7.02.2021

Fireworks... can we get a shared decision on this...

 Fireworks!

Same story every year...

summer starts and so do the Fireworks... and not just fireworks... but explosives and gun fire... it is loud... it is obnoxious... and these loud noises are a scary experience for many...

house pets are in a panic...  many domesticated dogs and cats are doing their best Chicken Little... I know my dog is looking at me like I am a fool for not taking cover... my companionship gives him comfort... but there are days where I can not walk him... there are times when he will not leave the house

this is the story about my dog's response to the fireworks... but this is just one story... this story is repeated with pets all over... dogs... cats... birds... whatever... all traumatized by the loud noises...

but what about people?

it is said that Veterans with PTSD are often punished by the sound of the fireworks 

sure... people can get out of town... or brace themselves for July 4th... but the surprised explosions from morning to night can not be prepared for... there may be many people in this city suffering the same emotional response as the dogs and cats

so...

what can be done?

I am not sure... I am pretty sure that the people who are lighting the fireworks are not on the neighborhood forums to hear the neighbor's complaints... how do we tame this beast? no need to mention the law... most of these explosives are illegal... DC allows sparklers and spark emitting fireworks... but no projectiles and no explosives 

maybe next year we can work towards a solution... perhaps start the plan on January One...

not sure what will tame this beast... but I do believe that there needs to be a shared understanding of the effects of fireworks on the emotions of the residents in the neighborhoods... both the humans and the pets


https://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/search?q=fireworks



6.28.2021

someone should make a short film... part Warriors... part Escape from New York... part Breaking Away


 so...

some bystander at the Tour de France caused a crash because they wanted to display a greeting to their grandparents on the "tele"

well...

this woman is on the run

she is going to be sued

she is going to be prosecuted


https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/06/27/tour-de-france-spectator-crash/


another site with similar intel

https://www.pedestrian.tv/sport/tour-de-france-woman-sign-crash-police/

6.27.2021

Jay Moglia... LEGEND!!! RIP Jay!

 


Jay Moglia...
more than just a messenger...
much more than a bicycle messenger...
more than a guy in the line stand...

Jay was a complex person...


Writer
Rider
Coach
Musician
Courier
and 
Friend

partner?
cat owner?
chef?
you name it...
Jay was it!

mentor
role model


Jay rarely engaged my photo thing...
it was a "catch me if you can"
sort of thing
he was supportive of it
the artist in him dug it

jay always asked when I was going to do something with my photos


over the years I managed to catch a few shots...

but not that many
that man was on the move


Jay Moglia...
Heart Attack doing what he loved
road ride out from his Raw Talent Ranch



RIP Jay!
Jay Moglia Legend.

OBIT for Jay Moglia
another Obituary 

News Article about Jay's Passing

Raw Talent Ranch

and lastly...

Jay Moglia doing Line Stand for the Lobbyist on Capital Hill
Samantha Bee on the Daily Show
CLASSIC

((photos from a gathering to remember Jay set ))


6.14.2021

Bubble Gum...

 


Bubble Gum does not have the following it once had...

when I grew up there was a bubble gum war...
all sorts of manufacturers... flavors...

Urban Myths about spider eggs in Bubble Yum... maybe started by Bubblicious marketing department...

lots of people chewing and blowing bubbles...
just not as popular as it once was
or so it seems 

and of course...

we can bring it back to DC and Dischord Records
by mentioning Jeff Nelson and his gum wrapper collection 

http://www.collectingcandy.com/wordpress/?p=3326 

Columbia House... my dad refused me the option to send them a penny for 12 records...

 

Columbia House
Who remembers Columbia House and that insert that was in every magazine and every Sunday paper?

12 Records or Tapes for a Penny!??!!
sounds too good to be true... perhaps it was

my father forbad me from this deal
as a small child I dreamed of this deal
I am not sure how many times my father saw me scanning the list for what albums I would request
only to be told that it was a scam...

but was it a scam?

as a teen I listened to all sorts of records
considered myself a "record collector"

when I left off for college... Columbia House was a freedom I was finally allowed
Columbia House along with piercing both my ears and dyeing my hair

but I did not get records... I got CDs

was it a scam?
not really... it was what it was... a business transaction
big win up front... then had to deal with the single record each month
a bit of a hassle

but really...
Columbia House gave me an opportunity to own and listen to so much music I would not have been able to experience on that level without owning the albums themselves

Columbia House was the perfect place to get greatest hits albums...
Steve Miller Band
Santana
the list goes on...
REM... U2... The Cure
so much worth listening to... but so much I would not have picked up had I gone record shopping

The Cure: Standing on the Beach
without Columbia House I would have maintained my ignorant dislike for the Cure
the same goes for Depeche Mode

bands that I knew a song or two from were introduced to a greater level

sure...
I need up with some CDs of music I did not want and had to pay 14 bucks for a 10 dollar record
but really... it was worth it

Columbia House was part of my youth... my yearning... and then my numerous joining and quitting only to join again at the next group house address 




6.12.2021

WET TRAILS... DON'T... Just Don't

Wet Trails?

the opposite of the Nike Slogan...

Wet Trails? JUST DON'T!



it it rained recently...

turn to the local list serves... go to FACEBOOK... consult the experts...

MORE-Mid Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts has a Facebook page as do most every trail system in the area... post to those pages asking the question... defer to the experts... ask the land managers...  pose the question to the people that volunteer to build\maintain the trails...

this notion of Wet Trails also applies to skills parks and jump lines... if you are leaving a rut.. you should stop and just leave...

short video on the topic

https://youtu.be/

6.11.2021

Underground Railroad Ride...

John Shack lead the Underground Railroad Ride from Alabama to Washington DC

Story in Bicycling Magazine

https://www.bicycling.com/



mention of Shack on the Gwadzilla Page

https://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/search?q=shack 

DCCX RETURNS IN 2021!

 


DCCX September 11th 2021

Trek Store in Wilmington Delaware...


Katie Compton\KFC...
https://twitter.com/katiefncompton

yesterday my friend TJ was running up to Wilmington Delaware to swap out a new but damaged in shipping Trek eBike for a new\never ridden\never broken eBike of the same make\model...

having no plans on this day

I figured I would go along for the ride... or the drive... there was promise of a free lunch... thought it would be good to get out of DC for a minute... 

the drive was trouble free... 

when we arrived we were greeted by the friendly Trek Staff... they had been expecting TJ and this bike... it is an expensive rig... and well... they wanted to help to make things "right"

as TJ went over things with the mechanic I strolled about the shop's show room...

it was a nice space... decent size... nice layout... the shop was experiencing the same issue as most bicycle shops... there was a shortage of bicycles for sale... 

the shop was a nice set up... lots of breathing room... no clutter... not an excess of bikes or accessories... I like the area dedicated to local bicycle routes (maps and information)... the wall decorations were colorful and full of energy... it was a nice looking shop... much like most Trek Stores... as I think there is a bit of a formula... it most certainly is a formula... 

the exterior could use some help... the shop itself sits on a space that looks like it was once part of a Hotel No Tell... the building itself is on a busy road that is flanked by all sorts of commerce... long strip of commerce.. a taste of Anywhere USA... personally I felt the facade could have done more to alert the passerbys that this is in fact a bicycle store... maybe a color different than the surrounding set of beige buildings...  to paint just the road facing side of the building TREK BLUE could help... that is neither here nor there... the building has an address and we used that to find the location...

while browsing I made small talk with the various employees... "what do you ride? where do you ride? have you heard of Katie Compton?"

Never heard of Katie Compton?

Hold on... TREK STORE in the birthplace of Katie Compton and they do not know who Katie Compton is? I suggested to google the name and chase down some links... mentioned cyclocross... mentioned her local racing... her international racing... and her 13 National Cyclocross Titles... 

in my mind I imagined having a wall space dedicated to Katie Compton... it seemed like something that Trek and the Owners could easily throw together... it could be a slight draw and a massive conversation piece... 

if you are gonna have a photo of a person on a Trek bike... why not have it be Katie Compton?

https://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/search?q=compton

www.cxhairs.com/

https://usacycling.org

www.cxhairs.com

after a wonderful fish taco lunch at Iron Hill Brewery we returned to the shop... at the shop we learned the repair was not yet completed... the manager offered up some loaner bikes... I would have loved to borrow some mountain bikes for a tour of White Clay... Fairhill... Iron Hill or whatever local stuff they had to offer... but alas no... no mountain bikes to loan... all they had were a few Trek eBikes... with little hesitation I accepted the offer... why not check it out?

so... I borrowed a helmet and an eBike and TJ and I took to a sleepy neighborhood that backed up to the bike shop and took a casual loop around the golf course... 

it was a nice little ride... but at this stage in the game... eBikes are not for me... I like motorcycles and I like bicycles... I just do not feel I need a motor on my bicycle... it seemed to me that the eMountainbike makes much more sense... if someone is looking for a car alternative... a standard motorcycle or Vespa style scooter would make more sense...

when we got back the shop manager asked about our ride... I simply told him that eBikes are not for me... then mistakenly I got into a conversation with a woman who worked in the shop... she spoke about the advantages... getting people out in nature and all the other things that eBike sales people say... it was an argument like many arguments... it was an argument that I had heard a thousand times before... a series of ideas that I do not agree with... an argument that does not sway either party in either direction... both the male and female store managers were not particularly fit... neither appeared to be cyclists... which is fine... but their perspective of bicycles was clearly different than mine... which is fine... and well... I feel it is unfortunate... eBikes are expensive... so... of course they want to sell that crap... I mean those eBikes... but it seemed clear to me that bikes are fine as bikes... and people are more capable than we give them credit for... eBikes are the bicycle version of a participation trophy...

I tried to be gracious... made sure to thank them again for the loaner bicycle... 

the eBike repair was finished... TJ gave it a quick test ride before loading it up and returning to DC to pass this bicycle of to its owner..

I wonder if these people at the Trek Store will consider the Katie Compton Shrine in their shop...

it seems like an obvious thing to do...

KFC... an inspirational athlete to all... but especially to woman

an athlete with class and poise

an athlete with a winning history 

it just seems logical to me to have some sort of space dedicated to this amazing (Trek Sponsored) cyclist from the town of Wilmington...

Trek Bikes Wilmington 

www.trekbikes.com/

6.05.2021

ah... I really have no dog in this fight... B-CC and its antiquated Mascot...

 

Petition to Change the B-CC Mascot

B-CC aka Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School has the "Battlin' Baron" as their mascot
it is a mascot that is reminiscent of the fighting Irish of Notre Dame
not sure how this mascot was selected
honestly... the school colors or the mascot were not that important to me as a student in the '80's
not sure why I would care as an adult

but...
people care
people care much more than I do
people care
much more than I would have ever expected 

yet here were are...
this is what many are calling "Cancel Culture"
well... I am not offended by the mascot or the notion of changing the mascot
and as far as "cancel culture" goes... I think that there are many things that are ready to be canceled or at least modified\changed

my older son is a graduate and my younger son is a junior at Wilson High School in NW Washington DC
Wilson High School recently changed their name
Wilson High School was named after the former President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson was a segregationist
and well...
Wilson is a culturally diverse institution
so... it was felt that the name was not fitting

so...
they changed the name of Wilson HS to Wilson HS
keeping the name but altering the namesake
rather than Woodrow Wilson... now the school is named for August Wilson 
sort of like my DC street being Quackenbos...
they just needed a three syllable Q name... no historical significance to anyone name Quackenbos

so... Wilson looked for someone named Wilson who fit the bill...
or at least that is my take
keep Wilson Alumni happy with Wilson remaining Wilson
while removing the negative association with racism 

WaPo Article about Wilson HS Name Change

GO TIGERS!

I have B-CC Pride from my high school experience...
but the Mascot or the school colors have nothing to do with that emotion
I do not bleed Blue and Gold
the mascot change has no effect on me

and 

the Wilson HS name change is subtle but entirely justified 
and well...
I think it makes reasoning for valuable conversations while also allowing people to maintain their association with the Old Wilson and the NEW Wilson high school
GO TIGERS!

DC PS has Served our Family Well!

Thank You Washington DC for being my home and for creating an environment that my boys have been able to thrive in...

as far as "cancel culture" goes
well... I agree that many things need to change
somethings are long over due!


6.02.2021

What happened to New Belgium? What happened to the Tour de Fat?


 


where to start... where to start...

have you seen Smokey and the Bandit?

Sure... that is Coors... but the notion of alcohol sales and distribution plays into this story

New Belgium Brewery is in Fort Collins Colorado

for years you could only get Fat Tire Beer if you were in Colorado or in one of the western states bordering Colorado

it was not uncommon for people visiting Colorado to bring this beer back home from visits to share with friends... as there was no other way for East Coasters to get to sample Fat Tire Amber Ale

over time... New Belgium expanded its distribution to other parts of the United States

when the sales of New Belgium beer expanded around the country... so did the Tour de Fat!


What is the Tour de Fat?

that is a question that is harder to answer than it should be
The Tour de Fat is a one day bicycle themed festival hosted by New Belgium Brewery
the day involves an assortment of bicycle themed activities and entertainment

The Tour de Fat is a day of fun and frivolity
the day beckons for people to let loose and have some fun
costumes are not required... but costumes are encouraged
as are bicycles
bicycles are not mandatory on this day... but bicycles are also encouraged

so... The Tour de Fat is a one day bicycle themed festival
a carnival of sorts
there are all sorts of side show acts
various odd ball games and activities
and then a main event

the Tour de Fat is trip around the United States where New Belgium brings its Fat Tire Beer (and other beers now) on tour...

it is really quite a day...

a day that at one time happened in Washington DC in a time when the Tour de Fat was going to over a dozen cities all over the United States


the Tour de Fat grew and grew and grew
then changed...


There is more to the Tour de Fat than meets the eye...
sure it is a one day party
a festival of sorts...
but there is more

the Tour de Fat was a philanthropic event
all of the proceeds of this event go back to the various bicycle Not for Profits that volunteer to host the event
AMAZING! UNBELIEVABLE!

here in Washington DC I worked with the mountain bike advocacy group MORE to be the liaison between MORE and New Belgium
I organized and ran the Bicycle Valet at the Tour de Fat
while also working to promote the event



in the months leading up to the event I handed out flyers... put up posters in bars around town... and blasted Social Media with updates about the event
my efforts were so great that I won a promotion contest where I was awarded a New Belgium beach cruiser

but... What happened to New Belgium? and what happened to the Tour de Fat?

it was here... it was magnificent... now it is gone...


in short... I really do not know
I never asked... I never really looked into things

New Belgium Brewery was an "employee owned" business
the event was what it was and it grew organically 

I saw the Tour de Fat change...
they tried to change the format
the event became more of a live concert than a festival
a change from a family fun day... to an adult early evening event
and
the day became a ticketed event rather than a free event
which in my mind... made the day much more difficult to sell

it was like they were trying to reach out to a different demographic
rather than feeding on their fan base... they tried to attract a different group or an additional group 
this change along with some unfortunate weather changed things

two articles about the sale of New Belgium Brewing and the end of the employee owned business

I hope this was a win for the workers...
I hope in the long term... that this is a win for the fans of New Belgium Brewing
but really... the company identity was so much of the product
and... as said...
there seemed to be some major changes
changes that did not seem positive to me

if it ain't broke... don't fix it!

but... what do I know
New Belgium was not entirely on my radar before The Tour de Fat came to town and well...
New Belgium is not really on my radar now that Tour de Fat is no longer passing through DC...


for several years New Belgium Brewing brought its bicycle themed circus sideshow to Washington DC...
it was really quite a day
a day were the uptight DC types loosened up a bit
people dressed up and had fun

it was a giggle... a laugh... a hoot, a holler, a scream!

all sorts of people came out to volunteer
while so many others came out to experience the Tour de Fat
it was really quite special
New Belgium and the Tour de Fat was a day not like any other
were... well... yes... were...

honestly... I never really got to experience the Tour de Fat
my duties on that day were to lead a color cast of characters to run the bicycle valet
with thousands of people coming and going all day long on their bicycles
there is no way there are enough bicycle racks and No Parking signs for people to lock up

so... each year as the Bike Valet Team Lead I gathered volunteers... set schedules... and guided the action at Bike Valet on the day of...

bicycles coming and going all day...
from open to close...
a sea of bicycles...
it was really a site...

volunteering at the Tour de Fat is a Tour de Fat experience in itself

I really enjoyed it... everyone who volunteered really enjoyed it... even in the rain




the music and entertainment were both eclectic and top notch
there was spoke word by THE MOTH
there was comedy by Reggie Watts
each year had a musical headline that was unknown to be but so spectacular that my mind was blown

have you heard of Mucca Pizza?
neither had I... they are awesome!


in addition to the event itself...
New Belgium took on the role of mentor with the various advocacy groups
there were events that brought local bicycle advocacy groups 
advocates where shown ways to be more effective advocates
it was a great gathering of people and various advocacy groups

so many bicycle minded people with a love for their bicycle community
doing what they could to make their bicycle world better


hard to believe so much time has passed since the last Tour de Fat
the change of the event was a sad way to wind things down
the last a final year in DC it rained
I can not recall... but I think the last year was "a wash"


although the event was fueled by beer
it was really a good day for family fun
my boys would go to the event each year
much like myself
the corral with the kinetic bicycle sculptures was one of their favorite parts of the day

the New Belgium "carnies" are a clever bunch
over the years they have created dozens and dozens of bicycle-like contraptions
there is a pit where people take turns trying out these various rideable pieces of art
it is chaos
it is cool


over the years of volunteering at these events I made many new friends
friends with the New Belgium staff that was coming to town
while also getting to know other advocates and cementing friendships with them
and of course
the Bike Valet Volunteers

I am forever thankful to any and all that assisted with the TdF Bike Valet

thank you New Belgium 
or at least...
THANK YOU PREVIOUSLY EMPLOYEE OWNED NEW BELGIUM!

photos and words about the Tour de Fat on the Gwadzilla Blog
and

this links are rich with images, words, and memories...


one year I was gifted the assignment of making the "Slow Ride" Championship Belt
it was fun to get to play "New Belgium Carney"

below is my older son Dean displaying the Slow Ride Belt...
it was really something
brake levers that activated the bells...
Scrabble letters...
bottle opener on a retractable chain...
a DC flag created out of New Belgium Swag

and a cowbell... we always need MORE COWBELL!



6.01.2021

Golf... Disc Golf... Frisbee Golf!

 


Monday... Memorial Day Weekend!

oh man... as this three day weekend approached I thought...
Triple Crown?
Is Memorial Day weekend the three day weekend where the messenger community hosts its Triple Crown?
that would be messenger Races in neighboring cities...

I think that the Triple Crown Usually includes Philly, Richmond, and DC...
but not this year

Triple Crown mention on the Gwadzilla Page


well...  the weekend approached faster than expected
I had thought that I might host an Alleycat
I did not present the idea to the DC Bike Messenger Association DCBMA
and then...
that notion passed



before the weekend started I got a text from Bruce
Bruce is a long time DC Messenger
Bruce has a love for many things
Disc Golf is one of those things

Bruce

Bruce sent out the invite to meet up for some golf on Memorial Day
10 am meet up Calvert Park Road Disc Golf Course in College Park

this course roughly a half hour bicycle ride from my house
but I would drive so I could bring my dog

Didg is a good dog and can hang out while we play a few holes of golf



so... normally I play disc golf with an Ultimate Frisbee
and well... I have a long history of doing pretty okay with a standard disc
sort of like riding a single speed with someone on a full suspension bike
but on this day I decided to try the golf disc 


my old friend Peter Wilborn have a long history of playing frisbee together
for years Peter has tried to influence my golf game by gifting golf discs to me
and well...
the discs gather but I never use them
well... I decided that on this day I would try to use the golf disc

so...  I drove over to College Park with the dog
showed up a few minutes late... but pretty close to 10
all the players were already at the tee and ready to play
the score card would include - Bruce, DannyK, a kid named Joe, and Chris P aka Step Dad

the play would be unscored... accept by the individual for the individual
it would not be a contest or a competition
it would be a get together and a game
that said... we all threw our best and I kept a tally of my score 

after a few warm up tosses... I figured I would try to learn how to throw a golf disc

to avoid some of the morning golf crowd we started on the back 9
teeing off I heard some advice from everyone on how to throw the disc
I spoke out and said... that I was gonna try something

I was not sure how the small weighted disc would respond to my angled shot
I threw the disc high and away... thinking it would drop towards the hole
it was amazing
the frisbee did exactly as I had intended
the small pink disc went far and away at an aggressive angle
then cut back and dropped towards the basket

then it happened!
the disc hit the ground just a few feet from the basket and skipped up
the angle was perfect for the skip rather than just dropping to the ground
the little pink disc skipped up and slammed into the chains of the basket

A HOLE IN ONE!
what a great way to start the day!
I should have packed my bag and gone home just then
as it would not get any better than that!

the day went on to be a struggle...
never quite getting the small firm golf discs to do what I intended them to do
my drives were decent in distance... but not any further than I think I could huck an Ultimate disc
and my PUTTING SUCKED!

I started strong... but could not finish strong...
shot Par for most of the day
with a few flubs... ended up 6 over par
not better than I would shoot with a standard disc
but... I figure once I learn how to use a golf disc I will get some consistency

and well...
as they say
"drive for show... putt for dough"
I need to work on my putting game!

good times!
Thanks Bruce for the Invite!

then went home and did an afternoon road ride
an Alleycat would have been nice
but Disc Golf with friends is not a bad option

Alleycat on the Gwadzilla Page