Rants on Cycling and on Life



blogging is not just writing blogs
blogging is reading blogs
reading my favorite blogs
reading my friends blogs
reading random blogs

tonight I have been catching up with some blogs I have not been to in some time
while on larry camp's site he made mention of a tracker that shows locations of the people who have been checking in on your site


lets see where this takes me
I need to publish this to make it work

makes me realize I need to update my links

the kayakers special
on this page there is instruction on how to fix a dislocated shoulder
I must say
this was good knowledge to have
scroll down
then live a long active life where you never have to use it
let it be the umbrella that stops it from raining


Another Speed Bump in my road of life...

yesterday while riding home on my new cross bike I headed for some urban trails
the new Specialized Tri Cross Comp was feeling fast and light, even with my beastly body upon it
on the city streets I cut lanes and moved briskly through traffic
cornered with speed and confidence
worked my way through Georgetown then into the woods
I rode a few short fireroads up and down and then dipped into some single track
no great distances
just a small sampler platter tucked into this urban dwelling
on a moderately technical section that rode like cobble stone I took a spill
I was out of the saddle sprinting enjoying the pleasure of a new bike
not sure what... but something sent me catapulting over the handlebars landing was ugly
over the bars onto the ground
not sure if I was over compensating with my right side to protect my previously broken and surgically repaired left hand
but I do know it was ugly and painful
in the process of breaking my fall I dislocated my shoulder

dislocated my good shoulder
not my left shoulder that I dislocated several times before surgery over 15 years ago
but my right shoulder
maiking my good shoulder my bad

there was a second of denial
the pain and inmobility of my right arm convinced me immediately that my first assumption was correct
that my denial was undeniabley wrong
in a dramatic Platoon-esque moment I knelt on the ground, looked at the sky through a patch of trees, and screamed
a thousand thoughts went through my head
there was Nancy Kerrigan moment as I looked to the sky and questioned, "why me... why me?"
there was the... how am I getting home question
there was the immediate depression of the time off the bike, the weeks and weeks of recovery time, and the things I would not be able to do with an isolated shoulder

there was no time to feel sorry for myself
great pain, but no tears
I was still several miles from home and in the woods

so I crouched into a ball and attempted a "kayaker's trick" my brother had shown me
in my head I scanned for the moment in time my brother had displayed the procedure
anxiously I excecuted the kayaker's shoulder repair trick
with very little effort and a little more pain my shoulder went from extreme pain
to significantly less pain
I checked my shoulder
it felt in place

still fueled with adrenaline from the crash and the injury I mounted my bike

for a second I felt fine
there was soreness and pain in my shoulder
but I was riding
I rode the trails stalling and dismounting for the more technical sections
dismounting and carrying where I feared risk of greater injury
for a second I imagined going home and going about my life without a trip to the hospital

as I rode I thought about me and my injury
there were questions about god
there were questions about karma
there were many questions
in the end I resolved it to this
if you trip on the sidewalk you risk skinning your knee
if you are a soldier in Iraq you risk getting a bullet to the head
if you are a cyclist... you risk crashing and suffering one injury or another
never is there a time for the hand of god to intervene
that is not how things work
my mom would like to claim that it could have been worse without prayer...
but I feel that this happened
there was no hand of god lessening the blow
such belief in prayer is a tad supersticious for me

why me?
inactive people do not risk injuries caused by activity
until this year... it had been well over a decade since my last cycling related injury
not bad odds
I will accept the trade off

so much for Cyclocross Season this year
back to calling around to try and get an appointment with a Orthopedic Specialist who will point me to a rapid recovery


Halloween Treat Idea: The Movie Box!
I am thinking of getting a "shoe box" decorating it in one way or another and stick some of Dean and Grant's Halloween candy inside of it.
Storing the box off to the side, only to be pulled out when we go to the movies.
Each of the boys could select two or three candy items.... I could select five or six candy items... then it is off to the movies without having to wait in line; unless of course we want popcorn.
yes... we will want popcorn
then at least we do not have to pay the movie mark up for our Dots

Coffee Guy.
some months back I was walking across the street early on a Saturday morning
straight across from my house right into Rock Creek Park
the dogs leashed and held by my side in my left hand
a large cup of coffee with not so much as a sip taken in my right hand

the road was clear when I started
uphill traffic had red lights and no left turn signs keeping the legal drivers from heading my way
the road was clear past the bridge and around the curve coming from down hill
as I crossed the double yellow line I could hear the rev of an engine heading fast my way
a Turbo Volvo wagon was coming up road at an aggressive pace
as I moved closer to the side of the road the car slowed to maybe 35MPH
while in a 25 MPH zone
marked for yeilding to pedestrian traffic
in a knee jerk reaction
or perhaps just me being a jerk reaction
as the decelerating car passed fast and close I tossed my cup of hot coffee onto his windshield
the car driver skidded to a halt leaving the scent of rubber behind him
then slammed it into reverse and came back at me

immediately I was apoligetic
not because I feared this man or his actions
but because I knew that my reaction was wrong
I had over reacted to his behavior
it was not so much his behavior
rather the behavior of so many cars before him
it just so happens that he was the hundredth car

later that day I dropped off a six pack of Pete's summer brew with an note
there was never mention of the coffee or the six pack after that
well.... until last night

last night I was out trick or treating with my two boys
Grant was in my arms
Lisa was running back to the house to get a sweater for herself
Dean was off with his friends under the supervision of one of his friend's parents
as we meandered down the Mount Pleasant Halloween block party on Lamont Street I said hello to various old friends
at one point I said hello to an old friend who was speaking to a woman I recognized
after our exchange I made a formal introduction of who I was and where I used to live and my knowing who she is and where she lived etc....
she said she thought we had met before
I felt we had never formally met
then she asked if I was "the coffee guy?"
I shyed away from the topic
but the third party was curious of this title

so she started in on a short rendition of the story
which pretty much said that her husband did not "stop" soon enough

without getting angry I told the story how it happened
not my slant of the story
but how it happened

after a short detailless description of that mornings events I discussed the idea of action and reaction
me learning from this experince and so on and so on
trying to end admitting that I am a flawed person
and lastly
that I feel bad that I am known as "the coffee guy"
as I do not use that incident to pigeon hole the identity of her husband

our back and forth was pleasant enough
my blood pressure did raise
but I tired to contain my emotions
it was clear that the driver of this speeding Volvo had no reflection
at no point did he take into account for his own behavior
leaving me a villian
cannonizing him as a saint
shocking.... but not really

we parted on a positive note
I walked away being called "the six pack guy" rather than "the coffee guy"
it still bothered me
perhaps she will think of things that were said in our conversation
the idea of speeding on my street being no different than speeding on his street
the idea that he should pass pedestrians just as he would like cars to pass him or his family

I am falling back on notions of common sense and common courtesy
the law is another issue
he could obey the speed limit
he could give the pedestrians the right of way
he could even respect the double yellow line and stop within his lane
but that is not what I am asking for
I am asking for people to deal with things on a human level rather than a legal level
if we all delt with life on this human level than laws would become obsolete

now don't get the impression that I am so do gooder


day lights savings and my evening commute
looks like it is time to strap on the headlamp
as day lights savings has made it darker earlier
blinking lights are great for being seen
but a headlamp seals the deal

here is a Dirt Rag Article that talks about the Nite Rider Commuter Series
it may be tough to go from blue glow of HID to the dull brown pen light of a 7.5 watt bulb


some interesting stuff about next year's tour from MASIGUY's BLOG


The Hardesty Wedding: the rings and a toast
within the tasks of best man it was my job to stand there along side of my friend
while I stood there I also had to hold certain papers for the minister when she did not need them
as well as hold the rings.... then pass the rings to the minister at the appropriate times

on the wedding day
as the tension started to build
the guests had all arrived and were seated anxiously awaiting for the ceremony to begin
it was cold
did I mention it was cold?
we listened for cues and waited to be called forward
just as things started to get exciting I turned to the groom and asked where I was to get these rings
without a blink Rob told me that they were on his dinning room table
there was no hesitation
the house keys were in my hand and the co-bestman Snoopy was along side of me as we raced to the car

luckily the wedding was not far from Rob's house
we were back in nearly no time at all
this little slip of forgetting the rings worked in perfectly
it was not decided until after the ceremony when we were giving the toast
the missing rings seemed like the perfect topic to center around for my toast

as the toast was not pre-written nor was it pre-practiced I can only tell you what I recall
for those that do not know... extraverts think outloud
so the words were uttered as they were spoke
I did not know what I was going to say until after I said it
as extraverted as I may be
speaking in front of people is not a pleasure for me
as a matter of fact I hate it
not only do I hate it.... but I am aweful at it
I have been good friends with Rob for over 20 years
telling some random people about one of my oldest friends is an easy enough thing to do

so I introduced myself
gave people an idea of who I am and my relationship to Rob
then I told them of Rob's nervous mannerisms in contrast to his lack of anxiety about getting married
there was...
his lack of anxiety the days proir...
his lack of anxiety at the rehersal dinner...
his lack of anxiety on his wedding day
his lack of anxiety five minutes before the wedding when he discovered that the wedding rings (and license) were not on hand
yes it took Rob over seven years to marry Lori
but this is not something he was at all nervous about
nor is this something to be at all nervous about

I was more nervous about my toast then Rob was about getting married

The Hardesty Wedding: the ties.... lets start with the ties
this weekend past I had the honor of serving as the best man in my old friend rob's wedding
this is the same person who dragged me off to Vegas for a long weekend of decadence
also being the same person who said... "no we are not wearing tuxedos... I need you to buy a black suit."
after an awesome but somewhat expensive trip to Vegas
then the purchase and tailoring of a discounted yet still expensive Kenneth Cole suit
I was a little put off when Rob told me he was sending me the tie I was to wear at the wedding
to me it seemed a little over the top
what if I did not like the tie?
what if the tie did not flatter my new suit?
had I not done enough so far?
selecting a tie... forcing me to talk in front of people?
these thoughts and many others went through my head

the steam settled
the tie arrived
it was not the the paisley tie from the '80s that I feared
in fact... I rather liked the tie and its Tibetian Mandala feel to it

the day of the wedding all the groomsmen showed up early before the wedding event at the Baltimore Museum of Industry
we gathered and discussed the detains of the wedding that I had missed by showing up late for the rehersal dinner
while standing on the dock outside the museum Rob brought up the ties
there was a hush then a mumble
then rob pulled out a pair of scissors
two snips here
a few snips there
and two groomsmen were left with half a tie
being next in line I clutched my tie and scampered away
everyone was shocked and confused

as it turns out
Rob had purchased ties for the event... bow ties
these ties were meant to be hated
not sure of the smoke screen
I guess he assumed that we would be so focused on our hate for the ties that we would be releaved that they were being replaced
thus taking our focus off the bow ties
as not everyone is a fan of the bow tie

we accepted our new bow ties
I tucked my other tie away
hiding it safely from any and all scissors
we then all crowded into the nearest men's room to try and learn how to tie a bow tie

luckily for me I learned to tie a bow tie for my wedding
in front of the mirror rubbing elbows with 6 other men did not work for me
my arm was falling asleep
while all the advice and instructions were messing with my head
so in the middle of the room right before the amazed eyes of a few early arriving guests I tied a bow tie blindly to near perfection

we all managed to get our ties tied
each individuals knots lasted at least through the night

baltimore museum of industry
my blogging about our bachelor party in Vegas

another epic weekend
last weekend was filled with hikes in the woods with the dogs and the boys
long scenic drives south to Charlottesville for some mountainbike racing
then ending the evening with a glorious afternoon at the park with the boys which included a mini train ride
this weekend was pretty much the same
swap out a Friday night at home for a rehersal dinner
still some hiking with the boys and the dogs in the woods
then take all the preping and packing of cycling gear and insert suits, ties, and wedding gear
take away the six hour mountainbike race at Panarama Farms and insert a 6 hour wedding in Baltimore
end the weekend with a trip to the same toddler park.... only no train ride
throw in a pizza dinner and a trip to Boo at the Zoo!
the weekend was awesome
lisa and I left the boys at home for both the rehersal dinner and the wedding
great to get out
great to get away from the kids and chew our food
great to stand witness to see to friends take their life and their relationship to the next level
pictures and stories to come
the potential for many stories
it was a fun packed weekend which included me as the best man
playing the role of "best man"

by robert mcclintock
I would bet that this painting is from the perspective of the Baltimore Museum of Industry
the location where my friends Rob and Lori got married this weekend past

race report from that labor day event

Gloucester Cyclocross Race
looks like cross racing at its best
my friend and City Bikes cycling team mate Joe Foley went up to the race
when he was not racing the course
he put his passion of cycling aside and reached for another one of his passions... sports photography

check out Joe Foley's images from Gloucester
from their you will find the link to other racers blog entries on the event
as well as the main site for the event

(this is just one of joe's 1300 pics from the event)

this deal does not suit my 29 inch wheel needs

but my buddy Hound-dog was good enough to share the information with me just the same
another internet deal from

*I am a firm believer is supporting your local bike shop but I am also a firm believer in getting the deals when and where you can
spare wheels even if they are beaters can be the difference in keeping a bike on the road or in the garage
I know.... I have many wheel-less bikes lying dormant in my basement and my garage

hound dog also links to an intersting story about a mountain lion attack on the trails that he rides daily

Halloween Inaugural Ride!
a real treat with no tricks

over a week ago I picked up my new
Specialized Tri Cross Comp
it is a beautiful bike that has a bit of a Darth Vadar feel to it

the all black frame with its unique flat spots areas and oddly thick spots make me feel like I am on some super stealth machine
the rain and other obligations kept me off the bike days prior last night I thought about it
Halloween seemed like the perfect time to start breaking in this machine
tonight there will have to be a very rapid session on some dirt before I go home for some more Halloween action

tonight our neighborhood throws a major celebration

it should be a great gathering the kids from our block are all meeting together for a mass march up to the Halloween Block Pary
the party should be extra fun for Lisa and myself as the party occurs on the block where we lived for five years before we moved to our current house
ye ha!

trick or treat
happy Halloween!

I have to admit.... I will be relived when Halloween is behind us.... it has lasted nearly two months
finally the apex has arrived
Tuesday may offer some "post party depression"
but Thanksgiving and Christmas should start occupying the boys attention in no time

Winter Gear.... Deals!
I love gear
more than that
I love gear that works!
Sierra Trading Post always has Deals!
now is the time to start assembling the appropriate riding gear for commuting or
for just plain riding

go to their BARGAIN BARN!
maybe you can get some super sweet stuff super cheap!

be careful
it is not a good deal unless it fits and you are going to use it!

and no
this is not advertising
this is a recommendation

spend the money to get the right the right gear
this gear if treated well will last for years
or at least until your wife or boss tells you it stinks so bad that you need to toss it away or even burn it!

here is another recommendation
for your printing needs use
if I had any sense...
I would start my Christmas Cards now rather than on December 15th