Rants on Cycling and on Life


Ray's Indoor Mountainbike Park/Mike Mapp and Ramptech
I have never been to Ray's Indoor Mountainbike Park
would love to go
would love to check it out
would love to walk away wiht the skills that Ray's demands, offers, and nurtures

years past I competed against Ray at the 24Hour of Snowshoe Mountainbike Races
we talked in the tent waiting for our team mates to return so we could race our laps
we talked after our laps at the American Lung Association trying to recover
while I slammed enough orange slices to make a dozen oranges
Ray boldly smoked cigarettes
yes, Ray smoked cigarettes in the American Lung Association volunteer tent

so, although I do not know Ray that well.... there is some things about Ray that makes me think about Mike Mapp
it is not just the cigarettess
it is something about their personality and their ambition
there is a certain boldness to each of these individuals
an arrogance
something reminiscent of Field of Dreams
what made Ray think that an Indoor Mountainbike Park would work?

what made Mike Mapp think that he could have a company that specializes in Skateboard Parks?

I can remember when Mike was still starting out with Ramptech..
he was not remodeling houses
he was not building decks
he was not taking calls to tile bathroom floors
he was not accepting calls to knock down a wall to open up the kitchen area
no... Mike was waiting for people to call and ask him to build their skate parks
the only problem.... skateboarding was not that popular at the time
skateboarding was still a fringe sport
but Micro (a popular nickname for Mike) believed

the phone rang from time to time
4 out of 5 times the calls were from a roller blader

when Mike got those 4 calls.... he got angry and he hung up
some of those roller bladers would call back... he would smell them out and hang up again
Mike was an old school skater who had no love for the rapidly growing sport of roller blading
the times changed skateboarding rose in popularity
mike's business began to grow as well
skateboarding became the most rapidly growing sport in the world
but... just as there were more skateboarders
there soon became more skateboard ramp manufacturers
previously Mike Mapp had stood alone....
alone and poor
things changed
now Mike stands in a crowd... a crowd and well... I do not know his bank statements but he has not offered to fly me to a house in Aspen in the Ramptech Company Jet
the CATCH-22 of popularity

Mike Mapp and Meatball Ray are not unlike a mountainbike race promoter
in so many ways it is a thankless task
not just doing what you can... but doing what you love.... giving to those something that no one else is offering
from the distance I saw a rapid rise and fall of Dan Comber and his Mid-Atlantic Race Series

hope that Ray is having success with is Indoor Mountainbike Park
hope that Mike is having success with the whole Ramptech experience
hope Dan is doing well and hope to see him at his one race the Susquehanna Scorcher
me I am just blogging while my younger son naps, my older son watches Scooby Doo cartoons, and I wait for my brother and sister inlaw to arrive with their four kids

ray's mountainbike park


this morning I got a call
the modern age and its modern conveniences takes some of the surprise out of certain things
crank calls are just not the same with caller ID
the phone rang
checked the caller id
it was Mike Mapp of RampTech

it had been a while
Mike was getting suited up for a road ride
guess the combination of the winter sports on the television and the bike headed for the trails got him thinking about me
glad he called
it was good to catch up
seems that mike is trying to get me out on the snowboard
we may have to settle for the bike


random GWADZILLA archive seeking previous posts about RAMPTECH
amusing stuff....

Vida/Thunderball/That ESL Flavor
that is vida
good thing she has so many hands
it allows her to design, blow glass, cook, stitch, and do yoga

ESL Music

Fort Knox Recordings
last night friends vida and rob came over with a bowl of homemade cincinnatti chili

vida brought the chilli
rob brought some home brew and a pre-release of the next Fort Knox Five cd

I popped it right in
the girls were chatting while they stirreed the chilli
while the boys groved with the little boys
a floor of LEGOS at our feet
rob directed me to his personal favorite, track 12 Chariot
my reaction may not have been what rob expected
I loved it
I was confident that I would love it
as I tend to groove on whatever rob plays
be he playing guitar, sitar, or mixing straight on the computer
the movement of Dean and Grant added to the positive review

the chili was awesome
the company was great
a good time was shared by all

Fort Knox Recordings
Cincinatti Chilli
(not sure if this resembles Vida's recipe... but I think any chili with cinnamon served over pasta would qualify as Cincinatti Chili)


like superman racing the train
this cyclist speeds ahead of the moving truck
then dips into the tunnel underneith Dupont Circle

terry balances the box as if it had no weight
as if the box is not there
hope he gets to charge for this delivery being more than an envelope
note the "hi mom messenger" gliding through the back of one of the images

my old friend scotty
again choosing to risk it all by riding a beater
rather than a modern age steed with brakes
I know he has a mid-80's atb as I gave him one
he tells me it is too nice to ride
while I think it would be nice to glide through traffic on a bike that starts and stops

this is max
this is max's bike
those are max's tattoos


missed the shot
hate when that happens
camera is on hand
not in hand
but on hand
an opportunity presents itself
what do I do?
I drop the ball

there I was in front of the White House....
got my background...
looking for my foreground
took a few shots
tucked the camera away
then just as I am about to leave I see TAR moving down the road
on his fixed gear
rolling on one wheel
holding a wheelie on his fixie for 20-30 yards
enough time for me to pull out the camera
take off the lens cap
hit the mulitiple exposures button
then hit the shutter button snapping multiple shots
pointing into the sun I could not see the display
unable to see what I was cropping in the camera
you already know it
I missed the shot

John Nichols writes; Cheney, "A Beer or Two" and a Gun
what I love about a story like this.... if this same man who was shot had accidently shot Cheney.... he would have been hung before sundown!

my question... why didn't Cheney just use that old trick of choking his enemies from across the room?



gwadzilla blog archive

on valentines day my younger son grant turned two
here is the blog post from that week
here is what I was thinking that week

okay... that is the same link three times
reapeating myself is my style
since I have little to say
I often say it twice


unbelieveable... I rode the trainer tonight
a few weeks ago I put the bike on the trainer and rode it for the duration of a movie.... Lost in Translation
the movie was beautifully filmed
the plot was....
well, the movie was beautifully filmed
and I was on a trainer
it was actually quite a pleasure
then from that day after whenever I felt it was in the least bit possible I extended my commute on my bike home rather than ride the trainer again at night
the trainer served a certain purpose
even if it was a bit of an avoidance response

some days went without ride
no time to ride after work
no desire to get back on the trainer
always easier to sit on the couch than the bike seat
there have been things in addition to the weather that have given me the alibi for "why not to ride?"
a question I have over a dozen preloaded answers to
all translating into, "I am lazy"
I love to ride... but it is tough as I have a certain disorder... I am chronically lazy
but tonight I had to rush home from work to grab the boys and play entertainer
being such a nice day I was so "jonzing" to ride
so after a great night with the boys I rode
for the film on this evening's short ride I selected a friend's cycling home movie
it was awesome
totally classic
I laughed
I cried
I saw it while I rode my rollers

this old friend todd had assembled some video footage of himself and his core group of friends/cycling buddies The Mud Flounders
The Mud Flounders was a name they created for the old 24 Hours of Canaan races some years ago
the name stuck... they stopped 24 hour racing along with many others as Snowshoe had its faults

the film was a great little document of the Flounders cycling history
seeing some cycling friends love for cycling move from mountainbiking to cyclocross
great to see their passion
great to see their progression
great to see their pleasure
it was great to ride the trainer
it was even more great to break a sweat

45 minutes on the trainer
15 minutes of stretching
10 minutes of shoulder work

the floor beneith the bike was a puddle
seems the Mud Flounders get the heart rate up a little higher than Bill Murray in Lost in Translation

the stretching was light
looking forward to getting back into the yoga

just go the go ahead from my physical therapist to move into full activity
move slowly into full activity
which should include getting back onto dirt in th not so distant future
guess I should get my bikes dirt worthy
sad to admit... my geared Karate Monkey with front shock still has the number from the SM100
which answers my question.... did I race gears or single at the Panarama Paranormal...
guess Redlack and I raced on single speeds in the Clydesdale class
what a great little grass roots event!
what a great last race of the season.

bummer to dislocate my shoulder
bummer to miss the cross season

the season's highlights out weigh the negatives
even with a broken finger/surgery/PT/dislocated shoulder/PT and all the time off the bike there were still 10 races under my belt
great to start thinking of riding and racing in the days to come
the whole experience is so cumulative

the connection of the computer to computer speakers versus riding with headphones was a no brainer
scored major improvement points
and todd's sex pistols, black flag, and contemporary johnny cash in the righ places had me spinning
while Lost in Translation was a much lower heart rate experience

this blog entry was started moments prior
the boys were over my shoulder cleaning up in the tub
I logged on

foolishly thinking I may have a few moments to lose myself in the blog

the boys giggled and played
only feet away in the next room
they seemed to be behaving
there was a loud splash then another
the blog was abandoned

frantic blogger transforms into frantic daddy
blogger almost becomes his own daddy
the lecture about splashing is stressed again
this is not the first splashing incident and certainly not the last
ithis was clearly more than some incidental splashing
this was something more

this was clearly the heaving of cups of water at the wall

I looked at the walls
took multiple towels to soak up the wet tiles
then I wiped down the walls
with a stern voiced I tried to explain the damage that could be caused

the idea of "breaking the house" was brought up some time ago

dean does not want to break the house

he was immediately remorseful

there was no spanking there was no excessive raising of the voice
there was frustration

then there was understanding

young boys are curious about cause and effect

there is seldom any actual concern for consequences
this is an issue in boys that maintains for many years for some this behavior may last decades
I try to be understanding
I am trying to learn to be understanding

so the bath was cut short
dean got a bit more of a lecture as he got dressed
grant was very good about allowing me to dry and dress him

with the boys dressed and not sure what to do I let the boys plot our next move
dean found an unopened copy of Baraka on my book shelf

having lent out my other copy of Baraka to a friend who most certainly left it at his ex-girl friend's house this would be gift was opened
we went downstairs to catch a film before bedtime
the boys sit beside me in a darkened room t
he Kecak dancers amuse dean as much as they amuse me

on with my blog

and BARAKA... a movie that will movie you
fantastic film for anyone who loves travel, culture, beautiful imagry, and life

tonic: kids night at tonic
in mount pleasant there is a bar/restaurant called tonic tonic is kind enough to host a kids night perhaps it is a mutualistic situation they give parents free food to kids under 12 in turn us parents corral ourselves to one night a week, wednesday thus keeping the actions of over excited children from interferring with romantic couples trying to seal the deal or unfortunate couples trying to manage a smooth break up in a public place well, tonight tonic did not serve me well, not well at all while lisa went to a PTA meeting while I played mr. mom in an effort to feed daddy and keep the kids entertained we marched up the hill to tonic the boys got into the stroller dean almost too big at four for the stroller got in first then I dropped grant upon him dean knows the drill it is up to dean to be grant's seat belt I marched up fast
the boys enjoyed the ride
we cruised up the hill, down the main strip, upto the doorway with zero casualties
no one crashed
no one tried to abandon ship
being moderately familiar with the menu I ordered fast the kids needs were discussed on the multi-block stroll through mount pleasant mac and cheese and mini-pizza my decision was made at first glance, pulled pork platter entree rather than sandwich to justify the free kids meal on kid's night our order was placed and the games began there were crayons and an assortment of toys in my bag my friend adam popped in and joined us grant wrestled to get away and dean played patiently while answering adam's various questions time passed slow the service moved even slower absurdly slow obnoxiously slow
I can understand a that things take time
I can understand that there can be a bit of a back log in orders
I can understand that multiple orders may have slammed the cook at the same time
I can not understand what took the cook so long with our meal on this night
being a waiter is not difficult work or so it appears from my side of the table the person at the table has certain needs various needs come in the form of requests other needs come when the person places an order while there are need appear in the form of logic or perhaps common sense our waiter tonight may have never served a table with children before our waiter tonight may have never eaten in a restaurant before our waiter tonight may lack common sense our waiter tonight may have been on PCP actually I think it is more simple our waiter tonight is not very good at being a waiter
our waiter clearly lacked common sense
the night went on drink refills were not offered food took forever to be served requests were made then forgotten then made again only to take an irrational amount of time to be filled then the check came well, the amazing disappearing waiter forgot to bring the check at the first request then took forever to bring the check at the reminder I paid the check I over tipped after some calculations in my head
I think that my waiter charged me for the two free kids meals
it frustrates me but I try to be understanding
I am trying to be undestanding
I am trying to learn to be understanding

from the WABA Auction

my brother and I serve drinks in tandem

images from Sean Bega of Hub Racing
(Hub Racing is an assortment of fast and beautiful ladies)

more images from the WABA Event

Kevin Dillard of NCVC has some photos
(Kevin Dillard... messenger... mountainbike racer... photographer... and NCVC FREAK!)

more of Dillard's images can be found at DEMON CATS COURIER RACING

Demon Cats

NCVC=National Capitol Velo Club



aqua lung
working on a bike is a joy that I do get involved in as frequently as I should
honestly, I put it off...
honestly, I put most everything off

currently most any and every one of my bikes is in some sort of serious need
all of my bikes have been neglected
bike projects that I need to finish have been neglected

with the very winter weather so uncharacteristic of the washington winter so far
snow and slush is the forcast for tomorrow's commute
the old and tired jamis nova cross bike should not be the call
no, the surly karate monkey single speed with rigid fork and 29 inch wheels makes much more sense
the idea to become action took more than just transfering over the time pedals from my beater cross bike to my single speed mountainbike

the rear hub needed some tightening
the tires needed air, not too much air, but some air just the same
leaving things squishy for the slick, slippery, and slushy

once getting started
I was scratching my head looking for tools
had the cone wreches for a quick tightening of the rear hub
yet in my quick scan I could not find a 15mm box wrench to remove the bolt on rear wheel
gave it another quick look then went to my commuter
snagged the surly bottle opener/box wrench combo, Jethro Tool
well, I was immediately flashing back to a conversation the night prior at the WABA auction
where the idea of the multi-tool
I was told of a bottle opener, can opener, ice crusher, ice scooper, drink everything device of mythical proportions
the image was hard to picture in my head
all I cared about was... we know it looked cool, but did it work
apparently this multi-bar tool from some by gone era did in fact work
the Surly Jethro Tool did not work
not enough length to give me the tork
a 15mm wrench did not seem like a hard thing to be
and well
it is not that
better discovered in the basement then on a post work ride or worse yet on a night lap in a 24Hour relay race
stepped back and looked again for a 15mm wrech
certainly I have several and sure enough I found one
loosended the nuts with some effort
thought that I may want to test the Jethro Tool again
then thought that I would just continue with the 15mm wrench and see how the opener side works when I was done

actually I grabbed wine
so that tool could not be used for that task
love the surly bike
love my two surly bikes
know many that love their surly bikes
think all the surly novelty items are fun
love novelty items
but curious if the flask actually holds whiskey?

found this while "link jumping"
the site was alive
no posts since august
this image and info is out of date
but the SINGER messages are always worth sharing

The League of American Bicyclist and the National Bike Summit
check your calendars
check the schedule of events
check the future of the world
check the future of cycling in our world

in addition to meeting some of the folks of League of American Bicyclists after they out bid me on the unicycle at the auction
I exchanged hellos with Paul of METROBIKE... we met at the WABA silent auction last year; great to see he is moving forward with METROBIKE!

WABA Silent Auction
time well spent
time served

voluntered as bartender at the WABA Silent auction

was joined by my brother and several others

all went well

glasses got filled

people got drunk

we made some tips for the WABA folks

my brother and I represented the City Bikes Family

the winter weather held some people back
the number of bikes locked up out front was clearly lower than the year prior
guess the bike valet got the night off
that or they had to shovel the walk outside instead
normally I would ride the short cross town ride for such an affair but, the wet slick roads, the steadily falling snow, the recovering shoulder, the thought of ruining my tuxedo all combined to have me drive the short drive to the Embassy of Finland for the WABA Silent Aucton

the numbers were down due to the weather
yet it was still a lively affair

had the camera
there were not as many cyclists to shoot as I had hoped
and well... did not take the photos of those I did not know as I have no need for the digital archive
enough Megabytes of scrap data as it is

Auction went well
it was amazing to see the deals
so much stuff went for below retail
I tried to bid on a unicycle
the folks at
League of American Bicyclist out bid me

one of the more interesting items up for sale was a lesson to ride a "high wheeler" by local bike guru larry black
larry black bike collector, bike shop owner, and serious bike geek
he holds various rollers records including the rare ability to strip down naken while riding rollers then getting dressed again
auctioned off the services of promising to teach the winning bidder to ride a high wheeler
at Bike DC a few years ago I saw larry black ride through deep gravel and over railroad tracks
a section that forced many of the riders to dismount and walk
we spoke....
he is a character
not unlike many people within the tribe of the cyclist


do people still do the lyndie?
or did those moves go the way of the macarena?