Rants on Cycling and on Life


DC's own Ian MacKaye


not Teen Idles
not Minor Threat
not Embrace
not Egg Hunt
not Fugazi

did I miss any of his bands?
(and yes, I know I mentioned this before, but a friend in SF asked, and did not have his info handy so rather than emailing him, figured I could set it out here for him to find)

A few years ago I learned about some SHAREWARE called GIF BUILDER. It is primitive compared to what FLASH animation of today. I had some fun with this stuff just the same. Here are two pieces that move, the Trackskid Can moves as well, hit Refresh and Scroll down if you do not see the motion.

and yes
that is me before I met genetics head on with the clippers

My favorite cycling magazine DIRT RAG decorates each issue by reader submitted art. This is something that I sent their way, it did not make the cover, but they did put on the inside with some other reader art.

that is somewhat of a self portrait

One of the founding members of the City Bikes Mountainbike Team is a now retired (then active) courier.
Recently he has been jumping back and forth between State College PA and DC. He is a single speeding monster. A rigid single speeding monster. In addition to riding, racing, and having a good time he has also moved to some grass roots race promotion. This is something I tossed together for his race last year.

Single Speeders with a love for rock gardens watch for his race in 2004!
(okay, Rocco got the info on this event...

and eric's correct email address....
(that other email is in the image and I am too lazy to edit it)


C-Span Hearing: Condoleezza Rice-

Well, you do not need to tune into C-Span for this.
If you are looking for Regis and Kelly....not today, Judge Joe Brown? Not Today! Reruns of Gilligan's Island, well, okay, some channels are not playing the live 9-11 Commission Hearings, but most every channel is playing this same hearing live.

I am not following her that closely, but I do think that she could use a better speech writer. She has used this reference to a "SILVER BULLET" in reference to killing terrorism as a whole and then later in the speech to Osama Bin Laden, and is sure to use it again.
I was not aware that Osama was a werwolf! Was not aware that AL-Qaeda was comprised of werwolfs, we should have seen that the full moon was coming. That would have prepared us better for 9-11.
Maybe she can use a different MYTH for each of real life groups/people that have threatened and caused great damage to the US.
There are not just silver bullets, there are stakes to be driven through the heart, there is the use of the mirror, day light, and that is just for Vampires.

step away from my ramblings and check out ROBLOG
he has this link to a Celebrity Look Alike Make Over that is a must read!

go there
check it out
laugh out loud
and then
have a nice day!

Ro-blog better know as Rob-log

4.07.2004 often when out on my bike I will get an aggressive response from a car driver about my cycling behavior
Most cyclists have heard these remarks in one form or another, other times it is the hand gesture pointing to the bike path or the sidewalk, or another finger telling the cyclist to go someplace unearthly. Certianly some of these car drivers mean well. But most of them just do not get it. The behaviors of the cyclist are to benefit not just the movement and safety of the cyclist, but the flow of traffic as a whole. Usually cyclists ride to the right of traffice, giving the car drivers ample room for passing; unless of course that is not the safest passage (as in the traffic paterns of downtown DC where the ONE WAY streets alternate, thus having a flow of turning traffic changing from the far right lane to the far left lane) Strange that a car driver gets miffed when they cross the double yellow line in the middle of the road only to be passed by the cyclist at the red light. In this case the cyclist is progressing forward just as the car is, no difference. Now when the cyclist runs the stop sign or the red light, well that is a tough one to explain. I view it as more like "leading" than "stealing." Or more simply, I see it as one of the opportunities when law abidding members of society move into the "Gray Area" yet still view themselves as being in the right. Every car on the road speeds. The speed limit will read 25 MPH and people feel as if the car is permitted to go 35, and at the posted 55MPH they feel just in going 65MPH, and so on. Well, when a cyclist chooses to breeze through a stop sign or a red light they are doing the same thing. Re-evaluating the law and applying what they see as a sensible alternative. Clearly no car wants to be stuck behind a cyclist as they make a full stop at each intersection and then wait as the cyclist slowly gets up to speed. No, it is to the advantage of the car driver for the cyclist to move fast and fluid, and well to the right of the road. The car driver is then allowed to break the law and pass over the double line to pass the cyclist.

back to work
this thought like many is going now where
no desire to proof read
actually no desire to PUBLISH AND POST
but I have gone this far

DIRT RAG ARTICLE on race promoters


this is a trend in cars that I can appreciate

and apparently there will be an SUV HYBRID in the future
we have the technology
now we are starting to use it

my wife's family wagon
well her's is a fresco green 2001 and a half
but basically her car

embracery (em-BRAY-suh-ree) noun, also imbracery.

An attempt to influence a jury illegally as by bribery, threats,
or promises. One guilty of embracery is known as an embraceor.

as in the TYCO trial

our system sucks
maybe the Fab Five can make over our system of Government!??!??!??!

This is beyond METROSEXUAL!

For all the liberals who watch Queer Eye...this is fun!

Right Wing Eye.

have a laugh
then realize that there are people in the United States that actually agree with these JOKERS!



Once again I have caught myself being a HYPOCRITE!
No I was not driving and talking on my cell phone, well I did, but that is not what I am talking about. I am referring to the notion of trying to be pious in my actions and teaching lessons. After sharing with one of the City Bikes Mountainbike Team members about the nail traps set on the dirt trails that I wrote about in the entry prior I was told about how there are land owners who set traps on the Appalachian Trail for hikers. Seems the land owners do not like sharing their land so they set some pretty basic traps, they hang fish hooks on clear fishing line at head level at certain parts of the trail. That bummed me out. I rode home thinking about that and then got into my wife's Volkswagen passat and took Grant for a drive to send him off to dreamland. As I drove down Park Road dipping into Rock Creek Park a car rode close on my tail. The speed limit is 25 MPH, I was going 30. Took a turn onto Beach drive and started a drive through the long winding roads of Rock Creek Park. Again maintaining a speed of 30 MPH another car followed uncomfortably close behind me, almost pushing me to accelerate. Slowly a few other cars queued up behind me. I had become a pace vehicle. It was intentional. I ride my bike on this rode and I live on a road with fast moving traffic. I figure that if everyone drove at a safe speed then they would force the speeders to slow down. So there I am...out teaching lessons. I am the avid hiker setting nails on the path for cyclists. Well, not really, but I do resemble his/her actions in some way, only with a less negative resolve. But my intentions are as arrogant and as pious. If I can drive a rational speed without my purpose to be anything more than a safe driver, well fine. But if my goal is to hinder the progress of others well, I am just no better than anyone else in this world spending their time teaching lessons.


Saint Peter

One day last week before work I went for a spin on my Karate Monkey.
I took the long road into work and tried to sample a few of the urban trails. After a few hundred yards on dirt here mixed in with some paved roads there and some more dirt I found myself over spinning down the Capital Crescent trail heading from Bethesda towards Georgetown. I passed the hidden BMX/Freerider course that exist just near River Road on the Maryland Border, crossed through the Delecarlia Tunnel, over the bridge, and into DC. Just entering DC behind the resivour there is a very small network of trails. But a minute or two on dirt can be like a candy bar, it may not fill my belly, but it is a tastee treat. I rode the loop several times, thinking what I could do to make the trails more fluid. My 'in time' was rapidly approaching so I figured I could hit the loop one last time. On my return I felt my front end getting a little squishy, being a rigid bike I knew that I was losing air in the front tire/tube. Pulled over, found a stump to sit on and did a quick repair. After a thousand strokes of my minipump the tire was filled to a solid PSI, mounted the wheel on the bike, flipped the bike upright, immediately I could feel that the rear end was flat too. I was SOL (shit out of luck.) I had only one spare tube and no patches. It looked like I was going to be walking. Called work to let them know I was going to be a tad late and started my march. A fellow cyclist ended up loaning me some patches after a few miles of walking and I got into work about an hour late. I emailed my brother Marc and told him my tale of woe with the two flats. Marc responded smugly with a simple, "clydesdale, rigid, single speed." As if implying that I had pinched flatted, snake bites front and back.

Then on Sunday as I was doing some home repair Marc went for a spin on the same set of trails. He too got two flats. Having recalled my story he became suspect. Feeling somewhat paranoid he searched for a trap. Sure enough, Marc found a row of nails glued to a strip of wood, tucked under some leaves. Seems that someone does not like the bikes on those trails and has taken matters into their own hands. After he told me what had happened I responded with this email...

after we got off the phone I thought to myself....
"two men arrive at the Pearly Gates of heaven at the same time. st.
peter halts them and asks them to state why they each deserve to get into heaven. the mountainbiker starts off by saying, "well, I did not live a perfect life. there were times when I bent and even broke the rules. I remember the sign said NO BIKING, but I proceeded forward. the woods was so beautiful and the feeling was so pure. I knew it was wrong, but I could not deprive myself of the pleasure." st. peter nods and turns to the other man. the man was an avid hiker who was ready with his reply, "no apologies here. i lived a long clean life. did not drink or smoke. went to church. lived an honest life. so honest that I would try to stop cyclists from riding on local hiking trails by placing traps to cause them to flat out. the nails were miles deep in the trail that they were taught a great lesson when they had to walk out of the trail. you see, the nails usually took out both tires and rarely does a cyclist travel with two tubes if any." st peter nods, opens the gates and motions his hand to enter. the mountainbiker looks in st peter's eyes with question, st. peter nods knowingly and welcomes him in. the avid hiker with his traps and lessons did not look for affirmation as he was so stuck in his head that he was right that he just stepped forward. st. peter put his palm to his chest, stopped him in his tracks, nodded side to side saying gesturing no, then pointed down. the gates slammed shut, the avid hiker with his righteousness was gone, and the gates were shut. St. Peter and the mountainbiker walked into heaven. St. Peter looked the mountainbiker in the eye and nodded, and thought out loud, "yes, I know....I wanted to punch him in the nose too. then the mountainbiker noticed they were no longer walking, but rolling through the heavens on bicycles"

Riding a bicycle on these trails may not be legal. But, setting traps is not just illegal, but also potentially dangerous and nothing shy of obnoxious. No one is in the position to play hiking bernard getz. we have laws and we have people who enforce them. these trails are not marked, giving me the sense that even hiking on these trails is not sanctioned or foot or for bike. The foot traffic is just as much in the wrong as the bike traffice, but I am not trying to stop anyone from enjoying their day. People need to spend more time "POLICING THEMSELVES."
Too often a person is walking their dog off leash on the urban trails and they reprimand me for riding on the foot trails, while they too are breaking/bending the rules. In my life I have never heard of a bike jumping out an biting anyone, seems these people need to police themselves. I try to be pleasant. Thank they for their information and avoid conflict. Although I did have words with a women once and left her with these words...."let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Not sure if she understood that passage or knew its root, but it felt better than curssing at her.



for those who have not heard
the race series hosted by Dan Comber is in jepordy
below is an email I sent out to some cycling friends of mine to see if I can get people to rally to breathe life back into the series
or at least let Dan know that we are thankful for the years of racing that he has offered us in the past

Good Morning-
The rain has taken another day of mountainbike racing from us and from the Dan Comber's Mountain Bike Race Series. Rather than riding, I am typing while holding my 7 week old son Grant and thinking about the future of local mountainbike racing...

Mountainbiking is a growing sport, the DC metropolitan area is an over populated area, thus when mountain biking in the DC area the trails are often crowded. When trail riding basic courtesy towards other trail users is vital; whether those users are blue haired ladies with blue haired dogs or another cyclist riding the same loop in the opposite direction each person has their right to enjoy their own personal trail experience. One of the great things about riding in a race is that the likelihood of a hiker on the trail ahead or a cyclist coming the other way is almost impossible. This allows the riders/racers to test their personal limits, pushing the downhills and the blind curves as fast as their courage and equipment can take them. Other advantages include a well marked off course so that there is not a great deal of time spent finding the best loop, little time is wasted discussing which turn to take at each fork in the trail, and spending an excess time on the trail finding your way home. There are an assortment of other advantages to racing., the rush of competition, the camaraderie of the experience, the compulsion to ride our hardest and to not let down, the list goes on. My point of this rant to have people realize that if we lose Dan Comber as Mid Atlantic Region race promoter we will be losing a great opportunity to do some local racing. We will all find ourselves lining up in the queue at Shaffer Farms, Patapsco State Park, and Gambril. Waiting for parking spaces and all the other negative aspects of trying to mountainbike on a nice sunny weekend day. Race promotion is a job, but perhaps it is a job with a tad bit of "vocational" status, not unlike a fireman or a policeman. There is a paycheck, but it is also a greatly needed service. Dan Comber has been offering a great service to the local mountainbike community and I feel that he has gone on unappreciated. Perhaps if we spread the word to Dan that we NEED him to continue hosting local races he will do what he can to maintain his contributions.
We can ask him what we as individuals can do.

For starters we can all call Dan or Drop him an email.
Lets thank him for all the great races in the past and ask him what we can do to help him to continue to throw races in the future.

More Volunteers on race day?
A few more dollars at registration?
Someone with web experience can help clean up his site?
Word of mouth advertising?
who knows?
Or maybe we can just help by showing up and racing at his next event
tell a friend
bring a friend
share the word

Lets try and help to bring Dan's Race series back to life.
Last year he hosted a Winter training series then Spring, Summer, and Fall race series.
This year he is scheduled for roughly 3 races, that is quite a drop off.

As mentioned we are not just missing the race that was to be held today at Poor Farm, but the races that were to be held each weekend for years to come. Lets see if we can halt the decline of racing in the Mid Atlantic Region.

Don't think that when Dan walks away from race promotion that there will be someone standing there ready to take his place. Sure there are other race series and some other races, but not everyone is ready to drive off to West Virginia every Saturday, camp, race, and then make the long drive back on Sunday afternoon after racing. It just is not an option for everyone. Local races are a wonderful alternative. Perhaps they are not as technically demanding and lack the vertical feet, or the epic climbs and the downhill reward, but they do offer racing. Racing with a friendly atmosphere and a professional promotion. I have made some good friends over the years racing at Dan's events (including Dan) and it would be sad for the cycling culture to lose such a positive contribution.

thanks for listening
lets do what we can
and hope for the best

happy trails
share the word
clydesdale racer
city bikes mountainbike team
email him at: