Rants on Cycling and on Life



Hutch on Dogster
Roscoe and Brutus never got into the online thing

puppies are so cute
everyone loves puppies
just like everyone else... I love puppies
I may pass by a pet store and see a pen full of puppies in the window
if granted the time I may stop by in for a closer look
maybe not on the first pass... but maybe on the second

after I leave I may daydream about those puppies
may give them names
create imaginary personalities fot the puppies I do not know
create names for the puppies I will never own
maybe even imagine how these puppies would fit into my life
at home I have two dogs
two dogs that I love
two dogs that I have no desire to replace
would it be leading these puppies on if I were to visit them and look into their eyes?
have I mislead them? it would be a waste of energy explaining my intentions
as they are puppies
and puppies just do not understand


another soldier down
it is a somber morning for many
more for some than for others
lives have been changed
futures have been altered
children have lost a father
a woman has lost her lover and her friend
somewhere a mother and father have lost their son
a cyclist will never ride again

I did not know Steven Gordon
I will never get to know Steven Gordon as he is no longer around to meet

Steven Gordon?
I am him and he is me
he was one cyclist
he is all cyclists
he is any cyclist that rolls on the street risks suffering the same fate
be that rider a racer, a commuter, a courier, a weekend warrior, or a child headed to the neighborhood pool
something needs to be done
behaviors need to change
an education needs to be instilled
car driver's need to understand the potential dangers of their actions

would a warning sign every 10 yards on the road side aid in making things safer?


apparently not... many of these signs already exist
these signs do nothing to alter car driver's behavior

perhaps an IQ test should be administered rather than a driver's test?
maybe the Death Penalty for wreckless driving rather than a few points on one's license?

something needs to be done
something drastic

yesterday I went for a post work ride on my lead sled; Jamis Nova Cross Bike (at least 5 years old)
went up the Capitol Crescent Trail at a leisure pace to get some parts at the City Bikes shop in Chevy Chase
while saying hey to some of the folks at the shop I could not help but to be drawn to the projection screen playing that day's stage of the Tour de France
the screen was like a vortex drawing me in
I left the shop with Phil Liggett's voice echoing in my head

down the gravel Capitol Crescent Trail onto Beach Drive towards home I felt a little Tour inspired RUSH
with cyclist collecting at my side I waited for the Red Light at East West Highway to turn Green
like a racer at the line I stood poised and ready
the light turned green and I was off
with no concern of the actions of the other riders I raced ahead
at a good clip I cruised down Beach Drive towards home
motored up the small climb and the through the stop sign
dropping down the hill at a solid pace
yet not pushing it down the hill as it proves nothing to go fast down hill
the trick is to go fast up hill
once on the flats I held the momentum of the hill
unsure of my speed I felt secure that I was not far from the 25 MPH Speed Limit
maybe a little more
maybe a little less
yet within a reasonable standard deviation

a few cars collected behind me
following close and looking to make an aggressive pass
the first car behind me pulls out along side of me prematurely
nearly having a head on collision with an on coming car
I ride closer to the center of my lane in an effort to keep them from passing on the blind turns
this protects me and protects them from themselves
as the road straightens and passing becomes an option for following cars I glide closer to the edge
yet not too close as the road gets a little choppy as it is riddled with pot holes and debrie
one by one the cars zip past me
each car aggressively returning the lane right in front of me
it seems that none of these drivers are alert to the stopped car ahead
their speed on the pass makes no sense with stopped traffic ahead
with a left turning vehicle ahead I measure the passing space on the right hand side of the road
none of these drivers have given me any space to pass on the right
so much for SHARE THE ROAD
I am feeling punk
I am going for the hole shot
I am going to ride the tube
there is not much space
but I am going for it just the same
with no more than 20 or 30 yards ahead of me one last car sneaks in between me and this line of cars
the red SUV sees that I am not breaking speed
this SUV sees that I am going to shoot the small gap to the right of stopped traffic
I slow my pedaling
tap the breaks with a speed check
make a measure of my path
I am going to go for it
I am going for it with good speed
believe it or not the driver in the red SUV pulls his truck over the small curb onto the grass
so his vehicle is obstructing my ability to pass on the right
in a panic I pull my brakes
forced to come to a complete stop behind this short line of cars

then show some restraint
usually I would give someone the finger or a little lip
but I am trying to live for tomorrow
this driver has show that they are less than rational
they are aggressive and obnoxious and clearly not considerate of my safety or my rights
no need to learn how aggressive or obnoxious they are willing to become
so I keep it to myself
the car in the front of he queue makes its left
then all the cars move forward
I start up again never to catch these drivers again
adrenalin is pumping
I take the last miles at an anger induced pace
hatred is strong
blood is boiling
legs are pumping

then Phil Ligget enters my head again
the cars that created this anger are gone
gone from my view
gone from my mind
my legs are spinning at a fast rate
I slow as I make a polite run of the four way stop
no care about the officers getting in and out of their cruisers ahead at the Park Police station
their laws do not apply to me as they do not protect me
where are they when I need them
each day thousands of cars speed dangerously past their station
each day cyclists are passed dangerously close and dangerously fast
HARASS and TICKET seem more appropriate than PROCTECT AND SERVE
I am taking what is mine
as nothing is given to me

the road is a slight grade downhill as I pass he Park Police office
this stretch along side the creek is a beautiful winding road
a tree canopy engulfs the road
a rushing creek flowing with the waters of the afternoon storm runs parallel to the road to the right
in the distance I see another rider
Phil Liggett enters my head speaking louder as I pedal harder
I am the one man CHASE.... the rider ahead is the BREAKAWAY
not sure what has become of the Peleton
I focus and reel him in
effortlessly I pass him at a rate where I am sure that he will not try to match
with an audible and a nod I pass safely on his left and am on my way
banking the turns with some speed and some caution
as the skinny tires of the cross bike never give me the confidence I need on the turns

from Beach I take a left on Park Road
no left turn 4-6:30
it is 6:31
I take the left aggressively past a car waiting to take a left in front of a police car
my pace drops as I hit the hill
this road is a mess
forced to take the whole lane to stay out of the pot hole ridden side of the lane
I block the car that just passed
it is not safe for them to go around me at this point of the climb
curious if the cyclist will over take me on the climb as my speed is less than impressive
I also think if officer friendly redirected his route to give me some instructions as to how to behave on the road
I roll forward
several cars make agressive passes
the road flattens as I cross the Park Road Bridge
then the road climbs again
I pass my house and at the light I pass a few of the cars that just passed me
the light turns green just as I hit it
I finish the Park Road Hill and head home
made it home alive again
another day of combat on the streets

it can be like going to war out there
when it shouldn't be
again my source of release has become my source of frustration


Crashing and Injury....
unfortunately part of the sport of mountainbiking
A few weeks ago one of the City Bikes Mountainbike Team Members Hillary Elgert was competing out west in a Downhill event when she did not make the landing off a major drop
Hillary took a major tumble an ended up breaking her clavicle.
It is a total bummer!
A bit of a set back for a racer who excitedly took the leap to pro this season.
Last I heard Hillary was mending quickly and planning on racing some more Downhill before the season is up.
Wishing her the best of luck to a speedy recovery and a confident return to the sport.
Hopefully her momentum does not lose too much speed from this "speed bump" that life has put in front of her.

with all the anticipation
with all my excitement
with all of my self created build up and the rave reviews from my peers
there was a great opportunity for a let down
well... let me tell you this...


it is an amazing story
a story that was told well
a story that was filmed and edited well
a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end


there are aspects of the story introduced early that explain themselves later
there are ideas that come full circle
and there is some wonderful poetic irony (Filip Meirhaeghe)

if you can not catch this film in the theater
buy a copy of OFF ROAD TO ATHENS on DVD and a HUGE Flat Panel television set
crank up the volume
then sit back to take in the tale
it is quite a saga


Single Speed vs. Geared Bike-
26 Inch Wheel Bike vs. 29 Inch Wheel Bike-
last night I ran a little test by racing my Geared Karate Monkey with Suspension
on a course that I raced two times previously on my Rigid Karate Monkey Single Speed
on this course there appeared to be no difference....
well.... no significance difference in finishing times
yet... there was a difference in how my body felt afterwards
my body last night did not feel as beaten up or exhausted as it had on the two prior races

granted this is a difficult test to hold up in any real world of science
there are a number of variables
there is the heat of the day
conditions of the trails (wet/dry/etc)
the prior expenditure of the day which leads into the energy of the day
the traffic of other racers of the day
and there is...
the strength and stamina of the day
the phase of the moon
the amount of sleep that my two young boys granted me the night prior
okay.... these are sounding more like excuses than science
after all... I am man... not machine
but I will let the imperfections of my unscientific method remain and leave it at this

On certain courses I will be able to race at the same pace with the Single Speed as I would with a Geared bike with Suspension.
but... and this is a big BUTT
butt... this only works on certain courses
as it is clear that on some courses I love my gears
my legs love my gears
long flat sections and fast descents.... there are times where I like to push the bigger rings fast
on terribly long climbs I do not mind going for the granny gear

now after doing this little unscientific test I have now decided that I would like to conduct a similar test where I compare my performance on a 26 Inch Wheel bike vs. my preferred 29 Inch Wheel Bike
last Sunday at the Fairhill Classic I felt that I was a tad disadvantaged by not being able to get a fluid rhythm with the big wheels on the tight turns
it seemed to me that I would have been able to expend less energy if I were able to maintain speed rather than working such a herky jerky stop and go style of riding

this test has yet to be performed
I feel it is a valid test to perform
and if the 26 incher wins the game... I would most definitely race this bike again

that said....
Sunday at Fairhill was the first time in over 2 months where I rode the geared monkey at all
the conditions were a tad wet
and my confidence was a tad off
it may have been an inability for me to relax and lean into the corner of each turn
much of the turns had off camber roots
and I feared the crash with my yet still to recover index finger

there are a number of things that make summers great...
astro pops and snow cones
blue crabs and Old Bay
watermelon and corn on the cob
women in bikinis and women in sun dresses
amusement parks and state fairs
everything water: ocean/lake/pool/river/stream/water park/backyard hose
then of course there is... Wednesdays At Wakefield

last night was race four of the local mountainbike race series Wednesday At Wakefield
I was lucky enough to schedule my evening to attend this event
what a great way to spend a Wednesday After Work!
here is how it played out

RACE REPORT: WAW-Wednesday At Wakefield #4 2005
having raced the geared Surly Karate Monkey the Sunday prior at The Fairhill Classic
I felt that it may be a good chance for me to get a little more practice on the geared bike
as well as to take this time to compare my lap times on the Geared Monkey with Suspension vs. the Rigid Monkey with only one Gear

the trip to the race site was as uneventful as usual
as I pointed down 14th Street in Norhtwest Washington DC towards Northern Virgina the radio announcer gave a run down of trouble spots in Rush Hour traffic
the mention of slow traffic on I395 South was about as unexpected as if they had said that it will be hot and humid in DC this August


so I maintained my course and managed to arrive 15 miles from my house in roughly 45 minutes
there was just enough time for a few manic hellos... rapid registration... like Superman in a telephone booth I slipped into the City Bikes Orange and Red in my Element (okay, I was naked in the parking lot)... then pedaled down to the start line and waited for the starting gun

at the start line I was greeted by the pleasure of a large Clydesdale group; six people thick
was that six thick people
either way it was good to see more competition on the line
to my mixed pleasure there was my friend and occassional riding partner Chris Redlack
as much as I love the competition.... I also hate to lose
Chris has gotten fast... his performances this year have been fast for any marking
for a Clydesdale... he is super fast
I knew that he was going to be gunning for me
which made for some potential excitement and anxiety
Chris had
raced strong in the Single Speed Class earlier that day and was riding his SS again for this race
those are all factors
we do not weigh the excuses for victory or failure until after the race

in my mind this 6 person race was really a 2 person race

at the sound for the release at the START my rear wheel spun out
maintained composure and balance and stuck with it
sprinted with the other racers fighting up the gravel road to be the first into the single track
having gears confused me slightly
never sure to hammer hard or spin strong...
at the crest of the hill I leading the pack
as I turned into the single track I took my speed down a bit to regain breath and composure
behind me I could hear the sound of another biker following close behind
it was clearly Chris Relack
no time to turn around and look
kept my focus forward
yet I was confident it was Redlack

down a small hill and across the creek
as I crossed the man made Paris Roubaix style rock path I tried to use my big wheels and big gears to get a little jump on Chris and his 26 inch wheels and single gear
entered the woods and saw several female racers ahead of me
the trail got tight
there were very few places to pass
trying to respectful as possible I looked for a place to pass
as the racers ahead of me dictated my pace I soon heard Chris on my tail again
able to make a pass I moved from racer to racer
experiencing the same cat and mouse game on each rider
no chance to gain any ground on Chris
the course was too tight to get any distance

on the open powerlines I was able to use the big wheels and the big gears
but sure enough
back into the woods there was more traffic
then the sound of an aggressive racer on my tail
that same aggressive racer

after passing the majority of the Women's Sport racers there was the ever entertaining obstacle of the Men's Sport Racers
at one point a strong and fast women racer was stuck behind a men's sport rider (he fits the demographic)
she was trying to make a pass
he was not allowing it
with Chris hot on my tail I quickly grew aggravated with the slow pace
asked for him to allow
"us" to pass....
asked again
tried to point out a good place to let us sneak through
then eventually had to make an aggressive pass
went high on the trail to their side passing both racers in one push
a little danger and a great expenditure of energy
but just like in city traffic... if they will not give it to ya... ya gotta take it

after these guys there was another racer ahead
sure enough Redlack was right behind me
as I rode at this next rider's pace I asked politely to make a pass
there was no answer
I made mention of a good place to make a pass
still no answer
then the request again
he was pedaling faster... but still not at my pace... and his pace was sure to drop again
then I told him I was passing on his left
in a classic New York sort of way my warning on his left was an indicator that he needs to block left
as I accelerated past him
he accelerated as well
to this I shouted... YOU ARE SPEEDING UP!
just in front of us was a gap between two trees
I made the "hole shot"
not sure what happened to him
I felt a brush of an elbow
then went on with my day

not every pass is eventful enough to recount
there were plenty of racers more than willing to share the trail and allow the pass
it seemed as it there were enough racers working for Redlack to make things difficult for me
made some more uneventful passes then found myself behind another racer forbidding me to pass
at my request
there was nothing
at my next request this racer told me to FIGHT FOR IT
unintentionally in a very SPEED RACER sort of way my front wheel grated against his rear wheel
there was lots of noise... knobby tires slapping and spokes plucking
the resistence was enough that we started to slow
the contact was unintentional
although to keep from crashing I had to steer my front wheel into his rear wheel with great strength to keep from crashing
to avoid a crash this rider stopped
with him stopped I was forced to stop and move around him*
*there were some words... nothing too damaging... we spoke after the race and he was cool... adrenalin of the moment
only to sprint to the next rider and find him colliding into a tree and then me colliding into him
from their I dismounted and ran up a little hill with my bike beside me only to find City Bikes Team-mate DT cruising along at a good clip on his IF Mountainbike with a FIXED GEAR
again wanting to make a pass
DT granted me space immediately
to which I am thankful
to my regret Chris Redlack was able to ride in most every wake I created on each pass
we crossed the finishline on lap one and lap two within seconds of each other

the second and third laps went similar to the first
only with a little less aggression on the pass
as I was moving slower
and those that I was passing had less energy to put up a fight

in the end the geared bike was no faster than the single speed for me on this course
my body felt far less beaten up
perhaps I should put a shock on my single speed
ah... economics

ended up finishing first in this race and with my three first place finishes in a four series race I was able to win the Clydesdale Class for the WAW series
after the award ceremony a good number of the racers went over to a local pub for some food, drink, and an all around good time
got home late
Wednesday At Wakefield only happens once a year
and well
it is definitely worth it



more random stuff stolen from the mind of ETJB

and an article on drugs with mention of Tom Cruise

as the sideburns are not working for me...
maybe this will help!



Scotty's Last teleport was today....


Product Review:
Crank Brothers Mini-Pump
the promoters at the Wednesday At Wakefield races are not only good enough to host a
Clydesdale Class but they also award prizes to this class, even when the field is only a few people deep
I was fortunate enough to race two of the last three WAW events
(planning for my third tonight)
In both of these events I raced my rigid Surley Karate Monkey Single Speed and put in a moderately strong time...
my time was strong... but nothing compared to the top Single Speeders earlier in the day
there is some truth to the disadvantages of my XL size
yet in this case I feel that my lack of conditioning/training/riding has been a greater factor
in the two races that I placed first in my class I was given a prize of a Wireless Cycling Computer
a nice little score
on week two I placed first again
again winning a wirelwess cycling computer
not sure what I would do with the second computer I made a trade with Barry, the second place Clydesdale finisher
Barry had won his second Crank Brothers Mini Pump
he was glad to make the switch as had as much use for two mini pumps as I have for two wireless computers

on with the review....
Crank Brothers makes a good product
their EggBeater Pedals are quite popular
I have been more than satisfied with thier mini tool
and was excited to get to try out their pump
thus far I have been pleased with it
the shaft is a tad short... but there is a VOLUME/PSI control
so that you can switch back and forth for a quicker fill and for topping off the final pounds
the size and weight of the pump definitely makes it great for riding/racing
on my quick little trial it the pump seemed to meet the mark
I did not do count of strokes per pound
the small pump makes me think that I could get a CO2 cartridge and race with both
using the speed of the CO2
having the Crank Brother's Mini for backup!
it is much better than my old pump which had strengths... neither size nor weigth not being one of them
over time I will brow to be more acquainted with this pump

some sites

bike reader

Fort Reno Concert Series
a guy named Joel's list of DC concerts
me on the City Bikes Mountainbike Team Page
a friend from my youth showed me his old bike on this page
(derrick's old bike)
Kemler's Photos

weird enough to say... MUST SEE!
well... at least worth a look

the previously mentioned DEMON CATS
(great stuff... as per usual... read a little then go to the links)

bumper stickers, personalized plates and the identity of the driver
yes.... it is true I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder
sure.... I have become a bit of a grumpy old man on the bike
working some sort of Andy Rooney sense of things
always looking for the next thing to complain about
only my complaints tend to circle around the bicycle and how the world treats and responds to cyclists rather than the cost of Penny Candy today and when Penny Candy actually cost a penny

with this chip on my shoulder I always take a look at the make of a car, the car driver, the tag, and any bumper stickers that may be on the passing car
once the car has passed within inches of my life
I then deliver the appropriate message of hate!

that person becomes the ambassador of their people...
people from Illinois become FISH (Fucking Illinois Shit Heads)
people from Massachuetts are of course MASS-HOLES
then all the conservative states get a shout out as being RED STATE FUCKS
you get the picture

Rainbow Stickers get a tailored response
the religious fish people and the pro-lifers get a mouthful
everyone gets a mouthful
no one is safe
especially if you are running me down on your way home from Sunday Mass!
my feeling on this.... skip church and be a better person
going to church and still being an asshole does not even let you break even

then there are those with the Kerry/Edwards Bumper Stickers....
to them I always think...
"the sticker says Kerry... but the driving style says "W" all the way"

then there are the other athletes....
I do not want to have words with someone and hear the words... "I ride a bike too..."
you own a bike
you ride a bike like I play guitar... NOT AT ALL! NOT VERY FREQUENTLY! and NOT VERY WELL!
on top of all that...
why can athletes from other sports empathize?

just this morning some old guy came out of the Potomac Boat Club and passed me fast and close...
take a look in the mirror asshole... you are acting like a power boater
your behavior is no different than the jet skier making a wake and ruining your day out on your little row boat
yet somehow you don't get it!
transpose the situation
try to be more complex.... or do I need to rent a jet ski to exemplify my point?

same goes to all the other athletes out there....
think about it
give people some respect
give people some space
you are passing the human form while exceeding the maximum speed designated for that stretch of road
that by my logic would fall under wreckless driving
reason enough to revoke your driver's license
think about it

(check it out!)

Race Report: Farihill Classic 2005
maybe time to shave... sideburns are clearly not helping with the SPEED!

(reader's digest version)
the dried dirt and the race numbers were still on my geared Karate Monkey from that fateful race at Michaux where I broke my index finger
I had not been on this particular bicycle in months
the wheels rotated without hitting the brakes
the gears seemed to cover the full range
some air in the deflatted tires and some lube on the chain and I the bike was ready to go
packed up race gear and some race fuel (Red Bull, water, hammer gel... gatorade would be bought in transit)
put the loaded bags and the bike by the basement door

summer rain of monsoon proportions attacked the Washington DC area Saturday evening and on through the night
watched the doppler radar and the reports at
tunned into the site for cancelations
much to my dismay the race was not canceled
there was a claim at a 5:30 am update to the web page
looked deeper for excuses not to race but could not find them
before the alarm could go off I was already awake from the presence of my younger son Grant
with no real excuse I felt committed to the task of racing

rolled up to the race with fellow City Bikes Team member Joe Foley
arrived at the race to find things looking pretty dry
it had rained... but it was still pretty dry
the showing was a tad sparse
apparently the weather kept some racers away

was frustrated that the promoters had dropped the Clydesdale Class
was excited to race just the same
was feeling strong and confident

the course had been modified from years prior
as well as some changes to the release of the classes
there were several mass starts
each mass start was a mad dash on a jeep road leading into a hard left into the single track
each and every person looking to fight getting caught in the slow train
no one wants to be the last set of legs in a single track catepillar

after some words and some contact of the bikes on that tight left hand turn
I on the went into the woods with the lead guys of my class

as per usual it took a bit to find a groove
held my position and pulled away from much of the group
while there were times when I was the head of a single track catepillar
around mile 9 I was wishing that this was a 10 mile course
around mile 9 I was thinking that I may want to pull over and leave it as a 9 mile day
but... DNF (Did Not Finish) is not an option!
DFL (Dead Fucking Last) has more glory than DNF
so I accepted DFL as an option and kept pedalling along

around this point I saw Joe Foley up ahead in his Orange and Red City Bikes Jersey
rather than getting inspired to ride up on his tail I went the opposite direction (so to speak)
at this point I resolved myself to riding out the race
taking a non-competitive approach to things
allowing any and all that wanted to pass to get by
being far less agressive about passing riders as I approached them
there was no gas in the tank
24 miles was starting to sound very long

shockingly the miles did roll by
some miles harder than others
there were a few crashes and a few spills... but nothing serious
the heat was brutal
drained my camelback
sucked down water at each and every water stop
even slammed my water bottle filled with Gator-Rage; a Red Bull/ Gatorade mix
the humidity on top of the heat made things beyond brutal.... it was unbearable
this is a variable that all who were racing had to deal with

when passing the third and last water stop at mile 19 I was feeling pretty good
not strong
not fast
not fit
not energized
just positive that I was going to finish this race

around this time I rolled up on Joe Foley
we rode a few miles together
till I took another spill and let him roll on into the distance

a number of racers passed as I put my chain back on the bike
with the chain in place I was back on the bike
rode out the final miles feeling quirte glad to see the Finishline in the distance
rushed from the finishline without checking my time and going directly the nearest water hose
where I showered, drank excessive amounts of water at high volume, cleaned my bike, and showered again

felt humbled
my finger was not an issue
there was the standard fatigue to the upper body
but nothing relating to my finger injury or my finger's immobility
it was my legs and my lungs
my speed was not matching up with my fitness
the muscle is there but no endurance
it was a great wake up call for someone who just registered for the Shenendoah Mountain 100

great racing just the same
there was the question... on a tight winding course such as Fairhill.... would I be faster on a 26 inch wheel bike?
this is something I have been meaning to put to a test
similarly I have considered riding my geared monkey at this week's wednesday at wakefield race to compare Rigid Single Speed Times to a Geared front suspension time

results are in
I ended up 7th out of 22 in Men's Sport Vet II

Race Report: Fairhill Classic 2005
what it means to race as a husband and father

the day before the race was spent doing some of the classic pre-race things
not just collecting and packing cycling gear
not just getting the bike cleaned, tunned up, and running its best
not just getting race fuel and fluids set aside
but more vital stuff.... husband and father stuff

knowing that I would be gone all Sunday much of Saturday was spent trying to free up the day for my wife... transparently trying to balance the scales
we each started our day with a little Ashtanga Yoga
Lisa went to the 8AM session while I got the boys dressed, fed, then the three of us hiked the dogs
even in the early am it was brutally humid
a displeasure for all
the hike was short and no one complained about the hike being short... not even the dogs

we returned the dogs to the sanctuary of our air conditioned home, gathered basic kid gear; diapers, wipes, juice boxes, snacks, favorite toy of the day, and loaded up the car for the Saturday Morning Yoga Swap
the Yoga Swap is where Lisa comes out of her class with Yoga mat in hand... passes off the keys and a kiss... points to her car... and I go in for my Yoga Class (an Ashtanga Open Class... a little less intense than a straight Ashtanga Session)
after Yoga I had to swing by work to grab a few things... clothing that was stacking up from my commutes and some paintings I purchased from a street vendor
(an old Asian gentleman paints children's names in animal characters in a quasi-Chinese style
had one made for each of "the cousins" in Pittsburgh)

once home I made a rash decision
I asked Dean and Grant if they wanted to go to the museum with me
Lisa lit up like child on Christmas morning and so did Dean... Grant simply said "yes" as he is only 19 months old and a man of few words
The boys got a quick spin through the Air and Space Museum and the dinosaur section of the Museum of Natural history
(well not that quick, the event absorbed roughly four and a half hours including travel)
on our walk back to the car we dodge intermident summer showers
we planned our travel home such that we would roll past the house.... grab mommy... and head to grandpa's for dinner and a swim
we swam and splashed and then ate some carry out Chinese
as we ate the skys grew dark... and not just from the setting sun
the summer storm grew to be more serious
by the onset of night the storms were brewing pretty seriously
my thoughts of racing grew to be doubts
in the end the rain did not effect the race being held
as much as I had wished the race was not canceled
DC got the soaked with the race site got sprayed or maybe misted

after the race I returned home to an empty house
made a few calls and located my wife
logic said one thing.... hot hot hot and humid.... they are swimming at the pool
exhausted I went and joined Lisa and the boys at my dad's house
fun in the sun
splashing in the pool
wanted to nap
but the boys wanted to play
and well
I did not want abandon Lisa with the kids for the whole day
so I tried to entertain the boys.... or at least one of the boys while lisa entertained the other

Monday night I had to bypass a post work ride as lisa wanted to do another Yoga Class
tough to balance the scales
but we try
certainly I ride my bike more than lisa does Yoga
but I try to give her the opportunities
just as she tries to give me my opportunities

in the end the kids come before either of our personal interests
I have said it before and will say it again
in my cycling pursuits it is far more important for me to be an Expert Dad and a Sport Mountainbiker than to be an Expert Mountainbiker and a Sport Dad!

it was a great weekend
while Lisa went to Yoga on Monday night I had my hands full
we again went to my dad's for dinner and a swim
19 month old Grant going off the diving board with a lifejacket
four year old Dean going off the diving board without a lifejacket
Dean can not swim.... but that does not stop him from going off the diving board!
it is awesome
scary.... but awesome

7th out of 22 in the Sport Vet II