my Strava
then... I was too busy trying to pedal my bike to set up my Strava
early on I would learn it was going to be a little too intense for me to balance racing and taking photos

I need to get my ride on more than I need to take photos
all I did try to handle both

DC Messenger Jay Moglia... this is a job\career and not a fashion statement or a lifestyle

the above shot is of jay... taken a few years back
the shot below is from a week or so ago

in this video on the John Stewart Show Jay Moglia is mistaken for a pod racer

DC Messenger Jay Moglia on the Gwadzilla Page

Jay Moglia and the Raw Talent Ranch

and lastly...
I have always been curious about the breakdown of the bicycle messenger day
how much time is on the bike?
how much time is in the park?
how much time is in elevators?

if the messenger spends more time in elevators than on the bike
would that make them Elevator Messengers?

good luck to those riding\racing the Shenandoah Mountain 100... YOU ROCK! ROCK IT!

it is Labor Day Weekend... for many
this is the weekend of the Shenandoah Mountain 100
not for me
it has been years since I have ridden\race the SM100

this is an awesome event
Chris Scott's gift to the mountain bike community
this event is an amazing race goal
it is something that pushes the personal limits of everyone who attends

great memories of the Shenandoah Mountain 100
sure the race brought great anxiety
but this event also brought great reward
good luck to all
have fun
race hard and leave it on the course

thanks Chris Scott for being you!

in my short daily commute I am seeing more and more car alternatives... bikes, skateboards, and then this two wheeled running thing...

car alternatives?
start with buses and cabs
then move to
walking... running... roller blading... bikes
and what else?
within bikes there is bike share
but wait... there is more
more you ask? yes MORE!

this guy long boarding in a suit just a block from the White House is somewhat amusing
if I had not been running late I would have gone halfway down the block to get a shot of him cruising down 1600 Penn with the White House over his shoulder

in some ways the skateboard makes sense... the skateboard for cruising down the downslopes
not pushing hard enough to break a sweat on the flats
then carrying the board on the up sections
making a walk to work move a lot faster

and then this

an elliptical running machine on wheels!

there are not many of these on the roads... but I have seen a couple
at first... it seemed odd
but now that I see him commuting each morning it becomes less of an oddity
in fact... it looks pretty cool

it is a great way for a runner to get their "run on"
with less impact 
while running for a short duration but covering a greater distance
I expect to see more of these in the future

the guy propelling this mechanism says it is a bit of a rush to run at 15 MPH

I wonder where someone finds something like this
would this be in a bike shop or a running store

I would be curious to try one of these
it is odd... how well does it steer