Rants on Cycling and on Life


Just one more rant before I head out the door....

Another thought that has been in my head is that I seldom BLOG about my wife Lisa
after reading over the introduction and the first entries by Marc V. on his BLOG page I realized that I need to give 'props' to my wife lisa
(excuse my failing attempt to sound hip or cool)

lisa rocks!

to quote 3rd grade friend and neighbor Kara..."lisa is pretty cool for a wife"
kara is right....lisa is pretty cool for a wife!

lisa loves her family and lisa loves me
sure she loves her boys before she loves me
but, perhaps they need more of her than I do
Grant and Dean most definitely do
especially 9 month old Grant
and well
I guess Roscoe and Brutus need her a tad more than I do as well
that is not to say that after lisa has shared her love with her two sons and her two dogs that she does not have time for me
cause she does

when dinner is cooked.....there is always some for me
when lisa does is not just for her and the kids, but she does laundry for me
when lisa brings home the bacon and pays the bills....she not only does this for the family, but she does this for me
when lisa unloads the dishwasher.....she does this.....well, she does this cause she has OCD
yet, it still benefits me

our relationship has grown and changed over the years

we have been married for a handful of years and we dated for a handful of years before that
come august this year those handfuls will add up to be roughly a decade
that is a long time for someone to put up with me for
she is a good sport
she understands my needs
and aids in fostering my interests
lisa accepts my personality flaws and seldom complains

now don't get me wrong
lisa is my wife and lisa is a women
so as cool as she may be
she still possesses all that it is that makes a person a woman and a wife
as far as women and wives go
I think I got a good one

it is beautiful to see her interact with Dean and Grant
no one can make Grant giggle and coo like she can
Dean is lucky to have a Tom-Boy for a mom cause he is a rough and tumble kid
and you know what
it still turns me on to see her bend down to pick something up
not only does lisa rock, but she is hot too!

and if any gossips want to share this with lisa
go ahead and tell her that I want the shaft driven Copenahgen for CHRISTMAS!

Another rant....not sure where this is going....

A few weeks ago I had the honor of being awarded a Sportsmanship Award from a race promoter in Deleware. It is an honor and a priledge as well as being something that I blogged about previously. The RANT is just a few postings down and I feel that it is well worth a look. Please scroll down and take a read.

In the experience of recieving this award I experienced some revelations.

Most of these revelations surrounded death and our understanding of death. The award that was given to me was in honor of a cyclist from that racing community, his name was Andrew Mein. Andrew died one day while riding home from work on his bicycle. Before going to this awards banquet I thought that I had a good understanding of the loss (I already blogged about it, so I will try not to repeat myself) Once at the banquet I heard a speech from one of Andrew's close friends, Marc Vettori, I started to get a better idea about death....not just the death of a fellow cyclist, but death as a whole. A few days after receiving the award I happened to catch the HBO documentary, LAST LETTERS HOME, as mentioned previously in one of my postings I cried for a full hour only to break between tears to curse George W. Bush. We hear the death count, we balance the scales of the lives lost. Always less Americans dead than Iraqis, for some reason this makes us feel better. But each death is just another number. Somehow we manage to dehumanize these deaths. We keep it all in our heads as numbers. But each and every one of these persons who dies is more than a number. Each person is a child to two parents, perhaps a brother or a sister, maybe a husband or a wife, and worst of all maybe a parent themselves. This dead parent will never live to see their children grow. Leaving a child that will never grow to know that parent. AND FOR WHAT? Can someone tell me what this is all for?

With these thoughts of the life and death I have become more concerned with my behavior and the behavior of others.....
running stop signs
road rage

not just to the cyclist
car on car!


I am lost
not sure where I was trying to take this
when starting this entry my intention was to link to Marc Vettori's NEW BLOG SITE
somehow my ADD brain went in all sorts of unrelated directions
oh well
such is life being me
welcome to my mind
(and this is the censored part....cleared up for mass consumption)

has not posted since September
either he has been forbidden to blog
has a new site under a new name
has been sent home
or has been killed

or maybe he is headed to the NY TIMES BEST SELLER LIST

oh yea
what was BUSH talking about when he said, "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED?"

I do not feel sorry for Tyler

Tyler "Dopey" Hamilton gets fired

in his own words

he is getting old anyway
depending on who tells the story he gets to end this year on a high (gold medal) or on a low note

either way
I do not like the way these athletes represent the sport

someone tell me this.....
is it possible that Lance Armstrong's Cancer was caused by irresponsible enhancements
perhaps doping or steroid use?


F*** the SOUTH

this is well worth a look
it is amusing
as well as well written

I have not had the time to click on all (or any for that matter) of the hot links
seems that someone has a good amount of time on their hands
my guess....other aspects of their life may be suffering

please take a look
and if you get offended
oh well
that is your problem


Let me draw some attention to some of my Friend's Links...

Tim Faia: husband, father, fast cyclist who blogs about water, coffee, food, and snow

Mr. Funk who blogs about his Courier Company and has a second blog that is getting primary attention on MUSIC

Soooz and her Dreams

BK aka Kemler and his Postcards from Mexico (he has transplanted himself to Mexico City)

Rocco and his new MESSAGE BOARD (well, his blog that links to his message board)

Timmy P, fellow Karate Monkey Lover and Blog-meister Extrodinaire with his Photo of the Day!

one of my many E-quantances PUNK ASS BITCH

and of course

Joe Foley a man of a few words

that should be enough for now
in the comments section leave links
to those who felt left out...send your links to me
I will post them
I will try to get proactive on cleaning up my templates
as well as trying to figure out a way to truncate my entries
only to be expanded by those who wish to read further

why not.....DT one of the Cult of the Single Speed

More Lies to the American People....

no this is not another Bashing of Bush and his misleading information as to the mysterious WMD, but rather the false scientific information that is being spread in the Abstinence Programs

Washington Post Article


The Drudge Report

it has been my contention since I was a young skeptical teen that it is the failure of the government to feed the public with false information

AIDS is serious enough without having to lie about the statistics

Pregnancy is a serious enough issue to not have to stretch the truth

when someone is lied to it becomes more difficult for them to believe even when they are told the truth

I say give it to us straight
no need for embellishment or exaggeration
the truth is scary enough


Various Bike Stuff

Kevin Dillard of NCVC has some photos posted at TRUESPORT.COM

and while doing some random Web Surfing I stumbled on this after doing a GOOGLE....

Cycling Central
... I think he was riding a Surly Karate Monkey with gears with Chris Redlack. ... I think
he was riding a Surly Karate Monkey with gears with Chris Redlack. ... index.php?showtopic=1719&st=30 - 49k - Cached - Similar pages

I wonder what the forum is about?
Something good?
Something BAD?
it seems to be discussing me!
who did I offend this time?

also on the Redlack tip....chris sent me this article this morning
it is a bummer
exactly why I do not own a gun
hope that this guy has a cycling team as a jury or better yet 12 couriers or maybe 12 bicycle commuters

mornings/life is cumulative
yesterday morning after I made that hectic cross down dash to drop Dean off at Rosemount Center for his Anarchy in the Pre-K experience
I leashed up the dogs and headed out into Rock Creek Park
unleashed the dogs 20 yards from my front stoop after crossing the street and entering the woods
as I walked behind Roscoe and Brutus down the trail across the street from my house the dogs stopped at a cross roads
left we could do the short loop behind the original location of Rosemount Center
roscoe pointed right in anticipation of heading over to the Melvin Hazen trail to do a longer loop that gave them a chance to splash in the waters of Rock Creek
I followed Roscoe to the right
the dogs frantically paced around my legs in anticpation of me putting them back on the leash to head across the street and over the bridge into the slightly more dense section of woods
after a refreshing hike through slippery crushed leaves on risky off camber heavily eroded slopes I headed back home to remove my sweaty morning duds and gear up for a quick commute into work
as on Mondays I work the late shift there is just enough time for a 35-45 minute pleasure cruise
like a fool I spun for over an hour after my elongated morning hike with the dogs
manicly spinning I raced the Karate Monkey Single Speed in an effort to make my 11 am in time
10 minutes late
that is the problem with being slow on the 45 minute rides take an hour and my hour rides take an hour and a half
this morning was particularly slow as a 35 minute ride took me well over 60 minutes
even if I was rotating my cranks way beyond my threshhold

the work day went its merry post holiday course
burried in work that was ignored before Thanksgiving
rushing to complete work that must be done before Christmas
then why am I BLOGGING? Cause I can and cause I MUST!

after work I slid right off the dinosaur back onto the bike
rather than heading straight home I went across the river into Virginia to take in a view of the city as it reflects upon the Potomac River
out to Washington National that is now called Reagan National as the idiotic Republicans felt that it needed to be named after a president
only to turn it around and head for home on the carless Mount Vernon Trail
on the ride out I had seen a paraplegic on a race style wheel chair making his commute
it was my intention to make contact with him on my return
as I weaved down the path along the river there were very few cyclists headed in either direction
eventually as I was nearly out of trail I came up on the low cruising wheel chair racer
just as I would with any trail user I accessed his gear
his ride was sleek and high tech
he had good marking for reflectors with lights and a vest
there were still race numbers pinned to the back of his chair rest
the only thing unfitting for him was that he was still wearing his pin stripped pants from his work day
I slowed my pace
we chatted
it was a pleasant exchange
we talked about his placing second in the Marine Corps Marathon this year, but finishing an hour slower than last year
I spoke of the fragility of life and how seeing him is a reminder of the risks we take
we spoke of how he came to be in the wheel chair
apparently he was in a high dive accident, I refrained from any jokes about a high dive into a shallow pool
he was positive and friendly
we shook hands and exchanged names
I thanked him for his inspiration and I thanked him to myself for his warning/reminder at how fragile life is and can be

pedaled on home to find that lisa was just putting Grant to bed
and Dean had just been put to bed early himself

so I leashed the dogs and went for a walk in the woods
we did not take the right to the water
instead we took the left to the short loop

life is cumulative
I did not hike and ride my bike in an effort to train for various multi hour races next season
I was not thinking of beating previous year's time in the Shenadoah Mountain 100
I hiked my dogs and rode my bike because that is what I do and because that is a great way to spend my time

these things do add up
not neccessarily training
but definitely a great way to live life
after all life is cumulative

Mount Vernon is the house that George Washington once called home
this trail heads from Key Bridge in Georgetown/Rosslyn all the way to Mt. Vernon
it is a great ride along the Potomac River

Mount Vernon Trail
Melvin Hazen Trail
Rock Creek Park


we all need to have patience
yes, in that senstive Axel Rose sort of way
we all need a little patience
the key to parenting is patience
the key to dealing with others in public is patience
when dealing with other parents in public it is vital to have an excess of patience
we are all overly protective of what is ours, especially our children

over the past several days I had various "incidents" with an assortment of parents
all of which involved a need for attention towards our own children as much as towards others
co-parenting perhaps?
well, that is what it should be
that is not the way it tends to be
as for me....I need to re-evaluate my dealings with others in public
crashing and coliding into other adult personalities just makes for an awkward experience
and who wants to feel awkward

INCIDENT ONE: Pittsburgh Children's Museum

Dean was crawling in a massive structure that looked like a bird's version of a gerbil's "haba-trail"
there was this multi-level structure strung together with all sorts of cables
it was huge, maybe 3 stories high and 30 feet in diameter
with holes cut through out each level for a small person to climb through
after Dean was in this structure for some time I thought that I might climb in myself
maybe spook Dean
maybe share the fun with my son
I consulted with a museum employee as to the rules of this structure
she said, "sure....climb on in! have fun! that is what it is there for"
so I did.... I climbed in
early on into this odd structure, just a few levels up I started to feel slightly claustrophobic
a level which may be large enough for a toddler or small child to crawl in was just enough room for me to fit
after all I am a bit of a beast
I tried to snake my way from opening to opening as best I could
half way up I ran into some bottle neck
a few girls wanted to go back down
they waited
as I noticed that they did not realize they would have to move I decided I would just head back down
I said my good byes to these girls and tried to snake my way down
just as I had snaked my way up
only upside down this time
in doing so I clumsily stepped on one of the girl's fingers
having noticed this I checked that she was okay, made my apologize and then went down
then called Dean to come down
since he rarely listens to me
I enticed him down by asking if he wanted to see if "the cousins" where here yet
just as Dean and I were about to leave for another section of the museum I got a tongue lashing from the young girl's grandmother..."YOU SHOULD NOT BE IN THERE! YOU ARE TOO BIG! THIS IS FOR KIDS!"
anyone who knows me knows I am not much for taking orders
after all....I am just a big kids
and not unlike most kids....I am not much for being yelled at
I was calm a patient for a few lashings of the tongue
I said that it had been an accident and that I was sorry
but this little lady was determined to drive it home
so I informed her that I had checked with the museum employees and they had told me that I was more than welcome to climb in the giant bird cage
we went back and forth
neither getting anywhere other than frustrated and angry
and went our separate ways
once the dust settled I tried to approach her again in another section of the musem
there was no reasoning with her
so I agreed with her
admitted that I was wrong to climb in the giant bird cage that was clearly for kids
then we went our separate ways
she may have been satisfied, until she saw me going down the giant slide that fed out of the anti-gravity room

oh well, I paid my eight bucks
and I was not going to let someone who was tired of living to stop me from having fun

I did feel bad about stepping on her grand daughter's finger
but in our society we are not judged solely on actions but also on intentions
to granny's attack I plead not guilty or perhaps insanity
INCIDENT TWO: Food Court off Interstate 70

in an outlet mall on the way back from Pittsburgh we stopped in at the food court to get some food
after eating some substandard grub Dean went over to play on one of those coin operated cars that shakes about in place for a few seconds at a cost of fifty cents
the type of device that they are perfectly satisfied sitting in without the vibration
until an ignorant parent like myself puts the unsolicitated money in the slot
the once perfectly fine inactive car now needs more money to be active
we went over there and waited as a women finished feeding her child so that Dean could satisfy his immediate need
Dean was well behaved and entirely patient
after the little girl climbed out Dean moved towards the car
just as he was about to climb in the door way of this little Who Framed Roger Rabbit car a long legged girl stepped in front of him and started to pry her way in
Dean pushed his way past her and snuck his way in the door
the mother of this girl yelled at Dean, "NO PUSHING! DON'T PUSH!"
yes Dean had pushed this girl
the girl had failed to wait her turn
a common case of action and reaction
without her action of stepping out of turn there would not have been the reaction to push
not to mention it was a 3 year old vs. a 7-9 year old
clearly the mother should have given greater attention to her daughter than my son
we were able to sort it out minutes later after the smoke settled
it was a pleasant exchange
glad we left friends
unlike the sour old grandmother from Pittsburgh who is sure to mace the next poor fellow who vaguely resembles me

INCIDENT THREE: The National Zoo

yesterday morning I called one of our neighbors to see if I could borrow their older son, Elijah
Dean and Elijah are buddies and pals, perhaps even best friends
it was clearly too nice a day for them to be playing around indoors
we tried the deck out back, but that was only good for 20 minutes
so I packed a survival kit filled with juices, clementines, fig newtons, and a FONZ card for free popcorn
then we marched down the road to the zoo
Dean felt a need to stop and rest periodically
there were some minor complaints of his stomach hurting
but his activity level made me think he was fine and just feeling that he needed to have Elijah slow down the pace
this complaint that I thought was fabrication until he had a machine gun vomit session at dinner time later that evening
we made the several block trek to the rear entrance to the zoo
and headed straight for the PIZZA PARK
it is fantastic
a massive structure that resembles a large pizza roughly 20 feet in diameter
there is an olive large enough for the kids to climb through
as well as sliced onions and mushrooms that can be stacked or tossed
and also a large wedge of cheese that works perfectly as a slide
then finally a whole tomato that is perfect for perching upon
the rain of the night prior left this large foam structure damp
after the boys slipped and fell and got soaked
I removed their socks and they opted to do their wrestling thing in the perimeter of the pizza park
during that time there was a girl, an older girl, perhaps in the 9-11 age range
she had stacked each and every onion and mushroom slice into a tower
Elijah could not contain himself
he approached
surveyed the situation
and did what boys do when they see towers
he knocked it over
I witnessed the whole thing
sure I could have stopped it
there are times where you just have to let boys be boys
and let the world sort itself out
to my dismay
this girl was a tad sensitive
she threw a tantrum more fitting to a three year old
and stomped away
as she went to put on her shoes and evacuate
I had Elijah approach her and make an apology
there was a fitting full sentence that I wanted Elijah to deliver
"I am sorry, I had not realized that you were still playing with those pieces"
but, Elijah is more of a one word type of guy
he issued his sorry, spun around and went along his way
never being heard by this somewhat temperamental girl
so I had him say it again
he did his same routine of a quick unheard apology and spin in the opposing direction
I asked that he make eye contact and say the whole sentence
two more tries later
he had her attention
only to get an aggressive reaction to his sincere apology
of what sounded like "go to hell"
I looked at the parent and said...did she say "go to hell?"
the mother assured me that she said "whatever!?!?!?"
either way
the meaning was go to hell
it seemed like Elijah was being an appropriate 4 year old (nearly, his birthday is next month)
sure I could have stopped him
but I tried to educate him afterwards
while this mother enabled the tantrum
did not instruct her daughter to behave more empathetically to 4 year olds
not to mention
her child was monopolizing each and every topping for that pizza
leaving all the other children with a plain pizza pie

this is basically how my life goes....

I go around doing things that I need to apologize for

if you go to Pittsburgh
even if you are not a child or if you have children
museum geeks (their words not mine)

Pizza park Review

Zoo on Pizza


Back from the Burgh....
another Thanksgiving Weekend behind us
we managed to survive the fog filled drive up to Pittsburgh over the passes in Western Maryland and West Virginia
the car traffic filled drive back to DC on Saturday was not as painful as what must have happened today, but trying just the same with an occassional crying baby and an intermidently complaining toddler
we may have been the only car on the highway without a portable (or built in) DVD player
we drove the several month old Honda Element and doubled the logged miles in just a weekend
many of the miles were spent tailgating a Ford Explorer so that I would not miss the climatic ending of The Little Mermaid

highlights from the weekend.....
Dean getting to hang with his cousins
Grant getting to hang with his grandmother; Miga as she is called (mother side)
trip to the Pittsburgh Children's Museum with the cousins
(hope the new and improved DC Children's Museum is as awesome as the one in The Burgh)
and me getting to witness it all
playing X Box with my 5 year old nephew Billy (Amped 2; snowboarding in a shockingly accurate Breckenridge Colorado, he taught me a trick or two)
Thanksgiving matinee; The Polar Express (which Tom Hanks did not ruin, was good even with him doing five voices when he only has one)
eating turkey
eating more turkey
eating at Primantti Brothers downtown with the fries right on the sandwich
eating leftovers
too much left overs
winter weight starting to settle in
that last slice of pumpkin pie may have thrown the scale back over the 230 mark
must fight hitting 240 too soon if at all
then finally
sleeping in my own bed on Saturday night after a long weekend of sharing a pull out couch with Dean

Saturday night had its own little antics