Rants on Cycling and on Life


I need a car
well, I am not sure I need a car
but by American Standards I do need a car, by American I mean United States...not anyone else in North, Central, or South America
sure Lisa has a Volkswagon Passat, but when she is using the car my hands are tied
when I am home with the kids and lisa is at work or some other funciton I am land locked
when I want to go to a race I can not abandon her without a vehicle with the kids
on top of that this month Dean's school moves to a new location while the 100 year old building gets a face lift
that face lift will take a year
as much as I want to take my son across town in the Burley Trailer behind the bike
I honestly do not thing that it will be a practical idea
the cross town traffic is brutal
the streets are unkind
I am more than familiar with the route as I took that path to get to my job at General Typographers a few years back
my life was endangered and threatened on each direction, many times intentionally
so the thought of putting Dean at risk so that I can maintain some sort of cyclist ethic may be selfish or more so short sighted and dangerous

so....I am selling the old Landcruiser
and looking for a new car
well...I was looking for a used car
had some ideas on how much I wanted to spend and what I wanted
those ideas grew and changed
started wanting the Subaru Forrester.....then my wants moved to the Honda Element
started shopping for a used Element.....well....they started making these in 2003 which leaves the pickings a tad slim....well.....slim if you are looking for Manual Transmission shopping got bumped up to the next purchase level
I did not want to save a small fraction of the purchase cost and risk that the previous owner ragged the shit out of this vehicle in its first year of life
so I am now shopping for a new car
getting ready to grab my angles and get the under coat and the spray coat on the interior

spent the day online looking for the deal
not sure if there is a deal
wish I could find the NO HAGGLE DEAL!
where is the NO HAGGLE DEAL?
and can I haggle them down?

Here is a shot from the Shenandoah Mountain 100
That is me with friend and fellow Clydesdale Chris Redlack
I am the bald one with the wheels (a great prize for finishing first in the Clydesdale Class)
Chris is the one double fisting the BEERS!
(yes, chris and I both went to St. Mary's College of Maryland.....yes....the girls from SMC can out drink most men at other colleges in the US)

My Morning....

This morning I hugged the pillow till after 8am, which is late for a father of two. I enjoyed those final moments in bed, while lisa entertained both Dean and Grant. When I finally rose out of bed Lisa went out with the dogs and I stirred some coffee and loaded Grant in the backpack and finished dressing Dean for school. When we left for school it was a pleasure to have Grant on my back rather than the dogs at my side, this left my hands free to carry my second cup of coffee along with me as I walked Dean the three blocks to his pre-K at Rosemount Center. Dean traded his bicycle for his scooter this am, I did not object.

Once at "art class" I was mobbed by all of Dean's fellow students. They were all asking to be chased around the room then they noticed Grant....the crowed gathered. Crowd control mode stepped in as I tried to keep all the germ covered hands off my venerable seven month old son. Rather than aggravate the teachers with my usual routine of rilling up the kids and then evacuating I opted to read to the children. Freddy had a BATMAN book and Dean wanted. I felt that my reading it to the class was a good compromise. The children all gathered in an orderly fashion in a semi-circle as I sat my monsters size body in the child size chair. Everyone behaved miraculously well as I went from reading the book to ad-libbing the text to move things along faster. There was no complaint. After finishing the BATMAN book the kids were asking for more, one of the students had a TOY STORY book that I had to bargain to get my hands on. Upon opening the book I was amused to see that I was reading to the class in Spanish, the teachers were impressed by my ability to read the rudimentary Spanish to the children. The children all enjoyed themselves and I felt as if Dean was proud to have me as a father. As I went for a third book, Eleanor halted my progress and told me that it was time for them to hit the playground before a field trip to the new location of the school. I could not argue with a trip outside. So I loaded Grant on my back and headed for the door. Said my Good-byes to the kids and a special good bye to my son and headed out the door.

What a great way to start my day!

Once home I responded to my pager. Work was calling me in early. My hopes to do some riding before work had been dashed. I loaded up my pack with clothing for the day, left over Chicken Curry for lunch, and some dog biscuits and some dog food for the homeless guy with a dog in front of the McDonalds down the block from my office. Mounted the bike and guided my route a few blocks longer than usual to work.

I pointed the rigid single speed towards Malcom X Park (Meridian Hill) and took in some of the sights and sounds of the city. It is a glorious park with a long stretch of cascading water falls and artful steps. It was a rocking horse ride down the long stretch of stairs, a tad brutal on the body, yet a pleasure just the same. I passed children playing, people walking their dogs, and homeless people sleeping, and a man with what appeared to be his day's paper work sorted out on the sidewalk in front of him. Just as I was thinking that we need to take Dean and Grant to hang in this glorious park I got a whiff of some shit; human shit. The smell got stronger, then right in front of me was a large cow pie....pray for rain or a park service attendant to clean that shit was rank.

I rolled out of the park back onto the street. Headed for the McDonalds on M Street to hand off the dog food, found the homeless man in front of the CVS on the next block. Had a pleasant exchange. The dog was reluctant to eat the food, but the owner was grateful. We talked and I told him I would bring him some clothing that I did not need. Although I hate to enable the behavior of the homeless, I also realize that not everyone has been given the same opportunities and guidance that I have been given. Life is hard for everyone, even for those as lucky as my family...I can not imagine how hard life is for this homeless man and his family.


Hamilton Cleared

Tyler Hamilton give a NIXON-ESQUE pose for the Press....
making me feel secure that he is in fact...."not a cheat!"

Abandoned Bikes

Where do all the bikes go?

Who are the people that leave their bikes locked up outside for months?

Here is a site with some images from in and around NYC...Abandoned Bikes

I love dumpster diving!
In this area I have made some serious scores.
Which reminds me....I still have not finished that Outback project for my wife

Common Courtesy and Common Sense
(most people possess neither)

Everyday I interact with a wide variety of people, both at work and just in my travels on the city streets. When entering and exiting a shop or restaurant I tend to be cognizant of people around me.....holding the door open when appropriate and yielding to others when the situation merits such. While driving I try to drive sensibly with respect to others safety and basic well being. And when on my bike....I move through the city like a ghost. Sure I may run red lights or split lanes (on the bike)...but for the most part I am not asking anyone to slow or speed up for me. Yes, there are time when I take the full lane, like when climbing on a narrow two lane road or when on a tight winding stretch of road. In these cases I feel it is my obligation to protect myself and to think for the car driver behind me. The drivers tend to think that they can pass within the lane inches from my side, so I make it such that the "pass" is more conscious, so that the car driver knows they have to go around me (wide) and that they need to take into account oncoming traffic. In these cases I am being both protective of my own well being and considerate of the lack forethought in some of the car driver's minds. At times people pass wide and dangerous, yes, I appreciate them giving me space, but I would hope that they are anticipating all oncoming obstacles (including oncoming cyclists.)

There are laws that were created to dictate our behavior. Each and everyone of us has taken it upon ourselves to re-evaluate the laws and modify them to suit our needs. The speed limit may say 25 MPH, yet everyone is moving along at 40. The sign may say STOP, but people "slow and go" without a glance. There may be a "no hands on cell phone use while driving," yet everyone is sending in an AUDIO-BLOG for their digital memoirs while driving down the road. I too modify these laws.....I tried to go the speed limit, but it was insighting ROAD RAGE to the drivers behind me. So instead I try to exist under the notion of being Courteous with Common Sense. Aware of my surroundings and knowing that going absurdly above the speed limit is more likely to cause an accident and will not get me their any quicker (as a cyclist I tend to travel a 7 mile radius around the city faster than most cars, even on the low geared single speed) Then when I dip into the woods for short stretches as I move across town on my bike I know that the sign says, "no bikes" (thanks for reminding me) but what I see as being more important is that I am riding safely and courteously. I slow and yield for all other trail users, always exchanging a pleasant hello. To me the law is one level, but the more important level is to be Courteous and exhibit common sense. Now, don't try and say that the courteous mugger with his pleasant hellos and his business like approach to taking your wallet is a good metaphor for my actions; cause it is not! ((more on this later))

Everyday I cross the street in front of my house several times, most every time with dogs or children, and sometimes both. The speed limit is 25MPH, yet people go 50. The center line is double solid yellow, yet people choose to slow to 35 MPH and swing wide around me. Exhibiting neither Kind, Courteous, or using Common Sense in their actions. When my life is put in danger I get angry, when my family's life is threatened I get ENRAGED. This morning as I walked Dean to the Rosemount Center just several blocks away. Dean and I waited patiently for the lights to change and for the cross walk to give him the WHITE HAND SIGNAL/Right of Way. As Dean peddled across the street in the crosswalk I moved along side of him with the dogs as a moving pick. As I looked 20 yards up the hill I could see a cab approaching the intersection ignoring the Red Turn Arrow and rolling straight for us. I stopped blocking the road and pointed at him. Obstructing the road with my 6'4" body point at him and making eye contact. Dean continued across the road, up onto the sidewalk then u-turned back towards me as I shared words with another ignorant cabbie. My words were censored and cut short as I was more concerned with getting Dean across the street and to art class than trying to educate another ignorant taxi cab driver who fails to understand the driving laws and regulations of this country. Taking some third world sensibilities and applying them here. It is hard enough to change my own behavior, how can I expect to change his. But I did fantasies....A swift kick to the balls and a few punches to the face, and maybe a few more kicks as he fell to the ground. A short simple fantasy that got my coffee ingested system operating at a higher level. Then the fantasy gets shut off......I am a father in front of his house. Such actions are for Cane in the old Kung Fu movies or maybe Billy Jack as he fights to protect the rights of the hippies and the Indians, not for me......I would go to jail or get my ass kicked or worse yet both. No lessons would be learned. And Dean would see his daddy at his worst and maybe on weekend visits.
I am not a tough guy. Have never been a tough guy. Never in my life have I thought that violence was a solution to any problem, in most cases it just acts to add more problems. Yet, when my family is put in danger I get these Incredible Hulk fantasies, "don't make me angry, you would not like me when I am angry -Bruce Banner."

So I walked on....
The cabbie stopped in his tracks...
He hung out his car door and I gave him hard stares..
Dean questioned what the exchange was about. And I tried to explain....there was no explaining
that is life in the city
the more people you encounter
the more idiots and assholes you will meet

people are selfish and stupid
with that said
I am on the late shift today
my time would be better spent spinning my single speed in the woods
and showering at work
rather than BLOGGING away and ranting on a topic that may only act to enrage me more

time to lose the morning on the bike

My Landcruiser....
so I am trying to sell my 20 year old truck
I have had all sorts of calls with all sorts of questions
most of the questions could be answered before calling me if the people paid attention to the make, model, and year....

"does it have driver side airbags?"
did any car have airbags in
expand from there

"does it have a sunroof?"
did that make or model have a
expand from there

"is the truck clean?"
the truck is 20 years old, it is a truck, it is a truck....did I mention that it is 20 years
expand from there

does the ac work?
there is ac for that make and model....but it does not work
(if you are looking for creature comforts......this is not your is a truck....not an POSH SUV....A drives like a that is what you are looking for...a covered tractor...then this is your vehicle...if not....look forward and further)

if people paid more attention to the make, model, and the price they would have a better idea what they are talking about

thus far I have spent more time talking people out of buying the truck than coming to see it
I have tried to give people directions to see it and offered to send pictures
you would be shocked at the number of calls from people without email or internet
these are the people without MAPQUEST and many of these people are the same people without a clue....

those are also the people without knowledge of bluebook value or other asking prices for such a vehicle, but I am not trying to rip anyone off
I am trying to sell a great truck; a truck that has served me well; a truck with many years of life left in it

"I am looking for a first car for my son..."
this is not the right car for him...stopping distance and handling are not like new cars
the way kids drive today....talking on the cell phone while taking the driver's test...I would be scared to see 4 high school kids coming down the road in an '84 Landcruiser

"I am looking for a car to take my kids to and from school..."
this may not be the car for takes a few minutes to start and a few minutes to warm up on the cold days.....and sometimes on the warm days....not the car for Mr. Mom
(for less money there must be a Honda Accord out there that would suit such needs)

there have also been some other interested callers
people have looked at it
some people have already tried to haggle me down
but I have not arranged any test drives as I have not had the time
and have not wanted to waste my time
wanted to set aside last sunday.....but got called into work
wanted one day where all interested people came by
as two nights this week I have been on full dad duty...not possible to show the truck with Dean running one way and Grant crawling at turbo speed the other

if the truck does not sell this week with the forever dropping price (now $2,000)
looks like I will just donate it to whomever
but not the JAWS of LIFE
as this truck still has too much life in it to have it be torn appart by the Rescue Squad and their hydralic toys
Donate it to a foundation that will sell it and profit from it
maybe I will just trade it in for 50 cents when I buy another car



as Andrew said in my COMMENTS section....TYLER

Innocent or Guilty? (reuters)

or more recent....
as of 2 Hours Ago. (bicycling mag)

as a born cynic I always believed he was doping
also feel that a whole mess of those guys are doping
on top of that I believe that it is a fine line using unband substances that are one step ahead of the rules
that is just my opinion from the sidelines
it makes sense to argue that it is not cheating
I have heard both sides and understand both angles

cheating is cheating
winning is not taking a NYC Taxi cab to put you first at the finish in the MARATHON
it is not about who crossed the finishline first...somehow there is more
apparently there are some subtle differences that go missed by some

BLOGS and the NEWS....
I said to a friend of mine who works for 60 Minutes that she needs to pitch a story on BLOGS...
well, I said a few different things.....all of them a sentence....none of them a pitch...all of them a topic and not exactly an idea. But I felt that there has to be a story in the phenomena of THE BLOG. It really is a wonder of the modern times....
Did she listen?
recently BLOGS are breaking the NEWS before the networks

Kerry's Running Mate selection was first made public on a BLOG, seems a baggage carrier saw them painting the Kerry plane with Edward's name.

This girl on Capitol Hill that got fired for her at work Blogging and her blog topic.

now this soldier in Iraq

and the CBS Rather story....

all BLOG related
oh well
time to wake sleeping Dean
we should be walking to school right now


as the Bumper Sticker Says.... NO ONE DIED WHEN CLINTON LIED
and we all know I get all my political theories from bumper stickers

This photo is a composite of American soldiers who have died in Iraq over the last year.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Or in this case, hundreds of lives. And growing daily.
Please consider forwarding this note to eligible voters.
And let's remember in November...

and I ask, "for what?"

do you feel safer?


Old Friends, New Friends, and Smiles
Today after work I was able to get Dean to go out into the woods with me and the dogs
The only way to get him to come and do that same old loop across the street in Rock Creek Park was to invite our neighbor and his friend Elijah
Elijah and Dean are may be safe to say that they consider themselves best friends
Elijah was away in Spain all summer with his younger brother and his parents
Off visiting his grandparents while dodging the humidity and the mosquitos of Northwest Washington DC
Dean expressed missing Elijah on various occassions.
Elijah was good enough to write Dean a letter from Spain.
well, Elijah and his family are back and Dean can not get enough of him
They wrestle and they run then they wrestle some more til someone bonks their head and they break for some crying and then wrestle some more; and of course they laugh. They laugh a lot, their laughter is infectous. It is funny to see them.....they talk very little, yet they are always communicating.
This weekend past we Lisa and I got a babysitter for Grant and took Dean to the RFK parking lot for the weird and cool performers of Cirque de Soliel
Oddly enough....James and Ross had also booked a babysitter for their younger child and took Elijah to that same 5 o'clock show on Sunday afternoon.
Dean and Elijah were so pumped at the performance that seeing each other at intermission sent them running in circles. Twenty-five minutes of running in circles.....the full duration of the intermission only breaking to pee
Never once did they talk about what they had seen, yet they shared the experience.
Dean asked to sit with Elijah as we were corraled back to our seats after intermission then again a few times as the show started. After the show they ran smiling out of the yellow vynyll big top out into the parking lot, smiling , laughing, and holding hands until Dean rammed his head into a side view mirror.
Apparently today after Lisa picked up Dean from Rosemount Elijah stopped by and the boys unproductively played with their scooters....bicycles....tricycles.....exchanging and fighting over each vehicle all the while never doing much riding
so when I got home and offered to take Dean out with Elijah I found that Elijah had left minutes before my arrival and that Dean had not yet fulfill his Elijah fix.
A call to Ross and James showed that Elijah was excited to hike which meant that Dean was excited to hike as well.
The same hike that Dean refused to attend when it was just Roscoe, Brutus, and myself.
We hiked.
They ran and tripped and ran some more only to trip again. There was some game where I was to chase and they were to run all the time they taunted me with a gesture around the eyes like a bird watcher holding his binoculars. I kept a good pace right behind them occassionally catching them as they slowed to cross a fallen tree or to manover a technical rooted section. At this point I let out a deep belly growl, more comical than scary, and they would unleash the laughter. Energized to speed on ahead.
After a fair amount of running, a good amount of tripping, and a whole lot of screaming we came out of the woods to the end of Rosemount Road right behind the Rosemount Center only to find an odd looking Bohemian looking character with a thin framed body, loose fitting black clothes, and a wild scraggly beard. I had Roscoe and Brutus by the colar before we even made the turn and saw this strange man sitting on the log. Just as we were about to turn the corner to head past the man down the hill and onto the last bit of trail to home I heard a voice say my name. Without having to turn and look I smiled, it was Sven, I knew that voice. I walked over releasing Roscoe and then Brutus, Roscoe fell comfortably at Sven's feet. I then introduce the boys to the not so odd man resting on the log with his guitar. Sven was neither strange nor stranger, he is an old friend. A person who has always brought a smile to my face no matter how negative I may be trying to be. Sven and I have hiked together many miles with our dogs and ridden many miles together on our bikes. Our lives have taken similar yet different paths. Both continue to love nature and the city and that Sven is also a father and I am sure a wonderful one at that as he showed his skills by sharing his guitar with Elijah and Dean. Sven instructed them with his gentle voice as he got them to each strum the guitar. The meeting was brief, but enough to make me leave smiling and wondering why I do not smile more often.

more on this
the story never went full circle
but there are parental duties to tend to

night for now
(this blog entry was typed with Dean in my lap....Dean and I talked while I typed..He watched my hands on the keys and we discussed which letters were which and what buttons do times Dean tested different keys ((F3 being his favorite of the day, a find command))....Dean is pretty good with the MOUSE....well, he can guide the cursor to hit play on a QUICKTIME MOVIE....which for three is a good start...the entry was ended abruptly when Grant woke up and started to cry, at which point I had to put Dean to bed and check on Grant...then the Disney movie began....Dean was in and out of bed....I was up and down the stairs....Grant was wide awake in my arms as it is hard to sleep when I am trying to be stern with Dean while trying to make him go to sleep or at least stay in bed....Dean eventually went to sleep or stayed in bed, Grant and I went downstairs, put on a CD, Roscoe was resting at my feet, we all relaxed til Lisa and Brutus got back from their is amazing to see 7 month old Grant respond to his mother coming through the door....the Love and Attachment is evident)


Pretty Cool
to bolster interest the hosts of the Lily Ponds Cyclocross Race are offering a 5 dollar off entry fee to mountainbikers without a USCF license (as to balance the annoying one day fee)
seems like a cool thing to do
I did the event last year (as well did my brother and Evan)
I got my ass kicked in the Bs (sometimes known as the KILLER BEES)
had a great time
(not to mention the free massage afterwards was pretty sweet)

read as follows
the message is from a person I have never met
or maybe I have....the cycling culture is small
he seems to be associated with one of my comic book character arch enemies.....KEVIN DILLARD a member of NCVC
one of the few mountainbike members of NCVC
one of the oldest cycling clubs in Washington DC
and also the former sponsor of one of my Clydesdale Comic Book Arch rival characters; Bill Davis
(well, maybe Bill Davis is more like a pro-wrestler....he is definitely a character!)
((if you care.....go to a race report to read how I got played by Bill Davis
in a 22 mile single track clydesdale event))

((((you have to scroll down past the images))))
should be a good event
if I am not celebrating Indian Summer with my family and my dogs in the Outer Banks I most certainly be there...cross bike and all

it is actually Lilypons
it looks like the money goes to a good cause

Hi Joel,
One of my mtn biking teammates, Kevin Dillard, (who is coming to lay down smack against the roadies at this cross race) suggested that I send you a bit of info for your blog.

We'll give any mtn bikers w/o a uscf license a $5 dollar discount for the race as they'll need to purchase a one-day license for $5.


2004 Ed Sander Memorial Century and Cross Race
October 2nd
Buckeystown, MD

In August 2001, NCVC member Ed Sander passed away in a training accident. To honor his memory, National Capital Velo Club and Edís former employer, Lilypons, hold an annual century ride with the proceeds going to a college scholarship fund for Edís only son, Chris.

Last year, we added a cross race to the day to spice the event up a bit. This race will be the First Event in the MABRA Cyclocross Series and the preseason warmup for the Verge Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Championship Series.

Start Time Class Duration Entry Places Prizes

10:00 Men's C 30 min $15 3 Medals
10:02 Women's B 30 min $15 3 Medals
10:45 Master's 35+/45+ 45 min $20 5/3 $250/Medals
10:47 Juniors 45 min $10 3 Medals
11:45 Men's B 45 min $20 3 Merchandise (100 value)
1:00 Women's A 45 min $20 5 $300
2:00 Men's A 60 min $20 8 $600

Online registration at Pre-registration closes September 30, 2004.

To register by mail: send entry fee and 2004 standard release form to:
(Make Checks payable to NCVC)
Rob Campbell
4112 Wexford Ct.
Kensington, MD 20895 301-949-7970 (no calls after 9pm)

Registration: Opens at 9:00 am and closes 15 minutes before each race.

There will be a $5.00 unattached rider fee and a $5 day-of-registration fee. USCF or NORBA license required (one-day licenses are available). Minimum of 10 riders per category. All USCF/USA Cycling Cyclocross rules apply. Mountain bikes will be allowed WITHOUT bar ends. Field limit: 60.
USCF Permit Pending.

Directions for both Events:
>From DC: I-270 North to Exit 26 and proceed West on Route 80 (Finger Board Road). Left on Park Mills Rd. Right on Lily Pons Rd. Follow signs to parking.

>From Frederick, MD: Route 85 to Lily Pons Rd. Left on Lily Pons Rd. Follow
signs to parking.

>From Leesburg, VA: Route 15 North to Route 28. East to Route 85 North. Route
85 North to Lily Pons Rd. Right on Lilly Pons Rd. Follow signs to parking.


an american soldier blogs from Iraq

I read an article in the NY Times or maybe it was the Journal
NPR did a piece on this in late August.....

I have not read too deeply into it
it is worth a look

BIKE DC was a success!
wet, but a success

WABA (Washington Area Bicycle Association) held BIKE DC rain or shine this Saturday the displeasure of many it was held with rain. Roughly 1,500 to 2,000 people braved the rain and took part in urban bike tour; many of the pre-registered riders stayed at home hugging the pillow while anyone and everyone who was a "maybe" turned out to be a "no" and hid under the sheets in their warm dry beds at home. There were 12 miles of blocked off car free road of family section plus an additional 22 miles of open road riding through various parts of the city. On the unrestricted parts of the tour the cars did their normal thing....which could have very easily been dangerous in some situaitons, but I did not hear of any injuries. Very little of this course was new or different for me. It seemed as if the whole course circled my house, never going more than a five mile radius from my warm bed. At times when I pedaled closer to home I lost focus for the BIKE DC path markers and felt my internal GPS take control of my body and point the bike towards a warm bed and dry clothes. Lucky for me I was riding along side fellow City Bike Mountain Bike Team member DT. On this day DT had no desire to cut the ride short. Having arrived on the scene at 5am that same morning to aid in the registration of the riders one would think that DT would have been ready to pack it up and head for home. But no! DT wanted to do the whole ride on his Bianchi PISTA track bike, for him there were parts of the city that he had never seen before. I was on my Surley Karate Monkey Single Speed geared a little easier than DT's track bike, but he was good enough to drop the pace to keep it social.

After a little while the rain was not an issue, it rained intermidently through the morning and got a tad chilly with some strong gusts of wind, but all in all it was a good time and I ran into very few people who were complaining. It was a gathering that united a small tribe of people, a tribe that calls themselves cyclists. There were all sorts of people out there ranging from CAT 1 roadies to families pulling toddlers and infants on trail-a-bikes and in trailers. The pace was mellow for all...a pace vehicle lead the pack in the front while a sag wagon picked up the stragglers in the back. DT and I were just two among many volunteers that day. Cyclists were standing like lycra clad soldiers standing guard at various corners to aid in directing the participants in the correct direction as well as cheering on to improve the moral of the troops. The rain did not break the spirits of any of the volunteers. There were familiar faces and familiar bicycles. I ran into old friends and made new ones.

The City Bikes Mountain Bike Team seemed to have a good representation at the event. I ran into and passed a good percentage of squad, even ran into old faithful, City Bikes shop owner Phil Kooperman, at a repair station at the START/FINISHLINE. It always amazes me...I see Phil volunteering his own time at all of these community events (some of which he and his shop host others he and his shop sponsor) yet, seldom see him at the shop. I must say, I do like his priorities. Phil was there with his bike and his heavily loaded down Burley Trailer where he was going to go from aid station to aid station leading the mechanic is speedy repairs to get troubled cyclists back on the road. Phil was not the only faithful contributer to the bicycle culture....there was also MORE President Scott Scudmore. Scott was also there early, he too was pulling a trailer offering aid to any and all cyclists in need of a quick adjustment or a flat repair. The bicycle culture would not be as tightly knit if it were not for leaders like Phil and Scott to pull us all together and to inspire us to give a little back outselves. We all may not be able to do as much as Phil or Scott, but even if we all do a little, it all adds up. Phil and Scott were just two of the many volunteers....there was the whole WABA staff along with their regular cast of volunteers....the POTOMAC PEDALERS....and various other clubs were represented (NCVC, CITY BIKES, MORE, etc) There were couriers and ex-couriers, there were racers, roadies, and freaks and yes....even geeks...the bike culture has it fair share of geeks. Everyone out there braving the wind and the rain in an effort to have a good time and to make our place in society stronger.

(foolish of me not to stress the employees of WABA. it is people like the employees of WABA that work to insure that cycling has a future in Washington DC and the surrounding area. with that friend mike k.' s wife works for WABA and was at the STARTLINE setting up and tearing down from 4am til 4 pm and she is eight and a half months pregnant....that is the type of commitment that gets things done...thanks to mike's wife and others like her)


That is what this whole BIKE DC thing is about; Solidarity.
Getting out there and getting together.

Having the cyclist all stand together. On this day it is not a race on the dirt, a race on the track, or a race on the Capitol Crescent is a chance to ride together. Old and Young.....Doctors along side of Computer Technicians....couriers along side of policemen....the Titanium Road bike along side of the steel clunker purchased at Walmart. On this day we are all the same.....CYCLISTS.

Once it was all over and the cold wet miles were behind me I gathered with a slew of cyclist at the WABA table which was convienently next to the DOMINOS table where I ate some slices while sharing the final minutes of the day with some fellow cyclists. There was very little talk about wet feet or soaked gloves....some did joke that a climb or two were missed and that they should be added for next year, but over all the course was more than pleasant. It was a feel good day even inspite of the rain. Very glad that this event exists and just as glad that I participated and offered my assistance.....even if the only bike I had to do a repair on was that of an unregistered homeless man with a flat tire. I figured although he was not registered for BIKE DC looks like he rides BIKE DC everyday.

next year I plan to be out there again
hopefully the weather will be more welcoming
and that there will be a greater turn out