Rants on Cycling and on Life


tough week
no time to ride
no time for family
no time for anything but work
which would of course mean no time to BLOG
lots of ideas in my head
but just as I would always claim... the best ideas never make it to the BLOG
I BLOG when I can
not when I want to

here is a great shot of DT bike shopping
found at this Vintage Poster site

online looking for some posters for my son's room
I need to be careful and be more sure that it will please him than that it would please me
this poster looks more like I should get it for me for the basement

more work to come
lots of late nights last week

I am thinking Iron Giant or the Incredibles in a classic movie poster feel will meet both of our needs


Haines Point this morning....
(late morning)
before work I had some time to do a little riding
rode down to Haines Point
did a few laps
as I was doing my laps the big boys with the big legs started showing up
there were all sorts of folks in their team this and team that
made me curious of the subculture of the road rider
made me curious to try and meet up for one of these Haines Point Group Rides
just another part of the cycling subculture here in Washington DC
everyone was friendly with a nod or a wave
in many ways I was glad to be done before they got started
as I was afraid of getting run over by the Peleton


(funny that my kids in the pool would draw any attention)

an a blog I foun on DC BLOGS: on-two-wheels.blogspot
(this on-two-wheels is yet to get its wheels rolling, that said... there are some great links on this page)


Martin came to the District by way of Switzerland, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, and the thriving mecca of State College, Pa. In between blogging, selling bikes, and playing ultimate frisbee, he works the role of jack-of-all-trades at an embassy in D.C. (though he doesn't benefit from the high-roller diplomat lifestyle). He rides his bike almost everywhere, including on every street and avenue in the city named after a state. He lives in Capitol Hill and blogs at Two Wheels D.C.

perhaps I should go to

morning rides ain't what they use to be
life with two dogs, two kids, and a straight 9-5 job alter my freedom to ride my bike in the morning
just too much to do and not enough time
there was a time when work was a little further so I had the force morning ride, aka the bicycle commute
but these days...
my morning commute tends to be short, very short, about 15 minutes short
not enough for a work out sometimes enough to develop a sweat
always long enough to post some complaints

the other morning on my pre-work pedal I ran into a fellow City Bikes Mountainbike Team Member, Chris Clarke
we met at a light and shared morning greetings
I asked where he was coming from
he asked where I was coming from
Chris was shocked at how short my ride to work was.... clearly implying that on my BLOG this ride seems longer
well.... this morning was a classic example of why my ride can sound so long
Car Drivers as a rule are self centered assholes
(when I drive I have to intentionally not be this way)

not 20 yards from the exit of the alley behind my house to street there is a 4 way stop
in the morning there is always cross town commuter traffic coming down this street
the cars have a simple "slow and go" mentality
never to they look
never do they yield to anyone else
they just slow and go
they most definitely never stop..... even if an officer is parked there to monitor the activity at this intersection
so on my bicycle I made my stop
did not argue the tie with the downhill traffic
paused in a track stand
then went as it was clearly my turn
then I was of course nearly hit by the two cars that were after me in the queue
then was tailgated
then was passed illegally and aggressively by one of the drivers

that was just incident one
I will not go on about the teen age tailgater behind the zoo.... the man dialing his cell phone as he meandered back and forth within the lane, or any of the other annoying/obnoxious/dangerous encounters of the morning

the point is that whether the ride before work is an hour, two hours, or 15 minutes... as long as there is bicycle to car interaction... there will be an incident
this is the modern age.... an age that is not evolving for the better
brace yourself for the future
cars are getting faster.... people are becoming more stupid

there are days where I do get an extended prework ride.... those days happen when I work the late shift
not having to be in until 11 allows for a longer walk with the dogs and a longer ride before work
my schedule is such that I have at least one of these days a week
these days it has been more than one day a week
on these days I come into work more refreshed like my morning coffee had an extra shot of esspresso in it


time for bed
the positive thoughts of the SM100
have given birth to positive thoughts about cross
starting to look into a replacement to the old and tired Jamis Nova
starting to look at some of the races on the schedule

here is one posting

I have to locate some full schedules to get a tentative idea of where and what to expect
then there is the Panarama Paranormal relay for the mountainbike
may want to camp with the family and race there
it is quite and event
great race
with stuff for spectators.... family spectators
Halloween style!
I think Dean would love it

thanks joe for the
that cross clinic at Tilden sounds cool

some pictures from the pool
not many pictures of the kids lately
as my computer and camera are not talking to each other
have not felt like trouble shooting it
these shots were taken with a disposable underwater 35mm camera; got images on disc at development... the better shots were taken by Dean... he took that one of me)

Race Report: Iron Hill; Newark Delaware 2005
through the course of the week I had been thinking Hoo Ha
the Hoo Ha is a great course and a great race
have always had fun there
even the last time I raced there crashing and blacking out brings back fond memories
but as the week progressed I started to dread having my ass kicked.... again
by the time Saturday had come along I was convinced that I was racing the Hoo Ha but was not looking forward to it
the notion of having to work Sunday afternoon after a long race surrounded by a seriously long drive started seem irrational

bike racing is supposed to be a pleasure
bike racing is supposed to be a passion
there should not be an over welming feeling of dread leading into the event
sure there can be dread during moments of the race
and there most certainly will be pre-race anxiety
dread is not supposed to be a part of a person's pleasures or passions

before I put a wrench or lube to the geared Karate Monkey I rethought my actions

went ahead a re-evaluateed my plans and replotted my course
there was the Iron Hil race scheduled on this same day
less climbs and less drive
that sounded perfect
immediately my mood started to change
instant alteration to my mood

then like a fool I broke one of the oldest rules in mountainbike racing....
that rule being "never do any serious bike maintenance the night before the race"

my Karate Monkey Single Speed was long over due for a new front chain ring and new chain
parts I had set purchased and set aside for some time
sure enough
this was another case of "whack a mole"
trying to resolve one problem as another problem popped up
luckily it is a single speed and not too much can go wrong

there was a moment of panic when one of the spacers on the sealed hub in the rear cracked durning a hub adjustment
luckily the dirt jumping high school age mechanic, Adam, at City Bikes recognized this part right off and was able to find one in the shop
sure he had to pull it off a hub in the display case
but he ordered the replacement parts where are sure to arrive before a customer tries to purchase that random Surly Single Speed Rear Hub

a serious relief and a serious help
it is good to have people at the shop looking out for me

so the bike got tuned and got the bags got packed
I set out late Sunday morning for Newark Delaware where I would race with the Single Speeds at the Expert distance
the whole idea was exciting to me
the idea of riding and racing this course on the rigid single speed sounded like a splendid way to kill a Sunday afternoon

upon arrival I was shocked at how small the gathering seemed to be
as I have raced this spot several times before and remembered a different level of buzz
perhaps it was that it was late in the afternoon and the Sports and Beginners may have already finished and gone home by this time
so I made my way around the parking lot
there were a few familiar faces
saw a bunch of the Wooden Wheels guys getting ready with their single speeds

they were are all amped for next weeks SSWC at State College
for the Wooden Wheels folks this was just a hoot on the local trails for these guys
not unlike a gathering for a Wednesday At Wakefield in the DC area for a City Bikes rider
that is not to say that this was going to be a parade in the park

it was hot
but that goes without saying
August on the East Coast=HOT

this day did deliver

at the start line I avoided all tension and took the back of the pack with fellow displaced Clydesdale Mark Fitzwater
we joked about being the two man Single Speed Clydesdale class
in the bantor I noticed that one of the two expert women had her deraileur in a stressful positon
I kept it to myself
it seemed that her chain was a little short to be using the big ring in the front and the big sprocket in the back
yet I kept it to myself as I figured it would cause no harm
figured she is an expert and knows what she is doing

eventually the race began

a few minutes late
with most of the racers already sweating
it was good to be pedalling

at first it was a long parade of single speeders going into the woods
in no time at all I was in a pack of riders falling rapidly behind the lead group
with room to pass I took a few spots and then cruised behind a young rider who had a great touch on the bike

not far into the race I started to sense some problems with my bike
under a few tork situations I felt a snap crackle and a pop
... all this with no Rice Crispies on the scene
the new chain which was actually a brand new very old 7 speed chain
it did not seem to be agreeing with my set up

there had been no test on the bike
just a repair... leaving the bike on the stand... then into the car... then onto the race course
on a slow double track grade I heard a loud metalic grind and crack

only to watch my chain fall gently from my bike
already drentched in the afternoon heat and humidity I dismounted and stopped for the repair

the final single speeders caught up and passed me

then as I worked to fix my chain that woman with the stressed out deraileur passed and then I heard all sorts of noise from her bike

with the sound of cussing a hundred yards up the trail I could see this expert women racer wrestling with her bike
as I worked on my bike I looked over at her from time to time to monitor her progress which was just increasing frustration

as I finished up my repair a rider came by and asked for my pump
this same rider had given me two gel packets in the parking lot
I dug into my bag and tossed him my Crank Brother's mini
the favor was returned
everyone was frantic to get back in the game

with my chain repaired and my wheel back on the bike I mounted up and started to ride
as I approached the woman in need I could not resist to offer assistance
it was the wrong decision
I was not entirely out of the game
my mellow tone of the day took my actions in the wrong direction
I spent over ten minute taking her derailuer out of her rear wheel, removing the remains of her deraileur hanger, and then converted her bike to a single speed

when I should have just rolled past
a mistake of treating a female racer than I would have treated a male racer

I raced and rode alone for pretty much the rest of the day
there were points when the leaders caught me
the pros passed like I was standing still
perhaps I was standing still
the lead Single Speeder was flowing as he passed
I tried to hang on his wheel
but he was riding at another level

like a soldier I marched on
my DNF or DIE mentality was taking me to DFL
it was a great day to be on the course
even if the only person behind me was the person taking down the tape

on this day I broke my chain and may have broken my spirit

my head is not entirely in the game
not sure if the SM100 is on my calendar any longer this year
could I do it and finish... maybe
would it be fun.... I am not really sure
I will see how the rest of the month unfolds for me
it seems that my race season is being forced
nothing is coming natural to me
nothing is flowing

perhaps I should let off some of the pressure and get ready for cross season
(what am I talking about? I really get my ass kicked in cross!)

after the race I spent a few minutes catching up with some of the Wooden Wheels folks
they had a grill going
it was a local race for them and they had a good showing
it was good food and good catching up with those guys
always look forward to seeing them at the races
they carry an excellent spirit of the sport... comradierie and competition
and no.... I never learned to spell
where is that bicycling writer from Oregon to help me out with my spelling?

here are some of their BLOGS

that is all I can think of right now....
send them in the comments section and I will toss them up here

DC Courier/Sean Bega
NCVC Photo Gallery

I am not sure but I think that these photos were taken by Kevin Dillard of demoncats


WiFi Speed Spray!
a must for anyone in the tech industry
also great for home use... but this is industrial strength!


for all those with dreams of being a "Paperback Writer"
here is a Self Publishing opportunity at


Road Race Crash leads to Serious Injury for Sarah Scott
Sarah Scott, a female Cat 4 Road Racer, suffered a serious injury a few weeks ago at the Tour de Toona
she is currenly paralized from the waist down
here is a
site telling the story
on this site is a Pal Pal account for anyone who wants to lend some support
this could be any of us.... rider or racer
the City Bikes Mountainbike Team is currently discussing how we could best show our care and concern

Passing on Blind Curves
words from a cyclist about a dangerous situation on Rock Creek Park
it is just a matter of the odds
so much of cycling on the road is a game of Russian Roulette
only someone else is holding the gun and pulling the trigger at random

this gunman does not seem to think about the outcome enough to care
this link was shared with me from the mind of THE SINGLE SPEED OUTLAW
yes... check out the SSO!
the Blogging Single Speed Cyclist version of the USO

Bush goes biking....
USA Today article about Bush Biking
Bush talks about biking, fishing, and working with his chain saw.... no mention of his tasks as president
I like his rule... "no one passes the president"

(photo from USA Today by Eric Draper)

Later this week Bush is scheduled to Ride with Lance
(cycling news)
Lance is in a strong position
he is using much of his influence in so many positive ways
perhaps he and Bush can sort out some of the priorities of the world
I heard a quote from Lance... not sure if it is accurate... but something to the effect that, "the war we should be fighting should be against cancer"
or something to that effect
I wonder if Bush is going to enforce his "no one passes the president" rule
as we all know that Lance has a "no one passes Lance" rule

here it is.... Bush and Lance

added later

Track Cyclist's Blog
from the mind of Wonderbread (aka John Whittington)
there was a crash clip he was trying to share with me
but it has since been removed