Rants on Cycling and on Life


more on music
growing up music was a huge part of my life
in the early years I use to run around the house while my mom cooked and cleaned, it seemed as if there was always some music playing in the background
Neil Diamond, Carly Simon, Carol King, or some other folk artist of the time

my brother and I were turned onto Jesus Christ Superstar at a young age
as our mother was (and still is) hyper religious we found this to be a way to satisfy her need for us to observe the death of Jesus on Good Friday

there are strong memories of coloring in coloring books to the Beatles
and when I began to discover music on my own independantly I would hear songs
as these song played my mind would reel
there would be strong memories of how I had heard all this music before
Tommy by the WHO must have been on the car radio, so many of those choruses were firm in my brain
there were odd songs by the DOORS, the not the obvious ones, but ones that must have also been on the radio as I was a young child
certain music would enter and exit my life at different stages
Led Zepplin was to be discovered, disguarded, rediscovered then disguarded, to only be rediscovered again and now is currently disguarded
the WHO some how rang big through my high school years, but gets little airplay on my system now days
well, other than some phases of QUADROPHENIA
back to where I was originally headed with this whole RANT

music was not just in the background
but it was in the foreground of pop culture
it was something that peers learned that they had in common or lacked in common
it created peer groups
and it created identity
this became more clear as early as junior high
the classroom started to split
there were those that like to dance to the pop music on the radio
those who were discovering the harder side of rock
even those who were headed for metal
as for me....
there was a great appreciation for all rock and roll
my records and my interests went back to the birth of rock and roll
there were investigations
and shockingly enough I was reading
there were great songs that the Beatles and the Stones or even Hendrix were playing
and I had discovered that they were covers
so I researched the history of rock and roll
and took it all the way to the presend day
it was the late 70's
not too late to catch the tale end of the brith of punk
aware enough to monitor the news
a Death at a WHO concert
the death of the WHO drummer
and the death of one of the Beatles
the day John Lennon was shot I stayed home from school sick
went to the local drug store and bought all of that day's papers
there were clippings to read and to be collected
it was impossible to sort out why.

then onto high school where grouping became more clear
many students were obvious to to peg as a fan of pop, while another looked like a Dungeon and Dragons playing RUSH fan!
the fans of a certain band would effect my choice as to whether I would listen to or allow myself to like a certain band
I have never to this day been able to listen to RUSH because of my lack of allegance to the RUSH fans in high school
and the same went for the followers of the Grateful Dead, but I lightened my feelings and accepted the music, but never the HEADS themselves
(as Ultimate frisbee and some other passtimes of the Deadheads were fun for me, I could not help but accept that soundtrack to that day, that era, or that memory)

music helped me to form my own personal identity

it is hard to sum up the formation of my identity on the fly
there are many factors that come into play
divorced parents/remairried father/being the youngest of three/moving around a fair amount
there was also the fact that I never was part of the "in crowd"
had some friends
but often was not accepted
often did not fit in

played all sorts of sports
select soccer
cyo basketball
rode my bike
I had my friends
but never really fit in

and with music it was pretty much the same
I ended up taking what I enjoyed of each subculture and leaving the rest behind
by 11th grade I was counter culture, perhaps post punk
my hair was cut funny
and when I had the opportunity to dye it, I risked the consequences of being grounded
and took that fashion risk
there was ridicule
but there was reward
in high school I was no trend I was all trends
I played soccer, volleyball, and ran track
went to high school dances, went out to bars to go dancing (clubs on the alternative night) and went to punk shows (DC Hardcore.)

rather than join any one sub culture I floated between all of them

having never really fit into any one group had given me a liscence to join any and all groups

this carried onto college where I skateboarded, played varsity soccer, lived on the lacrosse hall, sailed with the sailheads on big wind days when they wanted a big crew, played ultimate when the team hosted tournaments, and went to any party that had a keg

where is this rant going?
it is going to get me fired if I do not PUBLISH AND POST and get back to work

ah music
it can really set the mood for the moment
that advertising campaign that says, "what is the soundtrack to your life?"
is really onto something
there are times when the moment is right and then the music comes on
and that moment becomes better
when depressed I often choose depressing music
which can take me deeper into depressionstrange that rather than fighting that progression I would enhance it
when looking back to certain points in time I often am able to set the scene better if I set the right music in the background

in the same way a song may evoke certain memories or certain emotions

I am not sure if I can recall the top five concerts of my life
the emotion is forgotten
it is long gone
I would be more prone to retelling a story
than feeling the moment again, and sharing the sensation as I experience it again
most of those feeling are long gone
guess that is old age

time to go to bed
good night


I have always love the tests.
Everyone loves the test. These are the questions you ask your new bestfriend in grade school and your first girlfriend in high school...
"What is your favorite color?"
"Where were you born?"
"What is your favorite type of pizza?"

well, you get the idea, these were not the questions asked
but you do remember the questions
and you shared the answers
with both you first best friend
and your first girlfriend, that is why it was all so confusing

now some of the new questions?
"what do you do?"
this is the classic DC\question
it is the first thing people ask
it often backs people back into a corner
for me I like to spin it to a more gentle tone, but only after an awkward pause
"what do you do for fun or for work? which ever is more interesting or which ever is more entertaining to talk about!"

"what is are the top five concerts you have every been too, and then why. a short answer to why (it could be the company, it could be the point in your life)
there are other questions
they are all evading me now
it has been a long time since I have been social
I tended to answer "I need to go to the bathroom to all questions."
in my earlier days I lived and awkward paradox
I was both social and antisocial
well more clearly, I needed to be social, but for the most part I did not like people
being social is more of a compulsion than a pleasure
talking can be a disorder
or perhaps an uncontrolable bodlily function like farting, vomitting, or diahrrea.
I try to hold it in, but it has to come out, and it is not pleasing for anyone, well other than me, cause it is better when it is out.


the makers of the KM (Karate Monkey) are BLOGGERS
Check out their BLOGGING

this week I am getting a Surly Karate Monkey

when asked how I selected the Karate Monkey (aka KM)
I answered this

as a taller rider I had been interested in the notion
of a 29 inch wheel since it was first introduced

not unlike a longer snowboard
I had always felt that it was odd that while I was
6'4" tall and riding a skateboard there was some guy
zipping past me on the same size board standing tall
at 5'4".

so why as a taller cyclist would I use the same wheel size as someone significantly shorter than me
there are a variety of wheel sizes for children
the sizes vary as the child grows taller
but for some reason this stops when a child is tall enough to stand over an adult size frame
why did they stop making taller wheel sizes for taller people?

even with the 26 inch standard mountainbike wheel I had always wanted a 180mm crank arm
but was too cheap
and with this size bike
there is no arguement
with a higher bottom bracket the clearance should not be an issue

so I shopped around
and was attrached to the versatility of the karate
as I not only like to ride bikes
but I also like to work on them
although my skills are weak
there is still great joy in riding a bike with some
personality that you built or crafted

(the KM has a horizontal drop out, which is vital for a true single speed, and entirely neccessary with fixed gear (just as with a track bike)
then with the taller wheel size this bike makes a great cross bike
and also has a deraileur hanger
thus allowing for the bike to morph into a geared bike

then there is price

it seemed more reasonable to me

some say "steel is real"
but it was as much cost as anything else
drawn to both the affordability and the functionality

getting the bike this week
will definitely let you know how it feels

my old quasi single speed is too small and the parts
are worn and tired and so is my back

this may be the first bike that actually fits me

this is a message that I sent to the folks at OFF CAMBER
they asked for a bio
so I tossed this together

where to start? where to start?

Bio: I am a 36 year old male, married with one 2 year
old son, another son on the way, two dogs, and many
bicycles. When I am not working in the salt mines
doing IT Help Desk stuff for CBS News I am hiking with
my dogs in the urban forest which is Rock Creek Park,
hanging with my wife and child, or trying to do some

Riding to me is a mixture of pleasures. My commute is
short so I try to extend it, usually on the way home
as my morning routine does not allow me to get to work
on time, much less take the long road. So I ride
around town when I head to a friend's house or a bar,
hopeing that I run enough errands that I will be
strong enough to hammer the trails in the area. Sundays
are often trips to a local race, there is some
occassional touring, but less as I am a family man
with a 9-5 lifestle. Trying to keep a healthy balance.
Cycling is my Prozac, although I may still need


Links to Blogs

On the web there are various sites that offer a chance for a BLOGGER to have a link to their BLOGSPOT
Here are a couple of those sites
If you have some time there may be something of interest

there is a site in Colorado called OFF CAMBERIt is cycling related
there are some amusing rants

then there are a few others

METROBLOG which is pretty cool
they use the DC Metro Subway map to show the neighborhoods
my link is not listed
interesting just the same

and this one actually has my link

there is no real way for me to know if anyone is reading this stuff
but I would like to think that someone is getting entertained other than me

Brutus and his Health...
Lisa and I have two dogs; Brutus and Roscoe. They are an odd pair. These dogs are as similar as they are different. Born from the same father, but different mothers, born five days apart. Roscoe has a odd coat, it is a disturbed representation of his Austrailian Shepard's father's blue merel coat, while Brutus is black with white markings. The size of the dogs also is dramatically different; Roscoe has some weight to him, while Brutus is wirey, ribs visible.
That is just the differences on the outside, the differences on the inside are just as strong. Roscoe is mellow, totally mellow. Brutus is high strung, totally high strung.

more on this later
got to do some work

New Year's Resolutions!
or perhaps I should say
New Year's Resolutions?

Good thing that I did not make any New Year's Resolutions. This morning I slept late, rode my bike directly to work (no extended ride for elevated heart rate and calorie burner), got to work late, then stepped out to grab a bite and could not walk any further than the hot dog stand on the corner where I got the Number 4 Combo Special; Two Hot Dogs with everything, a bag of chips (I got Cheese Doodles) and a coca cola.

On top of that....
I have not been blogging
I have not been riding after work
the hikes with the dogs have been short

I need another cup of coffee
I am really dragging over here