Rants on Cycling and on Life


FLASHBACK: Reprint: Reissue
here is an email that I created when I SPAMMED a list of friends with my rants
when my life was PB
( Pre-Blog)

yesterday I was doing a post work spin on my Kona Humahuma-nuka-nuka-
apoha-ah out on the Mt Vernon trail
I was spinning the single speed gearing around as fast as it could
go, which does not propel the bike all that fast
but manages to give me a pretty solid work out in a very short time
this is how I try to get a four hour ride done in only 45 minutes out
on the bike
the view along the river was epic as usual
the post work traffic on the was getting thick, again as usual
I rode out past the airport and turned around at the wooden boardwalk
just before the beginning of Old Town Alexandria
my turn around was to the outside and not on the trail, as I know how
dangerous a blind buttonhook can be
people are always button hooking right in front of me
if only they could repeat after me...
"look before you buttonhook!"
"look before you buttonhook!"
"look before you buttonhook!"
or even better button hook onto the grass and take a look before re-
entering the grass
but my lectures are for another time and another group of people

[that mantra is as close to my heart as "pass bicyclist, don't harass
bicyclists", but this is not for trail users but a subliminal message
that I want to be implanted in people's head, hidden in subliminal
frequencies that could play over their car radios, or perhaps in the
background of the elevator music played at the MVA/DMV so each
licensed driver walked away with an updated license and an updated
sense of respect for the cyclist ((more realistically this would make
for a great red bumper sticker to be placed on STOP signs, using the
word STOP and the sticker reading HARASSING CYCLISTS, and in small
letters...pass cyclists don't harass cyclists))]

the ride was business as usual
there were many people riding too fast
all sorts of people drafting/racing/being all out reckless
very few people were giving any warning to the other trail users
walkers/runners/and other cyclists were all being harassed as much as
being passed
showing each other basic disrespect
all the while runners were stopping at inopportune times and doing
that buttonhook thing that can be so dangerous

knowing how much I hate to be spooked by a rider passing closely
without warning
I was ringing my little frog bell as I passed each other trail user
often saying excuse me as I felt can often lessen the effect of a
close pass
sure there were some passes that offended a few, but I tried to be as
safe and pleasant as possible while still getting a workout
and when I am quasi-dangerous, I want to at least be pleasant

then when approaching one of the road crossings I was passed by a
women on an old school Bridgestone with mustache bars coming the
other way
then following behind her was a women on a generic department store
bike outfitted with tri bars and other equipment
she crossed the road, over the curb, and onto the trail
soon she realized she would not be able to hold her lane and make the
winding curve without having an head on collision with me
she opted to go straight, off the trail, over the grass, and into the
airport service road never checking to see if a car was coming from
either direction
clearly out of control she went off the curb and got thrown from her
stuck in the tri-bar position, out of reach of her brakes
by this time I was at a standstill watching it all
as she tumbled on the asphalt and the bike crashed riderlessly
against the curb
I went to her aid, as well did another cyclist
she seemed okay and it was clear that she wanted me to retrieve her
I took off spinning, hectically spinning
lucky for me this other rider had slowed down, the maximum speed of
my cruiser is slow
when I caught her she was frightened and excited that her friend was
seriously hurt, which she appeared not to be
we rushed back
the other cyclist was reviewing the condition of the fallen cyclist and of her bike
the cyclist who had crashed was back
with everything under control I figured I best be off before I chewed
her out
as she was out of control and could have seriously hurt someone,
namely me!

it was a wake up call
the trails are not really any safer than the streets
and the best place for racing is at the races
one thing I love about doing a race on a Sunday is having a trail
marked off
knowing I can take a turn or downhill fast and not have to worry
about a horse or a dog or a blue haired lady to be coming up the
other way
the likelihood of a cyclist coming the opposite way is rare
and the other riders may be more knowledgeable about courtesy and
or maybe not

in any case
enough time with this
back to work for me

this is a story that can be any or everyday
the close calls
the interaction cyclists who are moving beyond their means
glad no one was hurt on that day
glad I was not hurt
just as everyone puts themselves first
I also put myself first, only I do not do it at their expense




and Artist Review in a Person's Blog

A Photo a Day?

Fellow Karate Monkey riding BLOGGER TimmyP has started to post a PHOTO A DAY
in this digital age there is no reason why I should not do the same
they say "a picture is worth a thousand words"
maybe I could spare people
instead of typing my thousand word rants I could load an image a day
that is not to say that I would limit my Blog Compulsion
it may give my images more relevance

below is an image of Dean and Grant taking a bath
often to make the bathing experience more interesting (for me and for them) I blow bubbles for them


for those who do not know
the best bubbles on the market are from Gymboree
bubble art
more bubble art

maybe my BLOG will move from Bicycle related topics to BUBBLES!


New Business Cards
Original Thought?

Yesterday I called Mike K. at the Chevy Chase City Bikes location. It was an odd occurrence. Mike actually had more than a second to talk with me, unfortunately I called just to catch up; not to pick his brain on product or to make an order....if only I could nail him down with an excess of time to talk when I need to order something. In any case, Mike K. and I were talking about life...his new one month old son 9 month old son Grant....his older older son...ideas of trying to balance riding with the responsibilities of work and family life....and then as I brought up various other topics I was amazed that Mike K. had more useful information on each and every idea that I brought forth.

Sure, Mike K. has been in the bike industry for over 12 years so he will be able to compare and contrast Suntour to Shimano with the best of them, or marketing failures of the industry over the years, but when I brought up the ideas of the Republican Govenor's plan on selling public land he was able to explain to me one step further HOW FUCKED UP THAT ALL IS! I shared with him my ideas of everyone driving in their own neighborhoods as a PACE VEHICLE, he told me that this is already a nation wide movement, then when we talked about the issue of Commuting and my desire to create an anonymous business card that Read on one side

Just Traffic
Just Like You
only I am on a bike and you are in a car

then on the other side there would be a long list of the laws
a cyclists rights
how the car driver's have opted to modify the laws within an accepted parameters
how a cyclist also often modifies the laws within what may be accepted parameters

Mike K. told me that there are people already handing out such cards

what is my point....
give mike a call
ask him some questions
listen to him
he and his wife have been and are currently very active in the cycling community
these are people that we need to appreciate
they are the ones trying to assure a safe place for the cyclist in the future of this country (and this world)

now it is time to work
I am at work
yes I do other stuff at work than BLOG
work is what keeps me from being able to proof read my entries

A Party on a Wednesday Night?

Garcia the local motorcycle mechanic was in the alley behind his house waiting to meet up with a person in need of some motorcycle maintenance when I cut through the alley behind his house to get to a party on Kilbourn Place a few blocks from my house on Park Road. Knowing that Garcia is an interesting sort who enjoys a party I extended the invitation. Garcia questioned why someone would have a party on a Wednesday night....I responded quite quickly, "For the same reason someone would have a party on a Saturday night."

Garcia and I talked about the beautiful Yamaha RD 350 that was front and center in his garage, then his friend with a motorcycle in need rolled up, and I said my hellos and goodbyes then I walked on my way. Mistakenly I had told Garcia that the party was on the 1800 Block of Lamont Street, but as I got closer to the 1800 Block the email invite breezed through my head.....KILBOURN STREET became highlighted. I walked on using the old rule of House Parties...."no need for the exact address....if the party is good enough to go to you should be able to recognize it from the street." (sight or sound or collection of bicycles locked up on the sidewalk)

Sure enough, I walked up Lamont, over one block on 18th Street, then back down Kilbourn. It seems that John had no need to hire movers. He had moved from one group house on Lamont Street that backed up to another group house on Kilbourn Street. Before entering the house I ran into friend and fellow father Dave out walking his muppet of a dog Ollie. We chatted as we watched the party goers enter the party with bottles of wine in hand. Either way I knew it was a party. No matter what I was going to have a glass of wine. Right party or not!

I walked into the party with some hesitation, not knowing if this was the right place. I avoided any lengthy eye contact and moved my way towards the "hooch" in the kitchen. Before I got to the kitchen I ran into my friend and host, John Monte. John is a character, we grew up together, never entirely that close, but always living somewhat parallel lives; same grade school, same high school, an overlap of friends, we both work/worked in the news industry, and we both live in Mt. Pleasant. John was in mid story (of which he has many) so I went to get a glass of wine and join him after he finished his tale, and could start fresh story with me. I returned for a hug, an handshake, and some colorful tales of his adventures in Afghanistan. This is Washington DC, not rural Iowa, so most of the stories I hear from Afghanistan or Iraq are not told by soldiers, but rather by film makers, photographers, and journalists. John falls into the category of film maker, perhaps DOCUMENTARIAN.

The party was filled with eclectic people with colorful resumes, endless stories and anecdotes of different sketchy experiences in different sketchy places in different sketchy times. Passports being stamped and memories being made. Collections of rugs and knick knacks only to be topped by the collection of photos and stories. I met various people, some who felt compelled to chat about their recent experiences in Kabul others who shared exchanges about whatever came to their heads. There were brief discussions about the Bush predicament and the Bush Dynasty that is being built and the ugly future of our once glorious nation.

(by Bush Dynasty I mean to say that I have accepted the next four years of George, but I fear the next 8 of Jeb, and the 8 after that of Jeb's son...shit....fasten your seat belts this may be a risky ride)

There was a good mix of ladies and gentlemen. The exchanges were clever and fun, more light and fun than serious. There were a few Macs set up in the living room playing slide shows from Afghanistan, really some epic imagery, but that is what these guys do and mountain ranges are so beautiful that even an amateur like myself could score and epic shot here and there.

There seemed to be a number of people in the Cult of Yoga, all of which were followers of the style known as Bikram. A non-Yoga type joked about his development of Yoga in pill form. We discussed about the FDA approval of such a pill as well as the potential of overdosing. Apparently he was confident that overdosing on such a pill would just make you really limber, really really limber, like a boneless chicken. (that is more of a Gary Larson joke than a Jessica Simpson brain fart)

I stayed way past my bed time. Somehow my need for a nap or an early bedtime was superseded by my need to socialize. Shrewdly I opted to hang and hydrate rather than depart and crash. The morning was far less painful than I had feared. Both Dean and Grant slept through the night, and slept late into the morning. Lisa had evacuated and was well on her way to work by the time Dean rose out of bed screaming. Grant was asleep by my side in an angelic form. I rushed from bed to hush Dean as it is always easier to let someone wake up naturally at their own time.

I had Dean dressed and reading a book with his cold medicine in his belly by the time Soledad arrived. Dean traded up for Soledad as I meandered about the house getting ready for work. I check on Grant as I gathered my clothing for the day, when he finally started to stir I took a few photos of him then took him downstairs to join the party. Grabbed my coffee and sat down with Soledad, Grant, and Dean to read Dean the same book that I had read him earlier and Soledad had just read him then. Apparently Dean wanted to hear about the mice and the pumpkins one more time.

With a glance at my watch I realized that I had to start motioning towards the bicycle and the door, but only after walking the dogs. I finished my coffee, grabbed some grapefruit juice, leashed up the dogs and walked across the street and into the woods. We did a quick 20 minutes in the woods. Only encountering a Bernesse Mountain Dog named Kona (without his owner or his dog companion Ajax) and had a near "incident" as the man who lives in the woods down the block was moving slowly up the street talking to himself as he limped slowly with his crutches under his arms. He froze when he saw me and I calmly called the dogs and had them on leash before Roscoe or Brutus got sight of this less than sane being.

Back into the house with plenty of time to suit up in some lycra and pedal into work on time when Soledad told me that the vacuum was not working. So in an effort to prove that men are not in fact useless I made an effort to make a quick repair of the vacuum. Sure enough the long black and gray hairs of Roscoe and Brutus had wrapped tightly around the barrel mechanism that rotates to pick up the various stuff on the floor. I disassembled the mechanism cut it free, reassembled everything got suited up and headed down the alley behind my house when I realized I needed to go back and get my helmet.

Rode in incident free this am. Enjoying yet another very warm day. Perhaps a day so warm that I could have rolled down the leg warmers and the arm warmers to get that Jennifer Beels look going, but in such a short ride there was neither time nor necessity. Then one block from work the road was blocked off. I went through the path blocked by the fireman to get to work and to get a closer look at the scene. Tried to piece it together. There was a man being put on a backboard. A Northface Courier bag was on the pavement, the man had large wounds on his head, bleeding and already swollen. There was a Super Shuttle Van in the middle of the road at an angle. I scanned the area for a bicycle. Took one last look and headed on my way.

Biker or not biker I took this as a sign. Like the rumor of the office romance gone sour, or the person tripping over the branch on the sidewalk, I will try to take this example of this injured man as a reminder of how fragile life is and how dangerous the roads are. Whether on bike or on foot I need to respect how ignorant and obnoxious most car drivers are.

Take it Light.

Enjoy your Health!
Enjoy your Day!
Try to Appreciate Your Life Around You!

oh....and do not be afraid of an occassional Wednesday Night Party!



a little fun game
we all grew up reading HIGHLIGHTS
there were those pictures where we had to tell what was different in each image
here is one
there are three differences
I can only find 2

test your skills
3 Differences

let me know what the 3 difference you find are


Lessons Learned

In life we often like (well, actually we dislike) to learn our lessons by doing.
We all fall flat on our face and say to ourselves..."I better not let that happen again!"


when walking down the sidewalk and the person in front of you trips on a fallen tree branch
do you trip on that branch
or learn from that person's error and modify your own behavior
and step around or over the obstacle

here at work there is some strange talk going around
something about, well, an "office romance"
it was funny to hear the gossip until all the pieces of the puzzle were put together
the specifics are not vital
we can all picture the mess
the mess at work
the unseen mess at work
those directly involved in the action now do not know who heard what, who thinks what, who has now altered their opinion all involved in the questionable behavior
what they thought was all fun, exciting, and dangerous
is now depressing and painful

this is one obstacle that we all need to step around
we have seen others trip on it
no reason we need to trip on this ourselves

the incident in question is all a bunch of rumors
who knows the facts
it may all be talk
it may all be he said/she said
either way
it is a pleasant reminder to WALK THE LINE!

Cars, Shoes, and Hair-

In my mind these may well be three of the most forward ways for an individual to express their personal interests and perhaps their personality. People will buy shoes and cars to try either live a certain lifestyle or to be linked to a certain lifestyle. Runners are not the only ones wearing running shoes and very infrequently does your average soccer mom need four wheel drive. Hair is a topic I have less of an opinion on, as I have none. But, when meeting someone it seems to be that one of the first things we look at is the hairstyle that this person has chosen. Then we ask ourselves, what does this hairstyle say about them; conventional, non-conformist, slob, hipster, athlete, headbanger, etc.

(eye glasses also fit in there, but only a small percentage of people wear them, but those that do....I bet they struggle to select the frames that suit their inner being the best)

((facial hair also fits into this outward expression of who we are and how we want others to perceive us, but this blog is already headed in too many directions to cover all ideas...and I do not want to get into how the frat boy has ruined the goat-tee and these fashions that were made fun of my so many are now worn by those that were asking 5-10 years ago...."what is that on your face?"))

With the shoes and cars it is clear when we look at the potential functionality of each as well as the advertising campaign of each. Although we may live in the city or the suburbs we still buy these products that may be catering to what appear to be the needs of someone living in the mountains, the country, or even the wilderness. We cling to that identity and we make an effort to let that idea become part of our own personal identity.

The car is an expensive purchase, other than a house it is the single most expensive product purchase that a person can make. As much as people would not like to agree, the car is an extension of its owner. There are certain cars that express this more obviously than others....Jeeps being number one on my the list of car owners seeking a perceived identity. Seems that the Jeep (CJ series) owner is always on their way to a SUNKIST commercial, no matter what season. The driver of this vehicle has forsaken comfort for fashion. The short wheel base makes a rocky uncomfortable ride, the soft top is loud at high speed and cold in the winter, they are far from fuel efficient, yet Jeep owners love their Jeeps. Why? Because they feel a certain way when they drive them!

In the mid-70s the Camero had a certain identity. In my mind it was all CHEESE. But to the owner of a Camero this car was IT! The car was fast and powerful and had lines that were appealing to the purchaser. In my mind the BMW is the Camero of the modern day. It is a fast performance car, the driver's tend to feel that they are empowered behind the wheel. As I ride my bike around the city each day I access all the driver's around me and try to anticipate their behaviors, all in an effort to arrive alive. Different license plates portray different identities, DC Paper Tags being the most dangerous in the list, then each state having its own driving style. Then ethnicity and sex of the driver is also taken into account and of course.....the make, model, and condition of the car.

Each day I am passed fast and close by an assortment of drivers, many drivers tailgate me in an effort to force me aside so that they can be closer to the bumper in front of them.

This am I did that short cross town commute, not the fun one, but the short is a 15-20 minute urban commute, through neighborhoods along what is the commuter route of many suburban residents headed to their downtown offices. It is a risky ride each and everyday. This morning as I headed down Conneticut Avenue towards Dupont Circle I was being tailgated by a car, more specifically a BMW. I was moving at a healthy clip, but not so fast as I was on the single speed, yet going fast enough downhill that I was going faster than traffic, and forced to slow to keep a safe distance between me and the car in front of me. While going down hill I could feel the rev of the engine behind me, it was not immediately behind me, but closer than I felt comfortable with. The far right lane is filled with parked cars, the next lane over was blocked by Metro buses and various cars and trucks double parking to load and unload, so the middle lane was the most sensible lane for me to travel in at this point in time. When I saw fit I moved over allowing the car driver to pass, they immediately were stuck in a line of cars stopped at a light. I stopped along side of the car....

He was good enough to open his window for a little pre-work exchange. He started by turning his car slightly in my direction and revving his engine. Then he rolled down his window and asked, "what is your problem?" I responded, "I was wondering what your problem were tailgating me all the way down the road." He quickly spits back at me, "you were taking the whole middle lane!" Without pause, while maintaining my cool, "it was clear that the right lane was blocked with the metro bus and the vans loading and unloading!"

then things went sour

that answer was not good enough for him
he said something non-sensical and personal
maybe with more revving of the engine

I made some unrelated comment about him voting for Bush and contributing to the demise of our country and that he and his boyfriend were total losers.....then he told me that my "animal friend" and I were losers....I was not sure if he meant Kerry or was implying that I was into beastiality

either way
I had lost my cool!
my effort to open his eyes to my rights on the bike were lost when I got personal
it is tough for a person with lycra protecting their fragile body to keep their wits about them as their advisary is pointing a very large heavy metal object at their person, in this case a very fast one with air bags and crumple resistant side panels.

forgot to mention my parting words....
simply looked him in the eyes and said.....
"I am more highly evolved than you."


Can anyone say ROAD TRIP!


Now there are four reasons to go to Ohio!

1) It is too late, but.....TO VOTE FOR KERRY!
2) Ride the COASTERS at Cedar Point!
3) Check out Vulchuers Knob!
4) to Ride Ray's Indoor Mountainbike Park!

I don't know much about Ray, just what I see at the 24Hour Events where we have raced against each other as Clydesdales!

he is short
he is a clydesdale
he posesses the two primary traits I like to see in all cyclists, Solidarity and Competition (always putting solidarity first)
he is fast and technical
he smokes cigarettes in between laps!

ray is a cool guy
hope this works out for him and the people who are close enough to appreciate it!

here is Mike Mapps skateboard dream....RAMP TECH
no one believed
they may want to look and listen up
cause Micro made it happen
even if they all said "nay!"

College can be a weird time.....
and this is most definitely an odd post
perhaps not a post for all
read further at your own risk
this post is not a good sample of my usual topics
as I tend to blog about bikes and my life
but the college topic had me thinking of the weirdness which was college life

College can be a weird time
I most certainly was surrounded by a weird bunch, disfunctional may very well describe things better than weird. There were some more odd, I mean disfunctional, than others. Names should not be named as these people may have been able to gather their wits and live and act in a more sensible fashion; or at least able to repress their disfucntional impulses.

There was one person who in particular effected the campus in a awkward and strange way. He was moist and pear shaped with an odd amount of charisma. Had the campus not loved him so much there is no way that anyone would have put up with him. Our relationship was odd, more like brothers than friends. We were friends, but the static was strong, stronger than our friendship, we battled and we argued, yet we continued to gravitate towards each other. He was always showing up at parties wearing my clothes, as well as climbing from the outside deck of his second floor apartment to our third floor apartment to fix himself some snacks; always leaving the dirty dishes behind, invading my personal space, exposing himself far too frequently.

Trying to find a story or a tale that would sum him up best.....

The naked iguana was always a grand performance of his.....or his manic attacks that ended in a PINK FLOYDESQUE experience as he broke nearly everything he owned and lined it up in the living room just as was done in The Wall....his Sam Kineson yells...or his inability to respect anyone else's personal space...

back up a second...the Sam Kineson screams may be the path to follow

this moist pear shape beast would walk about his day doing his daily things, he would shout out utterances that appeared to be non-sensical
"It is in my ass! In my ass!"
"Professor Myers is in my ass!"
"Dorchester Hall is in my ass!"
and so on
you name it
and he said it was in his ass!
it was only years after the fact that I was able to pair his yelling with some of his behavior

there was a time when this same odd character was living off campus in a trailer
it was in God's country, Ridge Maryland, God lives in Ridge
it was a small trailer that shook with great residence each time an acorn hit the roof
not sure how this unlikely pair got together to room togehter
guess it was another situation of a brotherly relationship rather than friends
as they were not always friendly, their interactions were more like Cain and Able than Akbar and Jeff
so we were in Ridge meeting at the trailer for a drink before we really went drinking
I will make this fast and as painless as possible
not sure what we were looking for
as everything was forgotten as I stumbled in on something that no many, women, or child should ever see

In the side bedroom there was an odd gathering of what one would usually think as unrelated things....a tub of Country Crock margerine, an Atari joystick, and an adult magazine

it was clear what it was all being used for
and no one was playing SPACE INVADERS...or were they?
maybe the game was Asteroids?
okay enough already

so I discovered that this guy was running about campus yelling that unrelated things were "in his ass"
seems that this moist pear shaped beast was bored with his excessive masturbation habit
and had taken to some sort of alternate stimulation
guess that college is a time for education and discovery
in and out of the classroom

I will Post this entry for now
may end up deleting it later
it is a story that is funny when shared among friends
is just gross and weird when shared with strangers

St. Mary's College of Maryland

Over a decade ago I graduated from a small liberal arts college in southern Maryland, St. Mary's College of Maryland. Not a parochial institution, but rather a school named after the county, St. Mary's County, where the school exists.

My college experiences were more than likely not so different from most people's college experiences in those times. It was the mid to late 80's, Micro brews and good tasting beers were not within our vocabulary, no one ever considered going to coffee shops and eating carrot cake, and word of mouth superseded phone contact as we only had a hall phone in the dorms and cell phone did not yet exist. So we wandered around campus a little tired cause caffeine was not part of our daily routine (neither in the morning or in the night,) asking those who we think might know "what is happening tonight?" and then going out and buying as much cheap beer as we could possibly afford (usually National Bohemian ((Natty Boh,)) Milwakee's Best, or Schaffer ((which had a strong lobby, SFS: Students for Schaffer))) We drank. We drank fast. We drank hard. We drank often. Someone usually ended up puking. Most everyone was too hung over to learn. This was a process that was repeated nearly every night of the week, the weekend started on Wednesday and ended on Tuesday. Some nights were more significant that others, but very seldom did we take a night off.

It was odd for me to enter this college world. It was almost a regression from my high school years, where I had pretty much opted out of field parties and keg parties. My time was spent going to clubs to dance and shows to listen to live music. Oh, of course I was not too cool for high school dances, our high school dances were pretty cool (thanks Ed Mullaney!) In any case, upon arrival to college I took a "can't beat 'em...join em" approach to social life. Quickly I grew to love the field parties with their massive bon fires and drunken chaos.

My time in college was not entirely well spent. There are fond memories of windsurfing on the St. Mary's River and playing varsity soccer. There were also many great friendships forged in those years. It was a small school with a tight knit student body, we did not have a Greek System, but as with any place with people there were no shortage of cliches (clicks?) Many of the groups were set up by what dorm a person lived in, then sub divided into what hall they lived in. There were union and intersections of various groups with the sub divisions of what sports a person played and what major people had selected. But, since this college was comprised of roughly 12 hundred people (1,200) there was plenty of room for intermingling and breaking boundaries....

If the was an off campus party very seldom did anyone or any one group feel as if they could not attend. It did not matter if the party was being hosted by the rugby team or an off campus house comprised of members of the ultimate team, but if they hosted parties on the same night....well then there would be some decisions to be made. All in all it was a pretty darn good time. Each year very similar to the next, with a little variety tossed in and some variety taken away. Every year there was a new freshman class, and every year the seniors complained that the college was not as wild or as crazy as it used to be. They may have been right.

It seemed that the St. Mary's faculty wanted to be recognized by Consumer Reports for its high SATs and its liberal arts education, while the older students were still clinging to some ancient rumor that St. Mary's was ranked as one of the top ten party schools in the United States.

Either way, the world changed and St. Mary's changed. I even caught myself saying that the school was not as wild or as crazy as it once was when my graduation approached. If I ever meet an Alumni who graduated more recent then I did, there is a bit of a rift about what school we each attended, mine being a party school....theirs being an academic institution. Each claiming that their experience was superior to the other.

What is my point?

there is no point!

Water Web Cam

one thing I have noticed
everyone has grand recollection of the grand quantities of alcohol consumption while in college
I have witnessed that most of the drinking women at SMC could out drink the drinking men from most other colleges
ah, the women of St. Mary's
oh....that is a story for another day

(St. Mary's was always known as a safe place for a women to send her boyfriend)


Another day
another crash....another humbling experience

this morning was on its way to being nothing shy of epic
my trajectory was planned and all the pieces were falling into place
the weather was pleasantly unseasonably warm
a morning frost still existed on the grass and leaves along side Rock Creek Parkway, yet the sun was already warming the day
Roscoe and Brutus tugged at their leashes in anticipation of a brisk swim in the questionably clean water that is Rock Creek
(the origin of this creek is not known too me, if my sources are correct there is a Car Wash in Silver Spring Maryland that can account for most of the running water and the soap suds, the rest is spit and urine from the urban alleys that runs down the valley into the creek)
the morning hike was a tad longer than usual as my Monday schedule is not 11-7 rather than 9-5
(a change in schedule created so that I could allow time to drop Dean off at school, walk the dogs in the woods, and then a quick spin on the bike while still arriving at work on time)
I hiked the Melvin Hazen trail while the dogs splashed around in the creek
they barked incessantly for me to skip stones for them to chase
it is annoying, but it keeps them moving
I tossed a few rocks from the my top of the hill perspective
during my trek in the woods I encountering a few other hikers with their dogs, pleasant exchanges shared between all humans and all dogs
once back at the house I suited up in all that roadie gear (arm warmers, leg warmers, skin tight shirt and shorts) I rolled down the hill towards the park
I eyed the patch of land between Park Road and Beach Drive looking for that 20 yard path that would get me to the dirt quicker
took one turn too soon and zigged back
re-evaluated the approach and rolled in with aggression, attitude, and intensity
not sure what happened...there may have been a loose log under the deep leaves
or I was not at all on a trail and caught in a crag or a gully
no matter how or why....I was upside down going over the falls
doing a Polish wheelie with style
my right foot still locked in the clip, only to twist my leg and slam my calf against some unknown part of my bike
pain, plenty of pain, but no real injury
without hesitation I was back on the bike crossing the road
I tentatively rode in towards the same set of trails that I had just hiked earlier that morning, gliding over the spot where I had crashed one week prior TO THE MINUTE!
once in the woods I fought to discover a groove
it was hard to trust the tires to hold on each turn
the trails were dry
the leaves were plenty slick
so I stayed my course moving along with hesitation
and perhaps a little more respect for the potential danger of mountainbiking than I usually possess
just as well
on multiuse trails it is essential to take blind turns in anticipation of other trail users ahead
normally I do not ride with a BONZAI KAMAKAZI mode anyway, but on this day the volume was turned down a few more notches
but not so low that I did not get the pleasure of riding in the woods

even with the crash and the mellow pace I arrived to work ontime

took a long hot shower in the second floor's men's room
then went to grab some Advil and Asprin from the First Aid box above the water fountain
only to discover they have either had the pain killers stolen from the box, or the company has decided that headache medicine is a liability

either way
I was at work on time and in one piece
a great way to start the week
best that I buy some Advil and Asprin of my own
as I can not promise that I will not be crashing again any time soon