Rants on Cycling and on Life


cars and bikes

the car to bike relationship seems to be as natural a negative relationship as the age old dog to cat relationship
it amazes me the selfish OUT OF MY WAY attitude that I tend to get from cars as I move about the city via bicycle
the agression from passing car drivers creates a grand irony!
cycling which is supposed to be this great release for my anger often becomes the source of my anger!

this morning on my commute I had several drivers talk to me through their passanger window as they passed me
trying to enlighten me the the ways of the road
one woman said something about "SHARE THE ROAD is one thing... but you are taking up the whole lane!"
then another exclaimed something to the effect, "I am a cyclist too! What are you trying to prove?!?!?"
I will tell you this...
when I am out on my bicycle I am doing my best to protect myself
there is a method to my madness
I steer here and there, seemingly steering everywhere, all in an effort to steer clear of danger
when I take the whole lane... there is a simple reason for this
it is what is safest for me*... it is making a decision for the car driver's behind me
there are times when it is safe to pass...
there are times when it would be dangerous for me as a cyclist to allow a car to pass
so I make that decision for them
I am thinking for the cars around me
as car driver's have shown time and time again that they do not have my best interests in mind
so I am not trying to prove anything... I am protecting myself by making decisions for both of us
I own a car... I know what it is to exist on both sides of the arguement
SHARE THE ROAD is a bumper sticker.... my bumper sticker would say


just because this fat ass chic rides bikes as well... does not mean that she understands a thing as she tailgates me... had I been in my old truck I would have slammed on the brakes!
proven that her following distance was too close and unsafe

enough of this
just had a debate with a co-worker and his commute on a local bike route
he tongue and cheek voiced his hatred of bicycles on the road
I could see his heart rate rise
I tried to avoid letting the arguement let my blood boil
as I am coming to accept the cat and dog relationship of bikes and cars

serenity now
serenity now
these images of the enlightened one courtesyof the junk resource of Archie McPhee

*this "me" is not a selfish me, but more of a little old me

riddle me this...
what is the obsession with RETRO FASHION
in the late 70's and early '80's there was some aweful fashion
some completely dreadful fashions

Mork had me wearing colored suspenders... well.. I owned them but was seldomly bold enough to wear them outside the house... THANK GOODNESS!
there was that wacky baseball cap with the silver wings of Mercury
my roller skates looked like Adidas rip offs
and my cordaroys came in every color of the rainbow... and yes... rainbows were everywhere
people loved rainbows.... not just the OTC Crowd (Out of The Closet)

one of the worst fashions of the day were the quasi-athletic shorts
there were these shorts that always felt like they were on backwards
no matter how many times you checked the tag or flipped them around..
well... these shorts are back
guess on the ladies they look quite nice
especially when they are roller skating...

I guess someone may think my wardrobe is retro... while I am actually just cheap and wearing the same clothing I have had for the last decade plus


again, vital that I bring it back to the bike
here is a short video
don't try this at "home"

but a tad more painful
a helmet may have helped

did I mention
I hate crash clips?


*I do yoga.... but nothing like that

PT: my Physical Terrorist is a comedian
this morning at the close of my Physical Therapy meeting for my recently repaired index finger there was a discussion about my finger, my finger's use, and the use of the splint
in this exchange my Physical Terrorist frowned on my recent decision to start riding my bike again
in this I told her that CYCLING IS MY PROZAC
to that she responded... "that must be hard to swallow!"

funny! that is funny stuff
all that after she made me cry trying to get some mobility in this finger again
I want mobility in my finger




if there were to be only one NEWS SOURCE

okay.... to avoid bias
a second news source

sure.... let me bring it back to the bike

entertaining at least


for rocco and my other geeky GIS friends
map of mother earth

and for simple folk like myself...

TIME MAG article on Dave in South Africa

and most important
there is no relation... not even association with MOSHZILLA!


Lord Vader's 20 Questions


(volunteer) Police Officer Dies Directing Traffic
Washington Post Article

and do a GOOGLE for SCHOOL BUS CRASH.....

do you think that people in our society need to slow down?

I got a letter in the mail
it seems I was nabbed going 39 mph in a 25 Zone
shame on me
the photo cam caught me
to my credit... I was under 40 mph and the stretch of road I was photoed on is not a residential section

PT Today:

today at the close of my forever entertaining PT meeting
my PT said, "exercise that finger... you really only need the splint for times like... when you are riding your bike..."




I thought I was told not to ride my bike!
she tried to back it up
she tried to tell me that I am not supposed to ride my bike
but it was too late
I heard what she said... and I am going to start back up on the bike... with caution

may continue with the walk to work
was actually considering doing a ride/run commute combo
ride in... run home
run in... ride home
not everyday
but maye twice a week

my buddy HOUNDDOG sent me this link to MTB Review
it is an excellent gathering of information to companies in the industry
the industry being the bicycle industry


High Fidelity
(a great book and an equally good movie, how often does that happen? okay; Trainspotting... now try to give me another example)

this evening on my walk home from work I opted to allow my journey to go a few minutes longer in an effort to soak in some urban eye candy
no need to be listening to my iPod
no need to be fumbling though my Blackberry
no need to make any phone calls as I am really not that popular
the city gives me all of the sights and sounds my mind needs

so I marched up 18th Street from Dupont Circle rather than 19th
sure, 19th Street would be a tad more direct
but it is not everday I get to experience this pedestrian perspective
I take 18th Street with its sidewalk cafes and ecclectic shops

as I stroll up 19th I glance down different alleys and street
memories pop into my head
friend's old apartments, group houses that have gone condo, store fronts that have changed hands many times since I last passed through the store front of
then there are the milestones that remain the same
take out chinese
sit down Salvadorean at El Tamarindo
the windowless Dan's Cafe
bars, bars, and more bars... and we are still at the base of the strip
and yes... liquor stores... liquor stores that will cash your check

the notion of dinner enters my mind
many carry out options
empanatas, burrittos, subs, massive slices of pizza
thai, vietamesse, ethiopian, and even american options
but I am marching home to arrive in time to put Dean to bed
eating at home is my best option

then out of the corner of my eye I spot a familiar face
to confirm things I check the marquee of the store front
sue enough it is a record store, so I glance through the window to confirm things
it is Neal, he is inside his NEW used vinyl record/cd shop
what the heck! I go down the stairs to the basement business
I have a few minutes to spare before Dean gets to hear the saga of "Bill and Pete" for the 6 hunredth time

Neal greets me with a hello
it has been a while since our paths have crossed
we know each other from bars and parties.... not toddler parks

it is tough for me to focus on Neal
I pause to take it all in
posters, records, t-shirts, and more records
I take another spin around
cool posters, cool records, cool t-shirts, and more cool records
the set up is pretty bare bones
this is no chrome plated business for the latest and greatest dj
this is more of a down home record trader for the listener who still craves the crack and pop of a needle on vinyl
neal by the way, is dj... no electronica.... but a record spinning dj just the same

there is informal bantor back and forth as I move about the store
as a weak form of introduction a gruff exchange is shared with another employee... maybe the co-owner od the store, not sure
either way our meeting was uneventful at best
bordering closer on negative than pleasant

as I check through various bins with an intentional Adult ADD fashion I make record talk with neal
" I have this... what is that worth?"
not having the answer on hand Neal turns to his gruff co-worker
this is where the whole experience goes sour, well starts to go sour
apparently the record I have is not worth anything
reissued... I am told
"but I have the import" "never played it" "with the removable day glow sleeve" "Japanese Import... thought that was worth something"
still of no value, I am assured
no worries... as I have no intention of selling my vinyl anyway
just trying to talk their language
the topic changes
I move away and make mention that this guy is reminding me why I stopped going to record stores

I look on the wall and see an assortment of postcards...
Dischord Records Postcards.... photos by Cynthia Connelly
i make some statement to Neal about these images being just more affirmation that so much of the DC music scene was creating the year book that these people had never been in...
Banned in DC being the actual yearbook...

apparently this was more than this guy could take

my mention of me stepping away from the music scene after seeing that the anti-cliches were just as "clichie" as the "high school cliches"

this conversation was with Neal
but this other character had a comment and a rebutal for nearly everthing I said
I lacked the energy for the exchange
it is a debate that could not be won

Ironically... in my closing minutes from work today I recomended three albums/cds for a bicycle blogger in Sweden Black Flag/damage Bad Brains/I Against I and Minor Threat (any all encompassing discography)

the true humor of this exchange falls back on this uy falling into a stereotypical roll
he reminded me of all the record store guys I delt with as an adolescent
equal portions of uncool and attitude

it happens in bicycle shops
it happens in guitar stores
it happens in used book stores

the only difference now...
eBay and

this guy is a dinosaur
on the verge if causing his own extinction
on my departure there were good byes
when the stranger said that he would see me around I assured him he would not
as I do not plan on going back to that store

it is funny
I never noticed how much I pay attention to the weather
more specifically
I never noticed how much attention I pay to weather forcasts
that is... until after I hurt my finger and I no longer felt any grand concern for the weather to come

now the weather and its future forecasts are a little less significant to me

rain or shine? I am still not going to ride my bike
several days of rain? no matter... trail riding is not currently an option
Sunday thunder showers? makes no difference to me... mountainbike racing is not on the weekend itinerary... not this weekend.... not next weekend... not for some time

so there are far fewer moments spent glancing out the window at the street lamp checking for rain drops reflecting as they drop past the light
no need to log onto for weekend forecasts or hourly updates
no scanning the television for the weather channel or doppler radar from the local stations
it is all information that is a little less vital to my plan making

just a few semi-recent images
as you can see....
the cast is smaller in the image of me holding Dean the NASA employee
in the overalls may have been day one
post race

LEMONADE: another glass of watered down lemonade lots of lemonade... more than two gallons of watered down lemonade

this morning I went for a short run
30 minutes in the woods with the dogs
my strides were less than gazzelle-like
working out/exercising on Monday is always the best way to start the week
a lame work out is better than no work out at all

this morning's short run was topped off with a 35 minute walk to work
by the end of my journey I was really starting to feel some strain in my shins

the run/walk combination will aid in keeping me from becoming a total slug
a non-bike riding slug