Rants on Cycling and on Life


entry from Eric Welp; City Bikes Mountainbike Team Member

VeloNews: MTB News and Notes:

By: VeloNews Staff

City Bikes Teammates Welp and Kemler Announce Partnership for 2004 12 Hours of Lodi Farm:

Washington, DC – In an revelation that is sure to shock the domestic mountain bike community, seasoned City Bikes rider Brain Kemler has announced his partnership with unruly young upstart Eric Welp, also of City Bikes, for the 2004 running of the 12 Hours of Lodi Farm.

“I didn’t think I made much sense at first,” said Kemler. “But the guy [Welp] could really use some guidance.”

Guidance indeed. Welp had trouble finding his form this spring after a messy off-season that included a very public break up with Hilton Hotel heir and Super Model Paris Hilton and a drug-related arrest in an Italian Night Club.
His season was also off to a rocky start when Welp was falsely tied to a boycott of the AMBS Mountain Bike Series.

“All I wanted to do was race, but my first two dates of the year where cancelled which made me wait until May to race,” said Welp. ”Then it got even harder when I got caught up in that boycott nonsense. People really need to watch what they say.” But it all has worked out so far the young star.

Welp is coming off the best race off his career, a fifth place finish at the Virginia State Championships #2 Douthat Park. “I think I can learn a lot from Brian and am looking forward to teaming up with him.”

“I think those two are the team to watch,” said Bob Roll, cycling annalist for the Outdoor Life Network. ”If I were a betting man, my money would be on them.” Roll added. “When you have a seasoned endro vet like Kemler, and we all know what he is capable of, matched with a wild card like Welp anything can happen.” It’s going to be a great thing to see.”

The 2004 12 Hours of Lodi Farm will run from midnight until noon Sunday, May 16.

Eric Welp
Program Director
Chain Reaction
1701 6th St. NW
Washington, DC 20001

Chain Reaction is a program of The Shaw EcoVillage.


Chain Reaction Youth Bike Shop's new fall hours for retail and repair
Wednesday 1-6pm
Thursday 1-6pm
Friday 1-6pm
Saturday 10-4pm

(in 30 seconds as re-enacted by bunnies)

or so Laird Knight hopes
The history of GRANNY GEAR is told on so I will not give you the recap of his contributions to the sport of mountainbiking, but I will tell you that these contributions have been grand. The 24 hour race format in mountainbiking did not exist before Laird presented it in Canaan Valley West Virgina in 1992. Lights were not then what they are now....people were racing on rigid bikes with AA powered handlebar mounted lights, SUICIDE by todays standards! Okay, that is more history than I wanted to present, but I could not contain myself.

This year Laird and his Granny Gear Crew are returning with the TOUR OF CANAAN on top of The 24 Hours of SNOWSHOE (once the 24 Hours of Canaan. This mountainbike stage race looks awesome! I do not think I am going to attend, but I already dread hearing others tell the tales of glory and of woe. Everyone hates to miss the party. Sadly I fear I am going to miss this one, but I am going to try to attend any and every other party that I can this race season. This weekend is the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms, as mentioned in previous BLOGS there is threat of one wants to race this thing in the rain. I raced it with Rob Leary and Eric Welp (both City Bikes team members) last year, we braved though the rain and mud and managed to take first in SPORT. This year I am joining up with two different City Bikes affiliates, Pooch and Mike, Pooch being the team captain and Mike being the shop manager in Chevy Chase. IT should be a hoot and a hollar! We had set up to wimp out if we were to be under heavy rain, but now that Mike ahs commited himself to bring a support van I think we are set to race RAIN OR SHINE!
I have asked for people to think fast and dry, but that never seems to work.
So I ask that you wish me luck....
Just as I raced several weeks ago and had to fight the off camber slick rocks and roots at Escape de Granogue. My main desire is to move around the course as quickly as I can without getting hurt. Hopefully I can race fast and hard and walk way feeling good about my performance and go home without breaking my body or my bike


bike repair...
there is something organic about taking time out of your day to work on your bike
for me it just does not happen enough
when it does it feels good
the results are more than immediate
this work needs to be done
tonight after hiking with dean and the dogs; dinner with lisa, grant, dean, and the dogs; then some chasing dean and neighbor elijah down the block on their bikes (no dogs); giving dean a bath and into bed then down to the basement
plugged the iPod into the auxiliary plug of my ten year old boom box and got to work
some very simple projects
some things that need to be done
there are only so many parts on a bicycle
a little tweak can make a world of difference
tonight was spent removing and replacing some cleats on two pairs of shoes
that shit was loose, inoperable
I have no idea how I managed to ride my bike down the block with those cleats so lose
could get in and could hardly get out
I did not replace the cleats
they were removed and the put back on
one cleat would not come off
got out the dremel and did some mini grinding
sparks were flying
I felt like a man...a real man
(all I have to do is pull down my pants or take a look at my kids to see that I am a real man....but there are other things that give off a similar effect)
it was a process....
it is done
very rewarding
now it is done
all of this has inspired me to get my basement together
set up my shop
clean up the garage
and have tools on the wall ready for action

got out of work early today to hang with Dean
had big plans to ride him along behind the bike behind the trailer
once home I found him settling in for a nap
so I went and ran some errands in the big blue truck
went to Chevy Chase Maryland chasing a rumor that trash or treasure day was happening now
then to City Bikes for some chatting with this weekend's relay race team mate Mike
bought a few things....some socks and some brake pad (and some screws for the cleats as I knew that they often get stripped in the this case they got chopped!)
then I went into the garage, loaded the truck up with 4 bikes a stack of tires and a number of wheels
drove down to Chain Reaction and donated that stuff to a bicycle not for profit in the Shaw neighborhood
felt pretty good about it
got rid of some shit
put it into some use
anything is better than having it rot in the garage

saw scotty again today as I was riding home from work
I yelled at him and asked why he was not riding the bike that I gave him
(he actually got a full bike and a frame and all sorts of parts and wheels)
we laughed at the exchange
I have always enjoyed our exchanges
but would love to see him riding one of those bikes
for some reason he thinks it is too nice to work on
(that is to work as a messenger on
which is funny...I gave those bikes to him so that he would be faster and safer on the streets
surprised I did not give him a helmet


currently monitoring
this weekend there is the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms
really looking forward to it
this is a great grass roots style relay race event
3 person mountainbike relay race that starts at midnight and ends at noon the next day
(people also race duo and solo)
the team that does the most laps in the 12 hour time span wins the race
it is a great course
tight winding single track
roller coaster ride
no real climbs just a few short grinds
the current plan is to ride the Monkey
the Blizzard will be there for back up
hope my lights body and bike hold up
the rain icon on causes some hesitation
if it if storming on saturday afternoon into the evening
we are not planning on attending
I have done this race
I have done this race in the rain, cold rain
no need to do this race in the rain and cold again


I need some anger management techniques
things that should not bother me bother me
and they bother me for far too long
my blood boils
my heart races
and my mind spins
like a fool I dwell on things for far too long
after letting things get to me that should not even be considered
today on the hill (capitol hill)I had to hail a cab to get back to the office
so when I exited the capitol building I could see that there were a number of people looking to catch a cab on the corner
so as I walked towards the intersection I went ahead and moved to the other side of the street and further "up stream"
putting me higher in the queue for the oncoming traffic and oncoming cabs
once on the corner I waited patiently for what was to be my turn
traffic backed up
and vacant cabs were further up the block
as I was next in line I started up the block to get my cab a few cars away
both getting my turn and getting in the cab as it was stopped and allowing myself to catch the next green was approaching 6:30, I usually leave work at 5
as I moved up the block some chic with a perm and a power suit high stepped it passed me
and moved for my cab
I asked her..."are you going up stream to catch my cab"
she did not get it....she thought that her snake like actions were without malice
you can not snake a snake
at least I did not go up stream in front of the patiently waiting pedestrians
I had made my move a block behind them way out of view
our interchange frustrated me
I jokingly said, "if you want that cab you are going to have to share it with me...."
and of course this women in her power suit with her power pumps and her power perm would have nothing to do with sharing a cab with the likes of me
serenity now
serenity now
breathe deeply

I got in the cab
held my tongue
there was an exchange of funny faces
it took restrain to hold back my tongue and my middle finger
as I sat down still holding eye contact
wondering if I should have given her more ground and tripped her as she gained speed my pager broke free from my hip
then 20 yards forward the driver of my cab pulled over and grabbed another fare
then as he drove he received a phone call
the call was short
I allow for a 30 second phone call and then I usually make a pleasant request that the driver not talk on the cell phone while driving
this usually puts me on the curb
I figure if I take enough cab rides
the cell phones will always ring
I will get closer to my destination
and be close enough to walk
all of these variables added up to be a near panic attack
until I started to laugh at myself
humor...nature's cure all
and I can be quite a joker
so I laughed
only tipped the driver 50 cents
let him know that he got his tip was the action of the other fare
as that fare caused us to take a very ineffcient route

I paid for going up stream
even if the other people waiting for their cabs did not know that I had intentionally gone upstream
I knew
and that was enough to make me pay

(this occurance was one of several with a women of the modern age...the attitude and the lack of social grace...something about being a women....the things they expect...especially the attractive ones)

this is not the page for the insecure or for the Clydesdale


for those curious
here is the BMI Calculator
Body Mass Index

guess I need to go for a long ride
and make less stops at the all you can eat buffet table

to keep on the BUG TIP here is something that I have heard about
but have yet to hear any rear reviews about


this is clothing has a natural insect repelant built in
it is apparently good for 25 washes
(of course you want to was it separate from other clothing, but, if it works then there is no arguement that it could be a good purchase...especially for the DC residents who exist on the land that was once a SWAMP!)

THE RETURN OF THE 17 YEAR CICADA!(for those of us old enough to experience this natural phenomena before)


no one is going to pay me to name their next Sci Fi feature film

click on the image bellow for more information on our soon to arrive noisy guests

more Cicada fun facts

Ah the carefree days of college....
there was an article in the Washington Post with some images of some St. Mary's College students jumping naked off the dock on the SMC campus

I recall that whole nudity thing...
Carron Kradler, a very cute hippie chic with long blonde hair, streaking across campus with a banner that read "I Brake for Ted Lewis"
(Ted Lewis being the president of the college at the time)
and the graduating class president cruising across campus nude on a bike wearing nothing but a backpack

ah those were the days
that whole senior week was decadent
but then again so were my four and half years in college


FATHERHOOD/BROTHERHOOD and basic ramblings
Fatherhood is everything that people warned and claimed it would be
all the good/all the bad and more
the good clearly out weighs the bad
Dean can be such a joy
rapidly approaching three
he is such a little man
sometimes I think that I spend too much time just laughing and playing with him
we "wrassle" we giggle we scream til we are hoarse then scream some more
I tickle him til his infectious laugh over takes me
he runs full speed and pounces on me
he does this again, again, and again
til I am tired
then he does it some more
I call him "gator" in some back woods accent and toss him about the room
should I be training and teaching him
where is the 'structured play?'
are these the building blocks of his character?
are we headed down the wrong path?
...such is life
I am who I am and this is the father I shall be
Dean (and his baby brother Grant) is going to be a product of my efforts
my brother commented to his son eric at his 4th birthday party that I am a man of immediate gratification
this is true
there was no effort to argue and no need to take it the wrong way
it is discriptive and it explains the path of my life
as well as the contrast to my brother's
we are very much the same, yet also very different
it is peculuar how similar we are
and intriguing that all of our differences can be traced to that one variable
my being a person of immediate gratification
while my brother searches for the a further goal
perhaps that is why he has a PhD
and I drank my way through college in 4 and a half years
sure I understand the correlation between achievement and sacrifice
weigh the scales
I accept my loses for my immediate gains
it is who I am
it is how my life is going
I respect my brother, his choices, his achievements, and his sacrifices
but I do not wish to trade places with him or anyone else for that matter
the path I have taken is what got me here
I like who I am and I like the life I am living
the direction I am going is pleasing to me
sure so much of my life has been scripted by the wind
but as I have grown older certain roots have caused me to settle
wife and child
before that
dogs and house
all of these things are anchors
these things are all great rewards
none of which would have been achieved with some sacrifice
yet I still fall victim to fulfilling my immediate needs

sure dean and I do other things
we hike with the dogs
lately he has been on my shoulders more than on the trail
but when on the trail he knows to "stay on the trail"
"not to run with sticks in his hands"
and maybe a few other things
give me a minute
I think that I have taught him something somewhere

he is a winning negotiator
I rarely win an arguement with him
he asks to read a book
we read it
we read it 10 times
he asks that we read it again
we agree that this time will be the last
after that Dean says "can we read it one last time again?"
I explain that you can not have another last time
but he is always right
as we read it again
proving that the last last time was not the last

I am blogging to blog
I have just been overtaken by the ability to use my laptop wireless in the other room
best I take a break
as my rants are long and running no where
I want to try to put something entertaining enough so that people come back
or at least enjoy what they are reading while they are here
I know I have enjoyed writing it
and I also enjoy going back and rereading some of this stuff
but this
I may come back and delete

In addition to wandering the web and reading random BLOGS
I also enjoy stepping back through the electronic pages of my own BLOG
early this evening I commented to one of those RANDOM BLOGGERS and included a link to my page
but felt that the close up view of my nasal hairs and the rants of the days past did not give the best impression of who I am
so I went to a RANDOM ARCHIVE and cut and pasted that to share with them a better sample
with that page loaded front and center I scrolled through and read some
it made me giggle
was it the blog or this vodka drink?
either way
my mouth curled up on its edges and my stomach tingled
life is good
BLOGGING is the personal journal and diary that we all should keep

The Changing World
The Changing Technology
My Changing Life

to think that I ever lived without a computer
now I own several
use them for work
use them to play
ah the technology
wireless connections
and the technology we love to hate, CELL PHONES
the things that did not exist
the things we never imagined and never knew that we would need
we would be crippled without email
how would we communicate?
how would we interact?

are things ever going to go RETRO with this whole technological age?
in the world of the bicycle there have always been the retro types
those clinging to yesterday's technology claiming it is better
but how about in the world of technology
sure the bicycle has moved to dual suspension with 27 gears
which created the subculture of those who choose the suspensionless frame with a single cog in the back
but how about the world of technology?
are there people out their with rotary dial, licking stamps, writing letters, and communicating with others via their cassette tape answering machine?

and to think...
there was a time when I stayed out all night
had not kids
and lived a life without health insurance
those were the days
better check my watch, can't stay up too late
the kids get up so early
better not fix another drink, don't want to be hung over when Dean jumps on my head in the morning
and the dogs....
I can not remember living a life without dogs
the house was not home without roscoe and brutus

(and no, blogging without caps and punctuation is not an effort to be poetic, it is my lazy/efficient/preferred style)

here is the before
and the big head on your screen is after!


that is a funny shot
it was taken a few minutes after the finish of Escape De Granogue bu NCVCer Kevin Dillard
he seemed to get a kick out of the beardless state of my face
ended up calling me Grizzley Adam's Yuppie Twin Brother
(or something like that)


Single Speed Race at State College PA
here are the details that I got in an email this morning from Eric Roman (former courier, one of the founding members of the City Bikes Mountainbike Team, part owner of a shop in State College PA, and single speed demon!)

The trails are in the best shape in recent years, the
town has emptied out now that school is over, and the
weather is amazing. The East Coast North American
Single Speed Championship of The Universe Part Deux is
is only 3 weeks away. The same deal as last
year...$20, 7 stages, food and beer, Go Carts, amazing
trails. This year has promised to be Larger with more
racers, prizes, and an exciting new offering from a
more than one company. If you miss this one you just
may have to wait and read about it...and who really
wants to read about the fun everyone else had?!? As
last year, make reservations at hotels/motels early.
There will be floor space for as many as need, NEW
this year- I'll have a map of suggested camping spots
in the forest. Register at MtNittanyWheelworks 'til 6
and then later reg. is at Zeno's Bar on the corner of
College and Allen Streets. Yes there is a cover but
it's for the band. Start is about 10am at the Ski Area
again. So, that's it for now. Come one, come
all...spread the word...see you at the end of the month......Eric Roman


Bike to Work day.
this friday past was Bike to Work Day in Washington DC
as things happened my shift at work that day combined with lisa's new part time work schedule with friday's off created a flexible opportunity to head down to the rally at Freedom Plaza
the mayor spoke
several council members spoke
members of waba spoke
even one of the owners of City Bikes, a sponsor of the event, spoke
it was cool
it was a great gathering
all sorts of bicycle people were there
those that bike for work (couriers) were well represented
there were all sorts of freds; the commuter crowd
and an assortment of other cyclists
many familiar faces
free t-shirts
free water bottles
mini fanny packs
all sorts of junk that most people do not want and will never use were given away
it was a great event
people enjoyed having their heads counted
had some great conversations with some people from the Nationa Park Service on some cycling related issues
ran into all sorts of old friends and familiar faces
it was a party
an early morning party
glad I attended
glad to be associated with everyone there.....the freds, the racers...whatever and whoever was out there