Rants on Cycling and on Life


Time to Get Back on Track.

Okay, it is time to get back on track. Those small pockets of moisture are again starting to gather and group to form into that omnious BLACK CLOUD. Time to get PROACTIVE.
This morning I have taken small actions that should have been taken sooner....

My '84 Landcruiser must be sold. Enough time has passed. Although I am still greatly attached to this rusty old beast I must let it go. This truck has served me well, but it does not suit my needs as a father. It just is not practical for a father's needs. An ad has been placed in the Washington Post for this SUNDAY. I hope to sell the truck Sunday Evening....Wishful thinking?
Yes, but if I do not sell it by Monday Night....I will take steps to donate it by Wednesday.
(then I need to buy something.....what should I buy...what should I buy? I may ask my friend Phil what he thinks of his Honda Element...or go with the poor man's Passat...the Subaru Wagon)

The Shenandoah Mountain 100 off road mountainbike race is behind me. Mission Accomplished. I raced it and am pleased with my efforts. It was a daunting undertaking that caused me some un-needed stress. With that event behind me I started to slack on the cycling. Time to get back on the bike. Yes, the cab that hit me has added to that list of excuses as to why I am not riding. If I am going to slow my riding I should also slow my eating or I will be fatter than Tom Turkey on Thanksgiving and more plump than Santa on Christmas. Time to dust off the CYCLOCROSS bike and get the legs over that thing.....still a few mountian races as well.

The PERMIT and The DECK is also something that needs to move forward. Fall is upon us and the mosquito count is dropping. Fall could be a great time for the deck....not sure what I need to do to get this Permit through this Third World Process....but I need the Permit in hand and start banging my thumb with a hammer again.

What else....
What else.......

sure I need to clean the garage and the basement
but those are tasks that will always loom over every husband's head
first things first
time to move forward with these things on my list
(don't be fooled that this is all that is on the list.....these are just the greatest priority)


mornings as a parent are far different than that of the single person or the childless
(no dogs do not count, I I have two)
the morning is no longer my own
each morning I wake when my children wake
usually waking hours before I would like to get up
at times I am able to steal a few more minutes of sleep as Lisa takes on some of the earlier responsibilities, yet I still have to be up for lisa's departure to work
but those last moments of sleep are never real or true sleep....always one eye open and an ear on the action
always poised for either Dean or Grant to slam upon my head
eventually lumbering downstairs to get some mandatory coffee
children wake at full power....
adults need the effects of coffee to get up to speed

this morning Dean woke up a few minutes before 5am
I think he needed to go to the bathroom....somehow on his trip down the hall he managed to get his finger slammed in a door which caused him to cry out for assistance
while running cold water on his hand I turned on the light to see the damage
the bright light burned into our sleepy eyes and took us to the next stage of being awake
Dean came downstairs with me and climbed into bed with the still sleeping Lisa, Roscoe, and Brutus...Grant lied dormant in the Pack-n-Play along side of the bed

waking up to a rainy day and getting a finger slammed in a door set the tone of Dean's morning
children can be moody
on this morning Dean was moody and Grant was enthused to be awake and was exploring the toys
with Dean's mood the answer to any and all questions was "NO!"
well, less than emphatic...just "no"

which leaves me with a morning of tricks and coersion
with the new BIONICLES DVD playing I dressed Dean in his outfit for the day
having him distracted can be to my advantage
as he can be picky about what he wears
often choosing to wear what is not available
even more often opting to wear his Superman or Batman PJS....complete with caps
I refilled my coffee and got Grant some Cherrios and Dean got a Capri Sun Lemonade and a banana

with Dean

had to bail
boss man showed up
and well
my mornings are not that exciting any old way


Blast from the Past....
Sometimes I wonder...

"Where are they now?"
"What ever happened to....?"
"How has so and so spent the last many years?"

In this modern age with the Internet most any and everybody who has a pulse can be located. And if they do not have a pulse....well, you can find that out as well

the other day a random name from high school popped into my head, Ceres Madoo
so being the geek that I am I did a quick little search with the help of our friends at
sure enough
there she was
right on the computer where I expected to find her
we had a short email exchange
she is happy healthy and whole living out west
here is a page displaying some of sculpture, Ceres Madoo

check out Ceres' site
or even better
do a GOOGLE to try and find an old friend
people with names like Ceres Madoo have advantages over people with names like John Smith

One step forward....
Two steps back.....
honestly I do not know much about politics any and everyone else I still have an uninformed opinion
even without any real facts about the man I do fear having Marion Barry slithering his way back into the system
people had talked about a Mayor Williams recall.....
well....I fear that these are the same people who would want Barry back in the office of Mayor
BUSHES in the White House for the next 12 years...
and Barry as a DC council member....
Idaho is looking pretty good to me right now!



This is one link that was sent to me by Dr. Vargas
Krypto Movie One

And this one was sent by Chain Reaction's Speedy Eric Welp the 165 Pound Clydesdale
Krypto Movie Two

I wonder how KRYPTONITE is going to Respond to this
let me to a GOOGLE and see

Dean just got out of bed

here is the Kryptonite Site

so much for locking up a bike?

(and a short list of other DOCUMENTARY MUSTSEES!)

When will this go to DVD?
Is it an effort to carry the theme of white trash?
Maybe they should only release it on BETA!

This film is a must see!
Jesco the Dancing Outlaw
Undo your belt and the top button of your pants, rest a six pack in your lap, and have some beef jerky within do not want a miss a second of this documentary epic about West Virginia Mountain Dancer Jesco White! You will not regret seeking out this film.

Here are some other personal favorites...
For anyone who loves culture, travel, photography, music, and life full of soul. This film will captivate you. This one is worth owning. I have seen it more times than I can count. I have never grown bored with seeing it again and again.

Anything by Ken Burns
If you have not seen THE CIVIL WAR....start there...then expand to any other topic that you have a slight interest in. Ken Burns will educate and entertain. Documentaries are like books for people like me too lazy to read. (like me)

Dogtown and Z Boyz
A new classic.....
Learn the early history of Skateboarding. Learn about the sport and the culture. Directed by skate legend, now documentary film maker, Stacy Perralta.

Another documentary master would be Bruce Brown
Two of his must see documentaries are ENDLESS SUMMER and On ANY SUNDAY.
These films are complete classics! Endless Summer will make you want to grab a board and hit the surf; while On Any Sunday will make you want to get off road on a motocross bike and kick up some dirt. Two great films for any viewer, not just for people who are into the sports of Surfing or Motocross.

Here is a quasi-intellectual one that will BLOW YOUR MIND! the 7 UP series is now at 42 UP. This film follows a random selection of British children first interviewing them at 7 years old only to do follow up interviews every 7 years throughout their lives. This may very well be the next addition to my DVD collection.

that should be enough for now
add them to my COMMENTS section

each year I go to the BANFF FILM FESTIVAL showing at National Geographic
there are always epic mountain films there
that festival is a MUST SEE!


A Week Has Passed and Still Feeling a small BUZZ!

It has been a week and one day since I raced in the Shenandoah Mountain 100 off road mountainbike race, although it seems like forever since the actual race took place there is still a little bit of buzz from the accomplishment. The RESULTS tell a tale in themselves, although they do not give the glory of the experience. I managed to finish in the top third of all the racers and first in the Clydesdale Class, yet....somehow I feel as if I should have raced faster.

The race....the whole experience was awesome. The full report is below if you opt to scroll down. In reflection I am beyond glad that I did not back down from the challenge. Everything operated as it should have on that day. The weather could not have been better....the trails were fast and dry. The heat was not an issue while the rain was able to hold off for most of the riders including me. My bike held up well and so did my body.

Events like this tend to have one of two grand effects on the racers. The participants come across the line and either say to themselves...."I am never doing this again' or "that ROCKED! I can not wait to do this again next year..." Followed by a list of things to do to make the body faster. As for me, I was the later, I am definitely going to put this event on my calendar. Hopefully next year goes as well as this race season and that next year's SM100 hold the same set of positive variables along with a few longer road miles and a few more climbs leaving me stronger for the full duration.

And baby makes......

This morning Lisa sent me an email about a good friend of hers who recently had her third child. Funny, Lisa seemed a tad envious. Initially I thought I wanted three or more children, now I am thinking that two kids will work just fine for me. I love my children. I would love to have more children. But I think that more kids will mean less time with the two children that we already have as well as meaning less time with each other and less time to ourselves.

this is escentially how I responded

three children would mean...
one more baby with diapers
one more stress filled pregnancy
one more child that demands expensive child care
one more drop off at a different school
one more soccer game on a different field
one more kid being rushed to the emergency room
one more set of doctor and dental bills
one more kid wanting his/her own room
one more set of sleepless nights
one more kid going to private school
one more plane ticket for each family trip
one more set of gear for each assault on the park
one more kid in a mood ruining our dinner out on the town
one more kid in a mood
one more body in the bed

with that said
time will tell if we have one more
who knows?
we may want one more

so for lunch I dashed down from my office at 20th and M Street to North Capitol Street where the Permit office is...and like an idiot I got hit by a cab on my way back...
to be quite honest it was pretty much my fault
I had weaved my way through the line of traffic and was at the intersection waiting for the light to turn green or the path to be clear or hopefully both
when the light turned green
the cab driver somehow did not see that there was a 6'4" 225 pound man on a bicycle in front of him
and he went forward just as I started to pedal
and smack
his bumper snapped my foot out of my SPD (shimano clip in pedals)
and his hood tagged my knee
somehow I managed to regain/maintain balance and ride forward
not feeling that there was any damage or that anyone was any more in the wrong than the other
I went on my way
went the final blocks into the office
and started to feel some pain in my knee
took some advil
and back at my desk
did I mention that this married man was looking at a women in the park eating his lunch when he should have been watching the traffic signal and more importantly the cars around him?
oh well....
another lesson that was forgotten and now remember.....
oh, yea

when riding my bike I should not be doing my taxes....I would do my taxes better at a desk with a do not worry about problems that can not be solved while on the bike....there are enough issues to concern myself with to keep my mind and body occupied

did I mention that my knee hurts

My life is conventional....Eric Jackson's life is not!

A few years ago there was this really cute Nissan Pathfinder commercial where a father is driving his brand spanking new SUV as he drifts off into some fantasy about taking the kids out of school and racing across Africa in the Paris Dakar....I am sure you can visualzie the clip of the cute little boy in the child seat trying to eat his ice cream as he bounced about until his ice cream falls off the cone leaving him ice creamless except for what remains on his face. (The truck may well have not been a Nissan Pathfinder....that is the failure of advertising....some of it may entertain or annoy, but does it help to move product?) Well, Eric Jackson not only said almost exactly the same thing....but he chose to live it. Eric Jackson a world class kayaker is also a husband, a father of two, and a business man. Most recently Eric has started his own kayak company, Jackson Kayak.....and if these boats are anything like Eric they will make you SMILE and they will make you RIP!
(eric jackson can without a doubt inspire you)

Years ago I met Eric Jackson....the sport of kayaking was not where it is now. I was managing Big Wheel Bikes on Capitol Hill where Eric and a friend of his Brian opened a kayak store upstairs of the bike shop. Brian and Eric were on the river more than they were in the shop....needless to say the shop did not succeed, during this time Eric got this crazy idea of customizing an RV and touring the country and the world from river to river from event to event. Over the years I have run into Eric and his wife, usually when I am hiking the dogs on the Billy Goat Trail I have run into Eric and his family in their custom RV in the parking lot...I knock on the door he invites me in....I ask if he remembers me....he says yes...I marvel at his life....say hey to his kids.....say my good byes...and leave thinking to myself....WOW! THAT GUY IS REALLY COOL! THAT FAMILY IS REALLY COOL! WHAT AN EXOTIC LIFE!

I can not imagine that it has been easy. Sure it has been interesting, but certainly never easy. Unique would definitely describe their life. I remember seeing young Dane a few years ago, he must have been six years old....and already built with a body full of muscles just like his dad. Young Dane looked like he was more pit bull than boy with all those muscles on his stomach and chest. Well, it seems that this young pup is growing into being the big dog on the waves already competing on the junior circut all over the world. In an article of a new outdoor magazine, HOOKED, I read about Dane and his potential of being 'the future' of the sport!

As a father this intrigued me.....everyone I meet is always saying something about how I need to put a golf club in my sons' hands...or a tennis racket....or a basketball. I am not the father of Wayne Gretsky, nor am I the father of Tiger Woods, and I am certainly not the father of Dane Jackson! That is the path of those families and the path of those athletes. I like my conventional lifestyle. I am not sure of the path of Dean or Grant's lives. As far as pushing my sons to be the best? People need to get a little more rational scope on things. Life is long. there are many factors, genetic being one of them as well as the competition around them. It takes more than an over enthused soccer mom to create the next Mia Hamm. Am I trying to push Dean and Grant to be the best? Personal Best, sure, but the BEST?

Exposure. Dean and Grant are being exposed to a wide variety of interests. Both Dean and Grant were swimming for a few hours yesterday afternoon. Dean spent a good part of the day in the Burley Trailer being towed behind me on the bike. And the rest of the day was spent being a kid. When I set the two HOT WHEELS tracks up along side of each other for a little LOOP DA LOOP racing was I thinking NASCAR? Was I thinking ENGINEERING or ARCHETECTURE? No...I was thinking fun and smiles. When Dean and I spent hours playing with the FLICK TRICK bmx bikes was I thinking....he could be a good mechanic.....soon enough he will be fixing my bikes....well, maybe. But, the goals are more immediate. Life is cumulative. All these experiences add up. Hopefully they will guide Dean and Grant towards having some strong and specific interests. At which point I will make an effort to aid in nurturing these interests. But not in an effort to create the next Tiger Woods, but maybe my sons can learn the lessons of hard work and a job well done as well as the spirit of competition and the glory of victory and the emotions that come from trying your best. (often falling short of one's goals or finding that there is someone better, someone better prepared, or someone who had a better day)

The life choices of Eric Jackson are to be commended. The world would be a boring place if artists and athletes did not make the sacrifices that they make. Not everyone can be a desk jockey; nor is everyone is wired for such an unstructured lifestyle. There are aspects of their lives that I envy, but I do not wish to trade places. That is the life they have created for themselves while this is the life I have created for me.

Do I want my sons to be a world class surfers? If so, I better move to the beach.
Do I want my sons to be world class mountainbikers, skateboarders, snowboarders, soccer players, volleyball players, sprinters, marathoners, croquet players, basketball players, football players, lacrosse players?

It may happen.....but right now we are more concerned with getting Grant to sleep through the night than going to the 2020 OLYMPICS.

Until then we are city people doing out city thing...hopefully we will all be kayaking in the Potomac in the next few years....who knows maybe Dane Jackson will be my instructor? If so I will tell him that I remember him when......