Rants on Cycling and on Life


it is a lose lose (lose) situation having Lance at the tour
if he wins he represents the united states
if he loses he represents the united states
and worst of all
when he talks he represents the united states

if this is his last tour I think he could wait till he retires from the tour to give the organizers advice on their sport
the tour is a 101 year old man
lance is just a 31 year old boy
this kid needs to learn to show respect to his elders
next thing you know he is going to be calling the organizers the axis of evil one wants your advice on how the course should be set up!

and as far as the Olympics go...
leave wanted to see your kids out of it....
one rational is enough and I prefer the sport related one

and one should be enough

if this is his last year...
he should achieve all he can
his kids would be proud
and after he retires he can spend all the time he wants with them
a few more weeks in Greece may effect his relationship more with Sheryl Crow than his kids
after all...a child needs to understand that his parents have to go to work


Too often....
Too often, usually around Christmas or my birthday (which is next month so better start shopping!) I get these cards in the mail from various relatives. And being the child that I am I tear the card open and go right to the meat of the message, the "marrow" of sorts...yes... I check for a check. In my recent years I have started to be let down, for some reason people think that because I am 37 with kids of my own that I do not want/need presents or toys. And worse then that there is this thing where people are paying to have masses said for me, making charitable donations to orphans in some foreign land in my name, or buying some kid a chicken in Guatemala in my name.

Well, this is all well and good, and I am trying to grow up and be a good sport about all of this. Then it came to me.....THIS IS A GOOD IDEA! We should all start doing this....

You want to get your Dad something for his birthday, or maybe a late mother's day gift for mom, or how about that brother or sister that beat you down as a kid and never let you on the couch to watch TV. it is....give the gift that keeps on giving...

Take your check and join MORE and/or (depending on your generosity) IMBA

it makes more sense that that whole prayer for you
you can handle that yourself
I thought the sale of indulgences ended in the middle ages


I had no idea that EZRA was famous, shit I did not know that he knew to read or write!

Check out Ezra's article on Snowshoe

while you are at it check out SINGLE SPEED OUTLAW!
they managed to mix performance with performance art at SNOWSHOE this year

STOKED: The Movie

This is some intense shit....
funny, this story was passed on by word of mouth "back in the day" or should I say when it happened, never from a reliable source, funny to see that the facts match up with the bar room tales (or something like that)
go to this the the trailer
and ask yourself....could this really happen?
this story is just one of many in the world of the skater...
a little more amped and a little more off the deep end!
but just as with the DOGTOWN and ZBOYS story the skate culture of the 80's was like teen age Hell's Angels on skateboards rather than motorcycles (although motorcycles may have been there as well, just not the focus)
the Post Skater Backlash is still part of modern history
the once pumped adolescent skaters are now trying to find a way to fit into the adult world
many of wish have put down the skateboard and are still seeking that skateboard rush
some have managed the transition
while others have not been able to shake their old habbits
what were once potential monkey's on a person's back have grown to King Kong proportions
some have escaped while others are being held prisioner
it is tough to make it
skaters and punk rockers had the same outlook on society
sure the paycheck as a courier bought beer each night, and made group house rent
but that same paycheck now will not buy you a house or put your kids through college

enough for now
this rant is rambling
work can be distracting that way

and do not think that the SKATEBOARD CULTURE did not offer the breeding ground for great talent
SPIKE JONZE was a local boy that got his start here
any of those kids editing their own videos did not know it, but they were developing skills and talents
photos at the ramp made PHOTOGRAPHERS
flyers and zines created GRAPHIC DESIGNERS
skaters took their athletic drive to become SURFERS, SNOWBOARDERS, AND MOUNTAINBIKERS
there was a lot going on
it is a complex scenario
a thousand tales to be told
many of which are still being written

and let us not forget the geniuses of JACKASS!

Plates, Drivers, and Driving Styles...
Washington DC is home of transplants and visitors from all over the country and all over the world. This can make for especially interesting driving conditions. Each and every driver tries to take the driving sensibilities of their home state or country and apply it to the streets of Washington DC. At times it can be havoc, while at most other times it offers danger or death to pedestrians and more specific to me danger or death to cyclists.
So as I travel through the city I try to anticipate the behavior of the drivers around me. Expect the unexpected while anticipating the predictable. The winding and weaving of a cyclist through traffic may seem like chaos, when actually it is alert defensive manuevering. There are spots in the city where you can expect especially foolish behaviors....gapping drivers stare at the big granite pencil on The Mall (the Washington Monument,) while you can expect cars to stop on the traffic circle in front of the Capitol Building to snap a photo. These are places to anticipate such behavior, and not only two, there are many; TOO MANY! Not only must the cyclist be alert to these little Bermuda Triangles of danger, but makes and models of cars, different plates denoting the driving style of different states or countries. Diplomatic plates and Paper Tags are clearly the most important tags to be alert for. Although each Diplomatic tag has a system for letting you know what country the driver is from, that is not important. What is important is that they have DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY and you have to get out of their way! While paper tags on a new car may mean a driver unfamiliar with their new car, if those paper tags are on an old car one would assume that it is an uninsured vehicle driven by an unliscenced driver out on a drug run (usually a rusty caprice classice or similar type car that you would expect a grandma in Florida driving, not some wirey kid aspiring to be R. Kelly or Allen Iverson.) Move out of their way! Less menacing but equally as dangerous are the drivers who would unintentionally run you down in the same manner.
There are a great number of variables to watch for when riding a bicycle on the city streets. Attention must be paid to the make or model of the car, the age and sex of the driver, and the plates. Now that we know that Paper Tags and Diplomat Plates are tied for first as public enemy number one we now need to take a look at the individual states and how they rank on this scale of possible fatality...

(taxi cabs are not mentioned, it is known that these drivers all lack one vertebrae in their neck that makes it impossible for them to turn their head and look around for obstacles, so each and every cyclist knows to watch for cabs and anticipate that they may stop, make a u-turn, or pull over at any time....and there need not be anyone hailing them to cause such an action)

New Jersey is pretty high up there for obnoxious and dangerous drivers. It could be that they are trying to drive like they are from New York as they always lie and say that they are from New York, or it could be brain damage from either using too much hair spray in the 80's or being a child of a mother who used too much hair spray during pregnancy. Not far behind the Jersey drivers and their poor driving habits come the drivers with Massachusetts plate, MASS-HOLES. The Masshole drives in an obnoxious fashion, why? I have never gotten close enough to find out...they are a bunch of chouder heads and I do not want to pedal close enough to hear that wacky Cliff Claven's mom accent. The Illinois driver is especially dangersous...but lucky for us very few of them ever leave their home town, much less travel as far as Washington DC. But, the Illinois driver is known as a F.I.S.H. Fucking Illinois Shit Head. I am not sure if their self tinting persciption glasses have gone too dark or if they are not use to people actually riding their bikes, but we are lucky there are not more of these drivers in our city, if there were, we would have more pedestrian and cyclist injuries each day. The sidewalks are not safe with the FISH on the roads. Other states have their personalities. Locally we deal with a great number of commuters that rush in our city and then rush out. Virginia drivers are worse then the Maryland drivers, but the commuter mentality is bad all around. These people race to and from not thinking of the distance that they are crossing in between. Head tilted, stereo blarring, and cell phone glued to the ear, foot pressing the gas, and more prone to hit the horn than to hit the brake. Short cutting through neighborhoods, but not realizing that they are putting lives at risk and when they lean on their horns their noise polution does not aid to speed traffic but is disruptive to the tranquility of the residences lives. It is a

more on this
boss man is here
and a 10:30 release should be coming in
waiting to download that


no time to proof read
let me make a guess and try and pick up on a similar thought

WATCH FOR ZIP CARS and FLEX CARS! These are people out driving when they usually walk or take a bus. They are enjoying the experice too much and tend not to be alert or considerate, watch and you will will agree they are dangerous to you and me.

BMWs The Camero of the modern age. Dubbed the Ultimate Driving Machine, should be the Obnoxious Driver's Machine. Stay out of their way!

Soccer Moms! If you drove through their neighborhood the way they drive through would get a cup cake from the last bake sale tossed right on your hood. They are fast and furious.....the phone is strapped to the ear....and the pedal is pushed all the way down.

another rant gone no where fast
maybe I will be more focused after I pick up some lunch


Hans Rey

I met this guy at Canaan back when he had hair and so did you can guess that this was a long time ago!

hans rey

go to the link
and then
go to the movie clip sections
you will thank me

then there is also this


and lets see
this too

mountain films

then go to the CLIPS!

RACE REPORT: Wednesday at Wakefield (WAW) Race #3
(but my first WAW in two years)

Last year the whole Wednesday at Wakefield race series was a bust for me. The combination of a straight job and summer afternoon rain made it so I was not able to partake in this local summertime pleasure known as WAW. This year seemed like it was going to be some of the same. The first two Wednesday At Wakefield races surrounded the 24 Hours of Snowshoe event and were overshadowed by another race promoter hosting the Cranky Monkey event at the same venue, thus taking some of the MUST DO sensation from rushing out to Wakefield Park after work.

But, the draw was there and the idea was in my mind. So yesterday morning as Lisa handed Grant to me and gave me an update on Dean's position in the house she asked if I was still on for the after work mountainbike that race that evening. I told her yes, weather permitting. The work day passed minute by minute, hour by hour, and as it got closer to 5 more and more work started to pile on my desk, many things that could not wait until the next day. As I moved about the building trying to finish the tasks of the day I leaned and looked out the window to check to see if it was raining, and made period inquires at It looked like rain both in the sky and by the Doppler I rode my bicycle home from work it felt like rain, as a matter of fact if was raining, not hard, but raining just the same. Lisa and I had compared calendars and we had each marked the #3 and #4 WAW events on our calendar so I felt committed. I pedaled home at a leisurely pace not letting the excitement of the evening get my heart rate to rise. It was important for me not to get caught up in fighting things that were out of my control. i.e.. TRAFFIC and RAIN! So I got home, put my commuter bike away, greeted the dogs, greeted the wife and children, and went to check to see if I could find out if the race was still on! Some emails that seemed up to the minute said that the race was on and the rain was holding off. Down to the basement to pack a check....everything was in the bag except I had no clean socks in the basement and my glasses were on my head, so I opted not to go to the top floor of my Mt Pleasant row house, but rather to race in the socks on my feet. Checked my bag again for all the requisite gear, everything checked out....grabbed a packet of Fig Newtons, some Frito chips, some Hammer Gel, a bottle of water, and of course RED BULL! Went upstairs to kiss the wife and hug the children and I was out the door. Dean was all over me. He wanted to go. I told him I was running an errand to sound less attractive than mountain biking racing, he said, "I want to go on an errand with you." It was bitter sweet. It is great to be wanted, yet it hurts to abandon him. I picked Dean up and hugged him and assured him that I wanted him to go too, but that I had to go and he had to stay with mommy. Dean clung to my neck and side like a little furless Koala bear. Finally I was able to pry him free, distract his attention with a Capri Sun. Dean ran to mommy Lisa with Capri Sun in one hand and the straw in the other while I ran down to the basement. With my two bags full of gear on my back I grabbed my bike off the wall and headed out the back. As I mounted my bike in the alley to ride around front to my truck I could feel that the rear tire was flat. Assured that I had a 29 inch tube I continued towards my truck, there was no time to fix this here. There was traffic to fight and start lines to stand in.
The drive was as hectic and as painful as every drive is at 5:30-6:15 on a weekday can be on 395 headed south. But I had resigned myself to not getting worked up. I concentrated on breathing and did as little checking of my watch as I could. Checking my watch did not get me there any quicker but it did help me to respect that I need to streamline my tasks when I arrived...parking close is better than far....go to the registration tent with all gear, do the repair there. After registration I still felt good. There was no time for long hellos to friends or familiar faces, had a flat to fix. Seconds into removal of my rear wheel I broke my multitool! the 15mm wrench was useless...I was FUCKED! I asked around, scanned for tool boxes, looked for single speeds with bolt ons, finally race promoter and all around nice guy Scott Scudmore sent me to his unlocked truck to see what I could find. I found one tool! Where was I CHAIN REACTION? Vise Grips have nothing to do with the bike, I grabbed it and used it just the same. Returned it. Returned the pump, then found that had a knuckle buster in my truck, you know....a redneck wrench....yes, a crescent wrench. I tightened things up another quarter turn and mounted my rigid 29 inch wheeled Karate Monkey and headed to the start. As I go closer to the registration tent Scott gave me a hearty hello and motioned down the single track, then made things more clear, "Joel they are lined up at the base of the hill! GO!"
I rolled down the hill making fast and polite passes past dogs and dog walkers, kids, and other cyclists only to be greeted by a mass of people waiting patiently for the race to start. There was my class, CLYDESDALES, 4 big boys plus me! Five Strong, lined up right behind the Sport Women. There was no time to ask to swap departures with the ladies, the other classes were on their way and soon enough so would we. Without warning Scott pushed a button on the megaphone and a horn signaled the start, no countdown, nothing, just a horn and the sight of the other Clydesdales putting their feet to the pedals and moving forward. Rapidly I did the same. My foot came off the left pedal as I struggled to get the cranks around while I tried to find a line on the lose gravel that started the course. At the summit of that first little roller of the climb I was already in first of the Clydesdales. Team captain Brian Pooch was there cheering me on as I turned left into some single track. Then the race began. Wakefield is a local park with a variety of tight twisty single track that goes up and around and doubles back upon itself over and over and then over again. The course is set up so that there are a few good sections to pass, but who can wait for that. I fought as hard as I could to shake the other Clydesdales. I could feel PVC racer Dale right on my tale. As I verbalized each polite pass, so did he. Then right behind him was Chris Redlack, friend and riding partner and oddly enough also a St Mary's College graduate. I felt good on that first lap. I had not wasted too much energy on the drive to the race nor when getting that bike set to race. There had been potential for panic, but I maintained my wit. Now that the race had started I tried to maintain that same level of cool. Intense and focused, yet still cool. One by one I passed women sport riders, always giving them space, always trying to be respectful. Sometimes coming close to colliding or running them off the course, yet only close, never happening.Then as the race continued I started to reel in some of the men in the other classes, it got thick in those woods and the passing was not easy. At times my pace was dictated by the flow of traffic in front of me, as I tried to breath easy the thought that the other Clydesdales are dealing with the same set of variables put things at ease.

The rigid single rocked and rolled on this tight flat course, the 29 inch wheels did their 29 inch wheel thing. I was able to clear all obstacles and all climbs, managed to stay clear of some cyclist crashing around me and also managed to make passes on lines that were not as smooth or as easy as I would have liked. The sky and the air had the feeling of a rain to come, yet the course was dusty and dry. I had opted to race sans Camelback, but had forgotten my water bottle. Luckily at the start a young Clydesdale named Ryan poured some water from his bottle into an small Deer Park bottle I had taken from home. I needed that water, my throat was dry and I knew that it was only going to get dryer. Yet I held out, I had to save that water for when I really needed it, sadly enough I needed it sooner than I had expected. Come half way through the second lap I found myself reaching for that jersey pocket and unscrewing the top, only to make a turn and find that I had to roll over a stack of logs one handed, then put the bottle in my mouth and clinched it with my teeth as I cleared another set of logs. Then out of the woods and fast down some single track power line trail, I put the cap in my jersey pocket and took a swig. Then returned the uncapped bottle to my jersey pocket knowing that I would need that last swig on my final lap.

It is a short course and a short race, as the third lap started I was already smiling. I had battled cramps that were forgotten by the third lap and were nearly forgotten and left out of this report. My arms were a little ragged and tired from the fast chattering downhills, which caused me to slow things a bit, especially as I took those some chattering downhills on the last and final lap. At this point in the race I had less energy to make the pass on each rider in front of me and often just accepted their pace until there was an obvious section to go around each rider. Then just as I thought I should pick up the pace and burn any reserve fuel I may have in my legs the turn to the finish was in front of me. No dramatic sprint to the end, I just rolled in and saved that fuel for the bonding session with the other riders after the race.

There was great relief that the race was over. Perhaps I should have done one more lap just to see if I could maintain that pace and see where I would have finished with the experts, but I felt like I had done my job. At this race the Clydesdales all did something that I aim to do at each Clydesdale event, we brought respect to the class. We all raced fast and would have placed high in other classes, proving that we are not only big, but we are fast as well. Wednesday at Wakefield was once again that summer treat like watermelon and bomb pops. There is no other time of year for the post work race, take it when it is offered. It is a great way to spend the hours after work. It is great racing and an even greater gathering. Friends and competition are created here. This race is at the heart of mountainbiking. Without a doubt weather, work, and life permitting I will try to make it to the last WAW next week and until then I will savor the flavor of watermelons and bomb pops.

the results are posted on the PVC site

or more specifically

I scored first in Clydesdale and felt I had a strong first lap and a solid 2nd and 3rd
pleased with my choice to race the rigid single speed and stay in the Clydesdale Class
(had I raced Single Speed my times would estimate that I would have been just a few slots behind team captain Brian Pooch who was throwing back the Miller High Life last night like they we one of his sponsors! (hope brian's mother does not read that)

check it out
and if you think of it
grab your bike and head to Wakefield after work next week
the race is a party
and there is always a party at Kilroys bar afterwards

Weight Watchers
There is some random stuff on the WEB.
The WWW offeres an archive potential that we would never get from newspapers of magazines. It is just so easy to do a GOOGLE and get some information from the past. This can work to a person's disadvantage, always search for an address so that you don't make the mistake I made by heading out to a mountainbike race that had happened the year prior. I had been late for the start before, but that was ridiculous.

Here is an article about "the girl next door." Well, she was one of the two girls who grew up in the house next to me. The article is 2 years old so she may be wearing those old gray sweats again, but for her sake.....I hope that she was able to "keep it off."

My Man Grant!
It is tough having two can you pet two dogs at the same time? Certainly you can give a better butt rub to your puppies with two hands rather than one! I have learned this and learned it well, although most of the time I do give both Roscoe and Brutus the failing one handed pat on the bum, I also try to make sure that I take the time to show them my love independently. It is exactly the same with Dean and Grant. I need to deal with them as a pair and I need to separate them and deal with them as individuals. When I speak with Grant I am concious that I am using some of the same words and same lines that I used with Dean, heck I used them with Roscoe and Brutus. To balance this out in Dean's mind I have since the arrival of Grant been very concious to tell Dean that "You are my BUDDY! and Grant is my BUDDY TOO!"
This goes for most love and most affection. I would not want Dean to think that I am going behind his back. Everything is up front and in the open. He knows the house shares a collective love. Each day I tell each and everyone in the house that I love them, I love them as a group, I love them as individuals!

all this ranting just to post this image of Grant Chillin!

As anyone who knows me, knows...I raced the 24 Hours of Snowshoe several weekends ago. The BUZZ from that event and our team's success is still present. Our team anchor, one of the founders of the City Bikes Mountainbike Team, Brian Kemler has written a report that I am going to post here. This is his perspective of racing same event, the 24 HOURS OF Snowshoe!

read on....

Race Report: 2004 24 Hours of Snowshoe
By Brian Kemler, Team CityBikes/Gwadzilla

I competed in 24 Hours of Snowshoe and its past incarnation, 24 Hours of Canaan for seven years running. But, like most of my fellow 24 hour racers, I’ve reluctantly stayed away from the most original, fun and best organized events in mountain biking for a simple reason; the course.

The problem with the Snowshoe course is that while it’s a great venue for skiing, it’s a lousy one for mountain biking -- despite the efforts of Granny Gear Productions, the promoter, to improve it. Parts of the course go through a rocky stream that doesn’t drain, others are impossible to ride rendering the most technically adept racers hikers all dressed up with no where to ride.

While one expects to encounter obstacles in mountain biking, there is simply far too much walking and far too little riding here. By the looks of things, other racers agree and are doing more with their feet than running the course; they’re voting with them.

It used to be that there was a waiting list for the 500 team slots in January, this year fewer than 170 entered and they’ve decided to move next year’s race to another, yet to be named, venue.

This year, I heard they improved the course through trail maintenance and the removal of the fiercest sections. Through the persuasion of City-Bikes teammate Marc Gwadz, I decided to stare down my old nemesis and compete with him and his brother Joel as well as Dave Wotton on a men’s veteran team.

The race is the brainchild of Granny Gear Productions promoter and founder, Laird Knight who styled it after the famed 24 hour LeMans car race in which drivers have to run to their cars at the start.

In our case, we ran straight up Snowshoe’s black diamond slope with nearly 200 other competitors kicking, gnawing and grappling for pole position. Don’t ask me why, but I volunteered to do this portion of the race for our team, Gwadzilla.

I intentionally went out at slightly less than an all-out pace. Racers are so nervous at this point; they usually blow up before they reach the top of the run. Then they slow down as though they’re running through thigh-high molasses. The run gives way to a walk and they’ve blown they’re wad before they’ve even riding their bikes. Let’s just say I might have learned about this through experience.

The great thing about the first lap – is the crowd. It is one of the few mountain bike races in which there are more spectators than racers. And they cheer you on and on and if you’re lucky they’ll do so by name. I had people routing me on by name on several sections of the course and it made me feel momentarily like I was a celebrity.

At the end of the run, I grabbed and mounted my bike in one swift movement and proceeded to ride straight up the mountain along the route that I had taken in my hard plastic soled cycling shoes. Some racers brought running shoes for this portion and opted to change into their cycling shoes for the ride. I couldn’t be bothered; after all, this was not a triathlon.

At the top, the course hits a rocky, root-ridden run that most of the people who excelled at the running portion of the start can’t ride. Those of us who can ride it are invariably caught behind them - slowing us to the point of annoyance.

I make my way around the hiker-bikers and glean a line with such focus that I can’t see or hear the spectators and you would think I was figuring out a calculus equation. At the bottom the technical section segues into a fire road. Having the satisfaction of having cleaned such a knarly section and I turn off the mute button in my brain and am once again aware of the crowd cheering me on.

The P.A. system is stabbing my ears with music that ostensibly appeals to the crowd. The worst were Peter Gabriel and Bruce Springsteen. Who the hell programs their MP3 player? Trying to get “In your eyes” out of my head was harder than cleaning the cement-like mud out of my drive train.

Occasionally, they played ’70’s soul and disco. Every now and again they’d play a cheesy techno song like Daft Punk’s “One More Time” but even that was so much better than enduring the Boss’s “Glory Days” I said a prayer of thanksgiving.

The first fire road is short, rutted and filled with puddles big enough to eat a mountain bike. By the time I make the 90-degree right turn in to the next technical section, my bike and me are encased in mud. It only gets worse.

This section is soaked. The mud is knee deep in places and if you hit root at anything other than a square angle, you’re going down so fast you won’t know what hit you. This won’t happen to me until the night laps but when it does I am stunned, momentarily lame, and left with golf ball sized lumps on my knees and a patchwork of cuts, scrapes and bruises.

Where I can’t ride, I walk, but the respite is temporary. As I jog along, the “dinosaur dung” as Joel puts it, is turning my wheels into two 26” chocolate KrispyKremes. So I try to carry the bike, but it’s now 30 pounds heavier than it was without the mud. I stop and claw off the flith with my hands, and get to a section where I can ride once again.

Now I am fresh, the course, while extremely demanding isn’t as bad as I had made it out to be in my mind. I hit another ski slope, ascend back up to the lodge, recover on a quick flat section through a camping area where there are racers bbq’ing marshmallows and I hit the power lines.

The course drops sharply at the lines and sadistic spectators line them to watch us clean them or be cleaned by them. During the six laps I rode those 24 hours, I cleaned the power lines all but twice; once on one of the two night laps, the other time on my first lap. Then, I was unable to tune out the spectators giving me unsolicited advice on which lines to take and I had to walk in front of them making me feel like a chump.

It was back into the woods for one of the few mostly ride-able sections and then briefly on a flat for a quick recovery. Then began the last and steepest section of the course; Airport Road. Most of the nearly 1,300 feet this short 7-mile course will be gained are here. Presumably the road is named without irony.

The climb is deceptive. At first it’s a mild pitch and fairly comfortable to just sit in and ride. Out of nowhere, the pitch spikes. Most racers walk here, I barely ride in my easiest gear. It relents slightly before turning into single track that gets even steeper forcing nearly every rider (including the author) of his or her bike.

Looking over my shoulder, I can see mountains and valleys so vast they resemble Colorado. I can only take in the view for a moment, but the most memorable was on the dawn lap when the valley floor below was filled with little clouds like a dish containing a small amount of cream. At the top there is some riding and some more walking. Suddenly it turns into a mostly ride-able descent punctuated by a few sections that would kill any would-be riders.

I head through the gates to the start finish area, pass the baton to Marc, scan my RF card for the electronic timing and start the ritual post lap ritual that I will repeat five more times. This year we have no support crew to clean and tune our bikes which they will require après every lap.

I am hungry, filthy, wet and cold. It’s now time to clean and fix my bike. I thought this would be a hassle but it’s actually more reassuring working on my own bike than handing it to a pit crew. I know I will fix everything correctly and get my ride completely dialed. The extra effort expended is better than dealing with a malingering pit crew, the displeasure and anxiety of which I have had to deal with in races past.

It’s now back to the condo to chow, shower and maybe catch an hour’s nap. I have only three hours to do all this and each one of us will repeat this process 4 to 5 times during the race.

By the end of the race the course is dryer and more ride-able. Our team is fairing better than expected. Everyone’s pulling solid, consistent laps and we’re making our baton hand-offs seamlessly.

We’re in third place in our category and 18th place of 170 teams overall. At this point the fastest two teams in the race are ahead of us and in our category. We have no chance of catching them but we want to make sure we have third place locked up. The fourth place team is less consistent than we are, but they have one fast rider who makes up 10 minutes on us every time he goes out.

Coming into the last few laps we have as much as a 15-minute lead, but we’re worried they’re going to send him out on back-to-back laps to make up for their slower teammates potentially nabbing the third place slot from us.

I am the last rider going out. Marc asks me if I want to know where they’re at time-wise. I say no. I’d rather not have that stress on me while I am racing. I dose up on all the carbs and Gatorade I can, tune my bike and get myself psyched. I tell Marc I can do a 70-minute lap and I feel good. I don’t think I will do much better than that.

Dave comes in at 11am and I bolt for my bike having gone over the course again mentally again and again. I feel strong and I’ve taken a warm-up ride so I don’t have to warm up on the course. It’s a warm, beautiful day in contrast to the on again, off again rain, fog and cold of the day before.

I am riding more confidently than I did at night. Knowing this is my sixth and last lap I don’t have to worry about holding back. I do have to worry about going out too hard on one of the technical sections and hurting myself. I make it to Airport Road - no one has passed me thus far.

I am worried the fourth place team, Fat and Happy is going to catch up. I hope they are more fat and less happy. Near the top of the climb where I have to walk the only rider on that lap will pass me… Is it the fast Fat and Happy rider or someone else? I won’t know till I finish.

I run the technical sections at the top, pass DT from CityBikes team Sweetcheeks and find my way to the bottom of the mountain. There are two riders creeping up on me and I wonder if they are our competitors. I am determined not to let them pass. On the last steep downhill straightaway, I am going all out as one of the guys in back of me tries recklessly to pass before the sharp left into the staging area at the finish.

If I can get in there, I can lock up third for our team, but this could be the Fat and Happy rider if he hasn’t passed me already. Immediately – and wisely – he aborts his flanking maneuver. I enter the finish area cheered on my teammates having thwarted all would-be passers save one. Apparently, the dude who passed me on the climb was neither Fat nor Happy.

Gwadzilla locks up third!

Our team functioned flawlessly, we got on well, had no spats, we mopped upon the competition – the team that won our category – won the race over all. My last lap was tied with my second lap as my fastest – a full five minutes ahead of what I told Marc I would pull at 65 minutes. Each one of us pulled exceptional and consistent lap times and put our best effort into the team. We came in 16th of 170 teams overall and I am already looking forward to racing with these guys again!

Here is Brian's MAC PAGE. On this page you can see images from the SNOWSHOE EVENT as well as story/reports/and pictures from his travels and his races all over the country and some around the world. Check it out!

and in my BLOG ARCHIVES is my RACE REPORT from SNOWSHOE, it is about 3/4 of the way down the page.

Hold on....
I think it is at the bottom of this page!
scroll on down!
after all, you can not deprive yourself the pleasure of viewing all the photos I have posted on my site!


This year was the 13th year of Granny Gear's 24 Hour Racing in West Virginia. In these years I have raced at a variety of Laird Knight's venues; Canaan, West VA; Snowshoe, West VA; Donner Pass, CA, and Moab Utah. Each and every race is presented and promoted in the most professional of fashions. His most popular and most successful race is his West Virginia original... I witnessed the growth of this event both in participation and in sideline entertainment. This race had become a festival for all who attended, racers and spectators alike. Then something happened. It happened slowly, and it had been happening all along. People were losing interest. Laird was still selling out his event, but people stopped returning. The course at Snowshoe was in an environmental niche that got lots of rain and did not drain it. It seemed as if this event was cursed, it would be dry the weeks leading up to the event and then THUNDER/CRASH/SPLASH! RAIN OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS. And this year was no different. Seasoned racers who love racing and particularly love the 24 hour race format finding themselves swearing that they would not return to race this course again. Admitably I said those words myself two years ago, and regretted missing last years event, returned this year only to repeat those words again on my night laps. To our cumulative joy all the participants were greeted with morning sunshine and the news that Granny Gear was leaving Snowshoe and seeking and alternate West Virginia venue. (Laird is nothing shy of faithful to West VA, his contributions are not just to mountainbiking, but to West VA tourism as well, he loves this Wild and Wonderful State!)

Racing has taken a hit!

I have seen the Dan Comber's race series grow too large too fast and nearly kill itself. Strange parallels between the health of these events. As a East Coast mountainbiker it scares me to see the declining race options in the east. But, such declining in race participation is not only in the East, as it turns out Laird has canceled this year's Northern California 24 Hour Race Event.

Here is what Laird sent out to his email list of Northern California 24 Hour Racers....

Howdy NorCal 24 Hour Racing Fans,

Thank you all for the superb feedback on my recent e-mails regarding our search for a 24 hour racing venue in NorCal. The response to the possibility of running a race at the ultra-gnarly Donner Pass location was very positive and very encouraging. I was really amped by the idea of getting to race this course again and was willing to take the financial risks on blind faith alone.

The venue itself at Donner Pass is in some financial difficulty and there is a possibility that the property may go to auction in late July. That being the case, there is no way that we could be assured of having a race. Some risks are worth taking but I wouldn't want to risk your time and effort only to disappoint.

So, it looks like the best thing for us to do is to look forward to Moab while we continue to look for a NorCal venue for 2005. By all means, keep your suggestions coming. We've got a good list going but we're giving every new suggestion its due. Keep in mind that we can even run events in remote locations as long as there's enough space to camp everyone. In Moab, we host 5,500 racers and their support crew with hot showers and food service, twelve miles from the nearest utilities!

Thanks again for your thoughtful comments and kind words of support. Our commitment to bringing you the finest racing experiences remains unshaken. I hope you'll consider the possibility of bringing your team out to The 10th Annual 24 Hours of Moab. I can guarantee you one of the most memorable racing experiences of your life. It is a truly world-class event.

Best Regards and Happy Trails,

-Laird Knight

We respect the sanctity of your e-mail in-box. We make every attempt to keep our e-mail communiques as relevant and infrequent as possible. If you do not wish to recieve information and updates from us, please reply to this e-mail with the subject line - REMOVE FROM TAHOE LIST


Granny Gear official race page, check it out....have fun looking over the results of years past....GWADZILLA has a history with these races.

Laird Knight, I have already directed people to this site. But it is interesting to read the history of all the people who have become members of the Mountainbike Hall of Fame. It is an interesting group of people. People who have all made contributions to make the sport of mountainbiking what it is today. And I thank them!


iPOD Stuff and iNFO

Luna de Miel
Lisa and I could have used some of this technology on our HONEYMOON in Costa Rica!


on my lunch break here at work
taking a break to BLOG, read BLOGS, and get some TOUR info
in my routine of bebopping from blog to blog I like to go through and read and check out the resources at VELORUTION
VELORUTION is a must BLOG page for anyone with the overlap of BLOGS and BIKES
most of my information is off the ESPN site, not because I feel it is particularly good
for some reason I started there and continued returning there
Official Site
and then of course there has to be something on the ALL LANCE ALL THE TIME site of OLN (which I lack with my DC Cable!)

here is a good one with racer profiles on CBS
Lance is listed at 5'10", I am guessing that is with his riding shoes on

check out these gadgets....they are so SPEED RACER!

I am manic, that much is true.
Often my BLOG entries have too many words....but yesterday and today I think that I may have entered too many images. Moderation has never been a strength of mine. It is all or none, and for many things in life like diets and homework....I had to choose none.
This weekend I donwloaded a mess of old images from various cards from my digital camera. Then in iPhoto there was this email function that was able to resize the images, guess I went a tad overboard. Oh well, the major pushes the recent posts worth reading so far down the page that they are sure to never get read.
Oh well...
Guess I may have to link to other stories...
or have a BEST OF GWADZILLA BLOG section
who knows....
there has to be a better way
maybe thumbnail images that expand in an alternate JAVA window, but such Popup technology is not in my brain.
what is a guy to do?
or more importantly
what is a guy to do for lunch?

It is interesting....
kids are funny...
as a child develops and grows they often get to experience things for the first time several times
certainly my 4 month old son will recall his experiences with the 17 Year Cicada, but I am thinking more simple things....
like snow fall
as Dean has grow these things have come to mean different things to him in his short three years of life
next year he may recall the snow of the year prior
but this year? it could have seemed like the first time he encountered it

this goes the same for bicycles, tricycles, bike trailers, and butterflies

something may be introduced to Dean (or any child for that matter)
and it may not reach their appeal
but reintroduced to them some time later and it may meet their needs or interests at a different level

the bicycle trailer is something that had that effect on Dean
early in Dean's life I purchase one of the deluxe trailer models from Burley
sure Costco had a lesser version and at Target there was something from Bell that could have done the trick
but I went upscale
I can recall being so aggravated. Dean wanted nothing to do with this contraption.
The words circled through my head but never came to surface, "I PAID 400 DOLLARS FOR THIS TRAILER!!!!YOU ARE GOING TO USE IT!!!!AND YOU ARE GOING TO LIKE IT!!!!"
We tried it a few times....there were moments of pleasure, but a greater amount of complaining....and Dean is not a big complainer. Then one day Dean asked to go in the trailer. Seasons had passed since our previous experience, I had purchased an alternate helmet that would not flop over his face when he put his head against back rest. This alternate helmet is vital as Dean (and most children) tend to fall asleep immediately once the bike starts rolling. But when awake he loves the action around him! We talk. He checks stuff out. He eats, reads, plays with his is a great little rickshaw and his is my little emperor!


This Evening's Training Ride:
In the usual fashion I was prompt out the door at work. Still feeling ragged and sore from a holiday weekend with a wedding party I plotted my course the most direct route home; through Dupont, up 18th Street through Adams Morgan, and down the main strip in Mount Pleasant only to drop down Park Road and roll into my back yard.
I got home was greeted by the dogs and followed the various sounds of family from the second floor. There was commotion, but there is always comotion. Lisa changed a diaper as Dean explored my closet for non-childproof objects, such as a broomless broom handle which he was welding about like a sword. Lisa and Grant communicated in some language of coos and smiles that made me coo and smile, only not as cute when I did it.
Time pass, and some time had already passed as I could not pass a friendly face hanging in the park at Dupont, a freelance journalist named Patrick. His timing was perfect, the sundresses were out and the flesh parade of commuter traffic had begun. Our hello became a tangent of exchanges some about cycling, but most about life, well, women actually. A two second hello took us over half hour to complete, actually the hello was fast, but the good bye was long. So by the time I had held Grant and got invited into the creative and colorful world which is Dean I started to realize that Roscoe and Brutus still needed to take a trip through the woods. I was at the door with the dogs leashed up when a shirtless/shoeless Dean informed me that he was going with me. We discussed that he could go, but he had to walk the whole time, he could decide when we turned around, under no condition was he getting a free ride on Daddy's shoulders. I got a full promise and was confident that he understood both the concept and the seriousness of my agreement.
We had not gone far, as a matter of fact we had hiked twice that distance in the morning on the way to his pre-k at Rosemount Center. But, to keep his part of the bargin we headed for home. He asked to be put on the shoulders, before he could cry or whine, I reminded him of his promise, and explained how important it is to keep a promise. Then quickly distracted him to my promise....the he could ride his bike after we hiked. We hiked briskly, I am not sure, but I hope that the dogs both peed and pooed. And we were on the bike, headed up the hill on Park Road. Dean pedaled as I pushed, this is a tough hill for an adult on foot, on a bike, or in my 19 year old truck. We paced ourselves for a few seconds with a passing bike, I mistakenly taunted the rider as I told Dean to race him. Dean lit up and pedaled harder and released me from my duty of pushing, that was short lived, the other rider turned off, Dean pedaled forward and further.
Three quarters up the hill and Dean was off his bike and marchimg, not entirely unlike his old man. Then shortly after that he was walking, and my massive frame was hunched over his diminutive bike with 12 inch wheels, it was not even half a block till we were back on the flat and Dean was pedaling again. This trip was more about obedience and skills than anything else. The rules of stopping and waiting at corners and alleys was covered repeatedly. At steady clips I issued commands on staying alert and being respectful to the people walking back from the bodega, the bus stops, walking their pets, and heading out for a run. We made a quick stop at Zoe's house and managed to convince her to put on some clothes and get on her bike and pedal up the block to Lamont Street Park with Dean. It was an easy sell. She is a little bruiser of a tomboy! It took a little patience, but in not time I was playing sidewalk cop to two cyclists with 6 years between them. At the park Dean and Zoe circled the trees on the brick park and rode the handicap ramp up the stage, took U turns on the stage only to take the handicap ramp down. This too was not a lesson of thrills and skinned knees, this was about braking and control. My commands were verbal, while my assistance was minimal. Distance was granted as they solved the puzzles of balance and speed, only to step in when I anticipated danger or saw fear in their eyes. Dean was in control, Zoe was more speed and fear, and a third girl joined in that needed a tad more gentle encouragement.
It was a great ride and quite a work out.....
The trip back was all down hill, was about braking, control, and respecting others on the sidewalk, and stopping and waiting at all corners and alleys.....

n\i realize that I did not wind this down in the original intended direction
but lisa grant and roscoe are asleep in the office
guess brutus and I will watch some tv

these are the three cousins
each is an older brother of a set of two
the relationship of cousin is very similar to that of brother

this was a funny little scenario down in Florida
Dean was flying a kite for the first time
he would hang onto the cord
get bored
and let the spool of thread go and fly away
then alert me that the kite was getting away
thus forcing me to chase after the string and try to recover the crashing kite
this was a cycle that we went through 4 or 5 times before it was estabished that the swing and the slide were better options than the kite for a 2 and half year old

this is the setting every evening down on Marco Island
my in-laws have a place there where they spend the winter, Snowbirds
we make a short migration down there each winter as well
usually nothing more than a week
the beach rocks

I hope that this family image meets family standards
as I do consider my BLOG to be Rated G
(that is G for GWADZILLA!)

this first image is of Dean and Zoe
here Dean and Zoe patiently wait for some ice cream cake at Dean's third birthday party
it was rather traumatic...
there was enough cake for the kids
but the parents were forced to suffer with ice cream sandwiches instead!

the next two shots are from Cunningham falls this winter past
we hiked the dogs and I pulled Lisa and Dean in the sled
it was a very winteresque experience
I would guess that Grant is still a bun in the oven on this one

they say that "a picture is worth a thousand words"
I may hit a million at this rate

this is a shot of Dean in Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill
we like to mix it up and take advantage of the various parks in the city
it makes for a more interesting set of activities and interactions

other than the woods of Rock Creek and the sidewalk infront of our house
our primary park of choice is Turtle Park in AU Park
we were initially drawn there for the battered and broken big wheels that Dean and the other children would push up a short hard packed dirt hill
and KAMAKAZI down
but those big wheels are gone, yet we still go back
now we bring his bike and he rides on the basketball courts
clearly more fun than riding the drag strip sidewalk out front our house....
up and back
ride down
I carry the bike up the slight grade back
then back down again
rinse and repeat

had to sneak in an image of the bike

this is KM1 (Karate Monkey One)
you may recognize the building behind the KM from the back of the penny
no hell did not freeze over...

this is an image of Dean being Dean

This is a photo of Dean at the Rosemount Center, the pre-k world that he calls "art class."

He is the youngest of the children in his class

One Week Since Snowshoe....
The buzz is still starting to wear off...
it is not so far in the past that I did not feel that it was inappropriate conversation at the parties of the weekend past
after all, some people would rather hear abour mud, rocks, and roots than how cute my two sons are
well, actually I just gave the stats to those who asked..."so you still riding your bike?"
"yea, last weekend I raced the 24 hours of Snowshoe....blah, blah, blah..."
blank stares come my way, wishing it was an emailed race report that they could just hit DELETE key
this is an image of Chris Redlack and myself about to go on our first lap
he left out with the baton seconds before me
I passed him on the climb
he passed me on the first technical descent
I passed him on the flats
he passed me in the woods
I was 20 yards behind him through the ridable single track
we popped out of the woodds, then up the first real climb I moved ahead and did not see him again til we were in the tent at the Start/Finish