Rants on Cycling and on Life


An Unexpected Christmas Visit
I was an uninvited Christmas vistitor

During my Christmas Day adventure at my father's there was a point in the afternoon where I felt that ten month old Grant would do well to be removed from the action where he could relax and take a nap
with mention to no one but my wife Lisa I snuck out the front door and into the car
Grant was strapped into his car seat, started to squirm, then with a turn of the key, the start of the engine, and a push on the gas pedal I was rolling forward and Grant was asleep
rather than risking "the transfer" I opted to take a restful holiday drive
restful for Grant
restful for myself
unsure where I wanted to go I just drove
a few blocks away from my father's Bethesda home and I headed my truck down the path of an old holiday tradition...
Christmas at the Wilborns
somewhere in my adolescent history I became part of the Wilborn family

I have many memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas visits to the Wilborn house where I would join in on the holiday fun
(and of course there are many memories of visits with much non-holiday fun as well)

on this Christmas Day I arrived to a quiet house
(as I had expected having had email correspondence with both Mrs. Wilborn and her son Peter earlier that week)
not the open house of years past.....well not yet at least
the house was not completely dark
Mrs. Wilborn aka Belinda was busy in the kitchen....just starting to prepare for a grand multifamily production in that classic Wilborn Holiday Style
as she hustled around the kitchen I joked about the short time till the guests arrived
we talked of her eldest son Peter and the call from his family on their cross country ski vacation in Minnesota
then there was mention of the yongest brother Burke and how he was out looking at various properties for refurbishing investments
rather than mention of the now deceased middle son Jim we spoke of the wife that survived him, Sarah, and how she is spending her Christmas this year
the chatting was light
as Belinda was busy getting ready for her guests
I was trying to stay out of the way as well as someone can do who has just stopped in uninvited on Christmas Day
as Belinda multitasked her way about with lighting candles, folding napkins, and setting places I tried to be helpful with an occassional stir of boiling cranbrerries
but more than anything I tried to stay out of the way
as Mrs. Wilborn worked I walked about the sparsely decorated kitchen and let memories pass through my head: there were scrabble games, undercooked brownies, underage drinking, and lots of parties....mostly family and neighborhood parties
the refrigerator was deocrated with images of the three Wilborn boys at various stages of life
some images with the three boys together and many of them apart
I stared into the eyes of Jim Wilborn in various photographs and wondered who and what he would be now if he were still alive today
then looked at a picture of his now remarried wife Sarah and wondered if the man in a group photo was her new husband
then tucked on a shelf with various cook books I found a photo of their small black and white family dog, Maggie, and made a comment
Belinda chimmed in that it was a card from Jim that he sent after Maggie had died
I asked if I could read it
Belinda said I could

I read the letter slowly and clearly in my head
then asked without thinking, "did Jim write this letter about the death of this dog or about the death of himself?"

I wish I had a copy of the note to post it twice
once with Maggie's name and another with Jim's

I stayed for only a few minutes longer
as it got tiresome running out to the car every five minutes to see that Grant was still sleeping
I gave Belinda a hug and a kiss then drove home, Grant sleeping all the way
so I could get back to my family festivities and she could get back to preparing for hers

I replayed that message about the passing of the family dog Maggie one more time in my head
without control I cried
the Wilborn family was like a second family to me
those three brothers were like another set of brothers to me
each one as individuals having a significant impact in my life
all impacted me dynamicly
all impacted me individually

Jim died on his bicycle
although he was at times seemingly wreckless or out of control
he had an amazing natural talent as an athlete to get in and out of danger with finesse
in the case of his death he was killed stopped at a stop light waiting for the light to change
a car ran a light colliding into another car sending that car flying through the air and ending Jim's life in an instance...all a mater of chance....might as well of been lightning or a meteor
at this point in life much of his wildness was behind him
(well, other than his experessiveness on the bike, skiing, or any of his other physical persuits)
it seemed he had figured it all out
somehow in his early 20's he had learned to live without the distractions of various bullshit
the specifics of Jim's death are not important to this story
what is important is that a family with so much love lost a significant player
a mother and a father lost one of their treasured sons
two brothers lost their middle brother; a special brother at that
a women lost her husband and soul mate
and many people lost a good friend

Jim was buried the same day my brother got married
it crushed me to experience my life moving forward
while his life was literally stopped dead
so many things which I was going to experience
Jim was certainly going to miss
the pleasures of family and fatherhood
the excitement of growing forward and getting to look back and laugh
that drive from Washington DC to northern New Jersey for my brother's wedding was a tough one
I bawled uncontrolably at times as I sped dangerously through Interstate 95 traffic, while lisa slept calmly at my side
it was hard to plot a positive speech as a best man
when such somber thoughts were active in my brain

as I watched my brother's life flurish
on the other side of the country Peter and Burke watched their brother Jim's life spend its final moments above ground

I did cry when I toasted my brother
that painful mixture of happy and sad was more than I could contain
on that day I celebrated the marriage of my brother
and the death of another who was as a brother to me
rather that toast my brother with mention of my old friend Jim I made a metaphor about the relationship of brother with imagry of the relationship of my dogs; Roscoe and Brutus, who are brothers

that was many years ago.....

life does go on
everyone has moved forward
we all miss Jim in our own ways and for different reason
he is gone....we have all independently learned to accept his death whether we like it or not
but most certainly Jim Wilborn not forgotten

I will not try to sum up life and death
not for jim
not for anyone
but I most certainly will try to read that letter again
because I think that Jim tried to explain his loss before it even happened

merry christmas jim
merry christmas to the whole wilborn family

here is a memory of Jim....

when I lived in Breckenridge Colorado the youngest Wilborn boy, Burke, was one of my housemates, we lived in the garage of a group house an ice cold unfinished garage with our futons on the floor and a freestanding bookcase separating them Jim was in school in Boulder at the time and would make occassional visits to ski Burke and I would snowboard while Jim would Ski Burke and I were carving down the mountain tearing up the powder when we both wondered what had happened to Jim we paused at a ski run crossroads unsure which direction the group of us wanted to head we looked about and waited for Jim just then we see a blurrrrr! Jim was screaming down the mountain right past us instead of stopping at the top of a very steep bumped out run Jim flew off the cat track lip and went flying all the while his head was turned to the side making complete eye contact with Burke and then myself Burke and I pointed our boards down the steep bumped out ski run, taking each bump one at a time, and then finally joining Jim at the bottom Jim was elated! a wide grin all teeth perhaps a little salava coming out his mouth as he uttered...."that was the best run of the day! lets hit that one again!" to this I questioned, "best run of the day? you launched it with such speed that you missed the whole run nearly landing on the flat at the bottom!" that is just one instance of how Jim lived his life so much energy so much talent a seemingly out of control manauver that would have put most anyone else into the hospital was not an out of control adventure but just another run on the ski slope
will have to read over these posts when I have more time
the boys are done with their dinosaur pancakes and would need help being entertained

I have taken a second to reread this post
no desire to edit or proof to any great level
as I would rather add to the idea or start another tangent

but I will add one more idea
the time that lead up to Jim's death was an emotional one
Jim had grown through high school and then college with a close group of friends, with one who may have stood our as his best friend, Rob Williams
Rob was similar to Jim in that he was a handsome, well liked, charismatic, and quite the athlete
Jim and Rob had moved from state to state together and both had grown and changed together
after college in Colorado they moved further out west to Oregon and then Washington state
I remember one Christmas at the Wilborn house where Jim announced his engagement to Sarah
it was a somber celebration
as Rob Williams had died in a car accident just a few days prior
Rob was in a car with his fiance and his future mother-in-law when the car hit a patch of ice and spun out of control...only to be crushed by an 18 wheeler
As a gift to Jim and Sarah I gave a book, "The Alchemist"
the book was given in an effort to help Jim and Sarah understand or perhaps deal with their loss
there was no knowing that the path of death and negativity was going to continue further
life does go on
even if we never grow to understand its meaning

The Alchemist is a book I would recommend to most any and all

the specifics of the death of Rob and Jim may be less than accurate
these actions occurred many years ago
the memories are faded and the stories themselves may have reached me second hand
I aplologize for any innaccuracy
to those who were truely close to Rob and Jim I hope that my post is not offensive to you, just as I hope that my mention of Jim and the Maggie card did not offend Mrs. Wilborn
my intentions are pure
my feelings are true

I think that I will have to re-read THE ALCHEMIST myself
it may help me to figure out a few more things
as life is a riddle that I am always trying to solve

Christmas Eve on into now CHRISTMAS DAY!
and even the day after christmas

Christmas Eve went well...
actually for a disfunctional family with a spotty holiday track record...things went AWESOMELY WELL!

in the AM of Christmas Eve (december 24th to those who do not celebrate this pagan american consumer driven holiday) my father came over with a stack of wood on his aging Jeep Cherokee
we added some of the final pieces to the back deck
it was brisk and cold
I tried to clean up the ladder steps of the clubhouse that were a tad icy and slick from Dean's expressive urination from the top level earlier that morning
along with the slippery ladder steps there were cold metal power tools and the moist and chilly presure treated wood that were less than plesasant to the touch
so our efforts were kept to what must be done and little more
the roof to the Kids Klubhouse was completed all the way down to Kristmas Lights!
then a few very minor boards here and there as well as some caps to the 4X4 posts
a few more lights....including some mulitcolored christmas lights down the side of the slides
nicely offsetting the white and blue "icecle lights"
there can never be enough Christmas Lights!
that was dad was gone as quickly as he had arrived

by the time my father left there it was time to step out for a family lunch before the Holiday Madness really began
with the Honda Element loaded up with kids we drove the short distance into Adams Morgan
a distance that would be short enough to walk if we had a little more time and was not picking up loads of holiday libations
Lisa was set on going to "the diner
so the diner it was
our christmas eve brunch idea was not entirely original
we hesitiated and contemplated other options
the wait was shorter than the hostess claimed and once seated we were greeted by the ever friendly and sweet manager
she joined us in our booth and asked where we had been and what we had been up to
I stated simple and plain.... "we are old and square"
when honestly it is just not possible to try and eat out with an active three and a half year old and a rapidly developing 10 month old
one or the other...sure
but both? both is a guarentee of some sort of disfunciton that prevents someone from having a good time
not to mention the chance that your effort to have a good time may impose on the efforts of others to have a good time
it is vital to remember that as cute as a child may be in the eyes of its owner
food being spit up on the shoulder of a stranger is not always a pleasure for the recipient

after our botched order and our very satisfying meals we headed home
(the errors were made in our favor so I had no complaints...yummy bacon and sausage!)
those additional cups of coffee after my already several morning cups along with the greasy sausage and bacon my hangover was cured

now with the hangover behind me and more accomplished that I have ever intended
with a look at the watch it seemed a tad tight
but I opted to blow some steam by hiking he dogs
sure there was Paella to be cooked
but for my sanity and the dog's well being I went for a hike
an orange juice/Red Bull mixture was created
then into the woods

perhaps more caffiene that I needed that day
perhaps more caffiene than I needed that week
but I wanted to perform
did not want to drag

the march with the dogs was everything that I needed
the dogs got theirs and I got mine
Roscoe, Brutus, and I were all feeling a tad less anxious and a tad more prepared for the holiday festivities
there is something special about a brisk winter hike on a holiday afternoon

once home Roscoe and Brutus retired to various corner, Brutus under the dinning room table and Roscoe on the dog bed in the hall
as I moved to the kitchen where I layed out all my ingredients and two conflicting Paella recipies
perhaps it was an overdose of caffiene or the pressure of the holiday meal
but my mind began to spin
although I had cooked Paella nearly a dozen times
it is always a bit of a crap shoot
I was unsure of how much SAFRON to use
so I played it safe and cooked two with Safron Rice and the other with a Jasmine rice and a tad more"threads" of safron (which in this case turned out to be too little or too few threads)
the food was a hit
the three lobster tails were just a taste to go along with the endless rice, mussels, clams, shrimp, chicken, and vegetables

after dinner we went into the front room with the fireplace rested dormant and a christmas tree filled the corner that is usually occupied by Roscoe's dog bed
the room was cramped with five kids under 5, parents, a grandparent, and more toys than I had ever imagined
the exchange was chaotic
my angelic son Dean grew to be possessed by more and bigger
we had to step back, regroup, and reinstill the spirit of christmas
deprioritise the toys

that evening ended


with little time to rest the next day began
Christmas Day at my dad's in Bethesda, Maryland
pretty much the same cast of characters
but swap out my two mix breed dogs for my dad's one pure bred dog Max, the ever enthusiatic Black Lab
then switch out my mom for my father and stepmother joyce...move from Mt Pleasant to bethesda...put my dad in the kitchen and bang
another cramped living room with a tree in the corner
five kids under five tearing at wrapping paper
then reaching for the next gift before they are able to enternailze what they had just recieved

after the toys the kids went to the basement for a DVD
which bought the adults a few seconds to try and chew their food
my dad's Christmas Curry Butternut Squash soup was a hit as usual, enough made that everyone left with some tupperware doggie bags
turkey with all the fixens and all the sides
not sure about everyone else, but I most certainly had to loosen my belt more than one notch
in situations like this it is not uncommon for the kids to choose play time of dinner time
other than cookies and candy very few kids slowed to eat
for the most part Dean was running on candy canes and the excitement of the day

slowly each part of the family puzzle loaded up their own car with their own christmas cargo and then pulled off to the respected homes
our family being the last to leave
it was good to have a few minutes of chill one on one with Joyce and my father
the whole event can be chaotically overwelming
all the toys
all the toys
there are all the toys

I am currently trying to figure out a better way to approach the holiday in future years

another gathering successful as usual

not much to say on that one

the maddness continued
funny how this all happened...
a few friends were supposed to come over for a drink or two on thursday night
they could not make it so they reschuduled for Sunday
well, I failed to realize that I double booked them with my in-laws
so the doorbell rings...
before I know it I have a room full of friends and family
no place to sit and nothing to eat....well...nothing prepared as of yet

as the converstation flowed... people grew to be more comfotable
with a look at the clock I realized that I had guests for dinner
a quick mental revision of the previous dinner plans I took a few block chilly hike with Tim's wife to the local "bodeaga" for some hot dog buns and some rolls
only to return and fire up the gas grill
move to the basement for some hot dogs, sausage, and kileabasa
and of course those little weiners which I prepared with a special sauce (always a holiday treat)
to my amazement the food was a hit
Greg's wife Anime had brought a Tiramesu desert that she had prepared
there was ice cream
and some super tastee Root Beer from Duck's microbrewry in North Carolina

all went well
after dinner the inlaws left
lisa bathed Grant, topped him off with the breast, then put him down to sleep
Dean was so easy to convince to go to bed...
I took Dean up stairs....we wrestled and I chased him....I put his PJs on and he tore them off
finally he was settled down enough to read a book and start another
2/4 through "Where the Wild Things Are" Dean said he was done with this book and tried to get out of bed
I gently pushed him back and pulled the LEAP PAD from behind my back
while he tried to squirm to escape I started to work the LEAP PAD
with the pen-like mouse (stylus of sorts) I clicked on the appropriate buttons as I verbalized my actions
went through one page
then started another
before I could start a third page Dean was demanding that he do it himself
so I passed the stylus off to him and instructed him step by step
then slowly pulled myself out of his bed, said good night, and closed the doors

only to return downstairs with Lincoln Logs and various other toys in hand to play with at the table
Greg, Tim, and Snoopy were all very entertained by the various toys
we even took some photos of the final group project with the Lincoln Logs
(snoopy has the image, perhaps I can post it later)

it was a tad awkward at first to have the double booked event
but everyone flowed with it
glad it happened
could have never planned it
very glad it happened
there may have been no other way to host these friends during this holiday season
they too got a window into my world


Window into my World

Last night an old friend from High School and oddly enough from College as well came by to say hello as he is in town from Vegas to visit his parents. His name is Shannon, not unlike that Johnny Cash song about a boy named Sue that was originally a poem by Shel Silverstein it is an unusual name for a dynamic and unusual person. The visit was a simple gathering, nothing altered... nothing changed in preparation for Shannon's arrival, well, other than me not having the option to do a lengthy post work ride. (which would not have been an option as my NightRider headlamp got wacky on me.)

Shannon's arrival to our Mount Pleasant home was a few minutes after my post work ride where I was able to strip out of my cycling gear into some frumpy around the house gear. While still puttsing around the basement I heard the bark greeting from the dogs, the scampering across the hard wood floors, and then the vocal exchange between adults, children, and other adults. I moved to the upstairs to greet an old friend that I don't see frequently enough. Shannon looks good. Healthy and strong. Always with a positive outlook that is preceded by a strong smile and strong eye contact. We exchanged hellos, then hugs, then I had him take off his shoes then gave him a tour of our 100 year old house that he had yet to see on previous return visits to Washington DC. It is a splendid house and he was in awe as anyone would be. The back deck being the icing on that already oh so tastee cake.

Once the tour was done Shannon had made fast friends with Dean and Grant, got reacquainted with Roscoe, Brutus, and Lisa we then got mobile on dinner plans. Lisa called ahead to our local favorite pick up only Italian Pizza joint, Vace. Lisa would go with Dean to get the pizza while I would dress Grant up and put him in the backpack for a march through the woods in Rock Creek Park across the street from our urban row house. With less than necessary flashlights in hand Shannon and I did the loop across the street twice, while Grant stretched back to watch the moon between the tall trees and Roscoe and Brutus ran about playing their Call of the Wild game.

We returned minutes before Lisa and Dean with just enough time to pull off our moderately muddy shoes and gather on the rug by the Christmas tree with the dogs. We then moved to the custom made dinner table from an old Western Maryland Barn (which stands tall fitting me and pretty much no one else, Lisa normally sits on a pillow if she wants to keep her chin about the table top) where we ate pizza and talked about various things, never breaking away too far from our standard routine. After dinner Shannon got to play with some blocks, then I pulled out the guitar. Grant may have enjoyed the guitar playing more than Dean, until Dean got to strum while Shannon fingered the cords to create a very basic rock style tune. Then upstairs for a bath, then a few books were read before we left the children to their business and bedtime. Routine is so vital in a child's life.....although Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are sure to be late night need to start the disruption too soon.

The whole affair was nothing shy of standard. But, it is my life. If you want to see me on a weekday this very well be what you get if you come to my house. So if children scare you or if you have no desire to hear me read a few children's books then perhaps this is not the adventure for you. But if you are an old friend who wants to catch up....then this type of visit may be perfect for creating a window into my world.


Reading Blogs is as much a part of my BLOG-sperience as writing them

It is like a little sociology class on the bicycle in different lives of different people, in different cultures, in different states, doing similar and different things.

Tim Faia with some great pics from his last cross race of the season and the glories of using the bike at a different a different place in his life.

While also in Colorado my e-quantance and e-friend TIMMYP goes out on his Karate Monkey with his Kamera.

And fellow City Bike Mountainbike Team member DT talks about local dirt riding on his singles or his fixies.

Trail Access, Trail Conditions, and Trail Closures

no time to BLOG right now
it is clear that each and every cyclist (hiker/runners/dog walkers any trail user for that matter) needs to do what little they can to keep their trails open for use

for some people it is about trail maintenance and picking up trash
while for others it should be responsible trail use (no riding on wet days....going over not around obstacles) and not dropping trash

City Bikes Team Member Joe Foley sent out a message about potential trail closures to West Virginia Mountainbike trails
Petition Site
there is a basic rule in life
we never appreciate anything until it is gone
that goes for the environment to our rights
and with the current president I could see losing both very fast

gimicks to try and stay alive
try anything lights...reflectors...nutcrackers?

Bard, Bards, and my friend the Redneck Bard


Main Entry: 1bard
Pronunciation: 'bärd
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Scottish Gaelic & Irish
Date: 15th century
1 a : a tribal poet-singer skilled in composing and reciting verses on heroes and their deeds b : a composer, singer, or declaimer of epic or heroic verse
2 : POET
- bard·ic /'bär-dik/ adjective

more than BLOGGING I like talking
at times I can get onto an unstoppable story telling roll
other times I am sure that my ramblings fall flat
there are times where I wish I had a stenographer at my side to take down these spoken words into writing as I feel I have a novel floating about my brain...well at least a collection of fabulous short stories
I am sure that there are those that do not find me as entertaining as I find myself
some may duck for cover when they see me coming in that cocktail party scenario
this I know, because there are those who I am leary of getting cornered by
there are certain people who like to hold the floor
turning converstations into monologues
which is long as they are considerate to monitor the interest of their audience
(which they most frequently ignore)
as long as they are talking to me and not just talking on auto pilot

this morning I had the pleasure of working on the building engineer at work's computer
this guy is a trip
he is a story teller....and stories...he has a lot
be careful though...he can go ballistic....once he starts....there is no stopping him!

David Hall the building engineer is a short fat redneck who is as wide as he is tall
lucky for him he is not so tall so he is also not so wide
his office is decorated with the classic mechanic style pin up calendars as well as snap shots of his various cars, boats, and the many fish that he has caught
there are also photos from a different time, a thinner slimmer time
pictures of a young David Hall riding wheelies on Harley Davidson Sportsters and sharing his vows with his also young and thing wife
there are also clippings from newspapers with David by boiler units or elevator shafts
again of a David Hall I have never met, only the David Hall that I hear about in his stories
David has a story for every occassion
actually he has a list of stories for every occassion and every story leads to another set of stories

this morning as I was trouble shooting his system we talked about the holidays and holiday meals
he went from tangent to tangent of the things he was going to prepare and who was going to be there
until he locked in on the topic of shucking oysters
who would have thought that I could be so riveted to tales of a man shucking oysters with the caterers at various parties and gatherings around town
somehow David managed to put a clever and funny spin on all of the stories
each story better than the next

this morning has been rather busy
my mind has drawn a blank at the direction of the tale
thought I was going to retell some of his oyster shucking yarns
somewhere in the morning those stories failed to go from my short term to my long term memory
or better yet
I am just failing the ability to retrieve them
as I am sure that next time David starts in on the same set of stories
I will most certainly say to myself....I have heard this one before
more than likely I will sit back and listen as some stories are better the second time around

as much as I love my infrequent bond sessions with David Hall the Redneck Bard
there are times when I fear that I am being drawn helplessly into a monologue black hole
there is no polite exit
there is no appropriate pause to step away
once you are in the power of the vortex holds you in place
this morning I had to stop David and let him know that I had time for one more story
that he could tell the same one he just told as it was so good
or select a new one
he could skip the one he just started and upgrade to an alternative
as he only had time for one story
I wanted it to be his best
always best to walk away from the table winning



I hate when my work gets in the way of my BLOG!


so much to blog about
so little time

watched DOGTOWN and Z BOYS again last night
what a great film!
what an interesting part of athletic history.....

official DOGTOWN and Z BOYS film site
with some great CLIPS


Monday Routines....
In the last many weeks I have been able to formulate a moderately healthy Monday morning pre-work routine. This routine tends to contain some basic objectives each and every week, although there can be some deviation from the set plan. Each Monday I wake to be greeted by my wife lisa making a rapid exit out the front door with a kiss blown to the wind she rushes off with the exclamation...."gotta go....already late!" Then I try to entertain Grant and Dean until Grant's nanny/babysiter arrives. Soledad is never late, tends to be more early than late. She usually arrives and wisks Grant out of my hands and starts his day. At which point I can devote all my energy in getting Dean to finish getting ready to leave the house for school. It tends to be the same affair most everyday....he does not want to go....I have to convince him he wants to go....we look for his backpack....we put some toys in the backpack....and we head out into traffic to cross town for early morning drop off.

All this with sips of coffee between each breath.

After dropping Dean off at school I arrive to two very excited dogs; each with a bladder just screaming to get out into the woods. Not sure if they know that it is Monday, but sometimes it seems like they can tell that they are going to get more than 10 minutes in the woods. With gloves, coffee, leashes, and dogs I cross over Park Road into the woods. The dogs are unleashed as they each run to see what there is to see....then stopping abruptly to pee on a favorite tree. Roscoe has his spot and Brutus has his, the same goes for when they dump. Just a hundred yards into the woods and we are out of the woods and ready to cross another street where we hit a more dense patch of Rock Creek. The ground is hard and crunch, the wind is sharp and cold, the water is moving slowly with a fim of ice on the surface....Roscoe and Brutus are pumped. They love the variety of the seasons. They have turned up the volume. Call of the Wild has begun. Without hesitation they are in the water. Ice forms on thier fur before they can shake themselves dry.

had not seen the time
I would rather be at home with the family
then at work BLOGGING
gotta get into that gear
GUNDOG99 was amused by it before....I live it again....10 minutes to dress up in the gear to make a 20 minute ride
would make the ride longer
but have to balance the scales
sick vs. a few miles on the bike
need to start in on a winter routine
which is not going to start today

Gear: Winter Gear
Today it is cold. Today it is F--king cold!

I have debated with the notion of making this purchase for a few years now.
Today I took the plunge with no fear of regret.
(unless they do not fit, which will lead to an immediate return)
Called my friends over at City Bikes in Chevy Chase. Mike K. had his doubts on availability. So after our conversation I called the folks at LAKE SHOES. Sure enough, after endless flirting with a women whose age and size remains unknown to me it was decided I may be able to find these shoes, but I will not be able to find them in the Lake warehouse. Without much trouble I found the shoes at Performance
Pulled out the card and made an online purchase.

Merry Christmas to me.
the MXZ 300
sounds more like a Japanese sports car than a pair of winter mountainbiking shoes

Good Dog Carl

There is this wonderful little children's book called, Good Dog Carl.

In this book, Good Dog Carl, a mother leaves home to go out to run some errands as her big dopey Rotweiler named Carl pulls a diaper baby out of the crib and goes for an adventure about the house. Carl is messing up anything/ everything and having an all around good time doing so many things that he should not, putting the baby back down for a nap with just enough time to tidy things up just as the mother of the child gets home. Now....I have never spoken to the author of this book, but if you pay attention to the final pages you will see that when the mother of child gets home she is greeted at the fence by a little terrier. After noticing the terrier out front I went back and read the book over one more time. After the second reading (and every reading since) I came to realize that Carl is not the family dog, but rather a metaphor for the husband and father. This man, like most men, is not as neat or as tidy and often allows the child to do a few things that maybe 'mom' might frown upon. In Good Dog Carl, the the dog represents the husband/father and does all of this stuff which may not be approved up only to rush and clean up before his wife gets home from her errands about town.

still wearing yellow

Lance Armstrong did a little CYCLOCROSS in Southern California at the SANTA CROSS

MTBr forum with pics


as for me
not much cross racing
or even cross riding this year
good think I did not buy a new cross bike or I would feel really guilty!

and guess what
my wife and I had been talking about what to get my dad for christmas
I thought that a Multi-tool would be a good gift
only to find out my brother beat me to the punch and purchased just what I was thinking of
guess action beats ideas any day