Rants on Cycling and on Life


saturday today

things do not always go as planned
had big ideas for today
a night of a child with a fever
a dog with the runs
cut into our plans
here is how things played out

neither lisa nor I went to yoga
which altered my morning plans
I thought I would have the boys while lisa did her downward dog
instead lisa took the boys to target for some swim trunks
while I took the dogs to Rock Creek Park for a hike in the woods

after a healthy hike in the woods I had tentative plans to go riding with micro
there was talk of mount vernon or the capitol crescent
micro and I were unable to connect so I put the trailer on the back of the bike
grantman backed down as dean was already loaded up
the wind was strong so I did not mind not having grant add another 30 plus pounds to my cargo in the burley trailer
managed to pull dean into the wind both ways for roughly an hour forty-five
we did haines point... we did some monuments
circled the washington monument several times at its base
wondered what time it was as I saw the shadow of the largest sun dial I have ever seen
the wind whipped the flags in an audibly aggressive fashion

we returned home
we rushed
but we did not plan
it was too late for the SUBWAYS at the 9:30 Club
for a live Pancake Mountain event

another time
some days you try to do it all
end up being satisfied to have done some
no more links
got to shower, entertain the kids, and figure out dinner
supposed to meet micro for a drink....
so more goals to shoot for before the day is done

back from dinner
all went well
had dinner at noodles
it is a chain... but a tastee chain
now waiting to meet micro for a drink


Bike Summit....

enough of this idiot box and onto the next
before I go... I must say...
check out
Jonathan has a good synopsis of his experiences
as well as some good links to some of those involved in aiding the cause

Solidarity Ride

dc solidarity ride blog
dc courier

looks like some good links on these sites



when on this page focus on the CATEGORIES
it will blow your mind
this is a great network of information for the DC Cyclist
I wonder if the folks at WABA have seen this site

oh... that washing maching thing was my creation
I put the washcycle image inside
it is on rinse right now

I do like to say SOULCRAFT

race info

my buddy dave thought I should share this
it makes me think of the Kona project Africa Bike

DIRT RAG Lifetime Subscription

well, I took the plunge
my subscription ran out
so when I renewed my subscription I went ahead and took it all the way!


Dirt Rag

messenger on a track bike


bloggers try their hands at print...
in this months issue of SPOKES MAGAZINE this humble blogger tried his hand at the written word in print
not as easy as blogging
in addition to my humble contribution there are various other articles worth reading
MY BIKE SHOP column (I may be bastardizing the column title) covers the P Street Hardware Store
a place where you can have keys made, buy some spackle, or have your bike tunned or get a new light for your bike
great little shop
I have been wandering through there for years and years

also worth reading is the March cover story by Captain Jack Sparrow aka CONVERSATIONSWITHMUD
the magazine looks like it covers a good range of topics
swing by your Local Bike Shop (LBS) and grab a copy
if your local bike shop does not carry SPOKES
tell them that they should
SPOKES MAGAZINE is to the Mid-Atlantic Cyclist what the City Paper is to the city dweller of each specific city!

eric finding his messenger roots

this is eric of waba
out on his track bike making a delivery for waba
out there rediscovering his messenger roots
is he out there rediscovering his messenger routes?

Eric of WABA

this is eric of waba
what is waba?



this blog is quite the DC local resource!

I must bookmark it
I must link to it

I must mention it now

more than that I need to spend some time reading through it!


not all cyclists in the city are messengers

this woman was kind enough to allow me to take her picture
she is walking home from the eye doctor
I bet that she got on her bike as soon as I was out of view
even if the drops in her eyes effected her vision
cyclists are a crazy breed
with the option to walk or ride...
we tend to choose riding

morning ride with a friend

this morning after the daily duties with my two boys
then the standard morning walk with the dogs
I went out for a little pre-work ride
had roughly a hour to spin before I needed to be in at work

on my ride through Rock Creek Parkway I turned down Pineybranch Parkway
the same stretch of road that Marvin Kalb bitched about bikers
there I saw my Aussie friend John Shovelan
John is a person to admire
approaching 50
he has a passion for his bike
he has a passion for his kids
he has a passion for his life
somehow he manages to keep a healthy balance

John turned around at my hello
I turned around for John
I invited him to alter his route to match mine so that we could chat
so we rode along side of each other and caught up

it amazed me how john a few years my senior was able to match my pace
me on my skinny tired cross bike
while he was on his wife's mountain bike
at several points I offered to slow pace
each time he denied me
perhaps I should have been more direct and just asked to slow down for me

we caught up
the conversation meandered
we talked about wives, work, children, and of course bikes
it was a great way to start the day
riding fast with a friend down the Capitol Crescent Trail into work

we cut into the city
my office building directly next to john's
we went our separate ways
there was mention of grabbing "tea" some afternoon
I smiled and waved

carried my bike into the office
got to work...
well... showered.... checked my messages... made a few calls
made this blog post
I am getting to work now

John's Journal of his cross country bicycle trip from a year or so ago


The Winter Bicycle Commute

ah, the winter bicycle commute
it can be cold
it can be wet
it can be miserable
with the right gear it can be pretty okay sometimes down right inspirational
but... if your commute to work is as short as mine
there can be some issues

there are some drawbacks to the short commute
there starts to be a negative relationship between changing times and riding times
the colder and wetter it is outside
the more gear I need to put on and then take off
the colder and wetter it is outside
the more likely I am to ride directly to work and then directly home from work
thus having spent nearly as much time getting in and out of my gear as I have spent pedalling my bicycle around town

it can be fursturating
it is part of the game
as things start to warm up time is spent trying to gather the appropriate gear
a thin jacket over a jersey with arm warmers.... where is the second arm warmer?
the gortex socks with standard riding shoes... where are those socks?
various thickness of skull caps and balaclavas
all of them are black lycra.... all of them are in the same drawer... it is a comedic process
the right collection of gear can really enhance the riding experience
while too much gear can cause the commuter to sweat so much that they are more wet on the inside then the rain or snow could cause from the outside
then of course too little gear or even the wrong gloves can send me sprinting for home in pain and agony
it is a balancing act
it is a process that gets refined over the years
more than anything is over the years I have collected more and more gear
the more gear a rider possesses
the more options that they have
the less dependent they are on finding that once piece of gear to make their ride comfortable


Banff Film Festival

next week here in Washington DC National Geographic is hosting the Banff Mountain Film Festival
there are SIX days of flims
not just mountain biking
but mountain culture... which does happen to include mountain biking

on Tuesday there will be a showing of the Jason Berry film, Off Road to Athens
last year Jason was just a humble ticket holder in the auditorium lucky enough to win a fleece jacket in a raffle
this year... Jason was lucky enough for his wonderful film to make the tour
good work Jason (and company)
keep the films coming!

National Geographic page on the Banff Mountain Film Festival
Banff Centre page
Off Road to Athens


my old buddy SUPERDAVE
Dave has been out on the streets doing the messenger thing before there were streets in DC
Dave ran packages for the Indians before the first settlers landed and settle the thirteen colonies


real messenger, real mountain biker, real racer, and a really good guy!
also find Swampy here... IF Team Rooster
Swampy is also associated with DCMTB
if you are in DC and you need a package delivered... call Real Courier

Courier Couple

not sure how many of these there are... courier couples that is
sure there are courier hook ups
but there can not be that many courier couples
a rare breed
like a sighting of the ever rare and never before photographed Bisquack Bird
I was able to capture the images of the seldom seen together Courier Couple nesting in the park


I do not like the running hashers
it is clear that I do not care for the running hashers
I like their motto.... and that is about it
hashers.... "drinkers with a running problem"

I think I feel about the running hashers the way that some may feel about mountainbikers
I do not like it when I see their colored chalk marking the trail
especially when it is taking their runners off trail... bisecting the turn
I do not like it when I am trying to catch up with a friend at the local pub and the whole bar gets taken over by "the mob"
the mob of hashers... who like most mods end up being louder and more obnoxious because they do not stand as individual but they stand as a whole

this morning as I hiked the dogs I had to toss some fallen branches and debrie over the "girl scout route" that the running hashers had create in one of their local trail runs
it boggles my mind how my two sons; ages 2 and 4; can stay on the trail
yet full grown adults grow bewildered and start trail blazing

a blog entry from the agitator about hashers....

grantman on the mall

ah... the mall
a place for frisbee
a place for festivals
a place for wandering between museum visits
a place for lunchtime runners and post work competition

the world is a playground

to a child the world is a playground
not sure if these little monkeys should really be climbing on this artist's structure
then again... I am not sure if the homeless guy at the corner should be storing his goods on the first level of this structure
no.... I did not blow the whistle on this guy either
just because I do not approve does not mean that I feel it is my place to get involved

museums and the mall

living downtown has its advantages
the museums being free definitely adds to that list of advantages

la musica

here we are on our way to the Museum of American History
not as popular with the boys as the Museum of Natural History

can not help but wonder

after the standard morning routine with the boys then the dogs
I stepped into some winter gear and took in a lung full of cold air as I started my very, very short bicycle commute into work
as I dropped in from Mount Pleasant into Adams Morgan I passed the rear enterence to the National Zoo
as I made the curve I took the full lane
looking ahead to the downhill traffic to be sure that there are no cars looking to make the left hand turn into the zoo in front of me
as my eyes panned the hill of Harvard Street I could not help but notice the activity on top of the small little green space hill

sure enough there was some activity at the homeless hide-away
at the base of the hill was a National Park Service pick up truck
as I made the bend to climb up Adams Mill towards Adams Morgan I passed a Park Police vehicle
at the top of the hill along side the tarp covered tent I could see a female Park Police officer speaking with the Park Ranger

as I focused on the hill and the cars passing fast along side of me I could not help but think....

"did my blog from yesterday aid in blowing the whistle on these characters camped in the urban woods?"


this morning I sent Dean off to pre-k with some beads around his neck
there was one set of "disco ball beads" and one set of "king beads" wonder if the teachers will talk about the festival
wonder if the teachers will talk about the effects of Hurrican Katrina
maybe it is more than a four year old's mind needs who knows... maybe Dean will come back talking about KING CAKE!?!??!

what about the baby?
who got the baby?
did the dingo eat your baby?


mardis gras

it bewilders me how christmas can offend so many people yet the whole Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras thing slips under the radar
I do not mind
do not mind either
I do not mind Ramadan
I do not mind Rosh Hashanah

I don't mind any Hindi holidays even if I can not pronounce them

I do not mind the religious holidays from religions I am not familiar with
I do not mind the religious holidays from religions I have never heard of

it amuses me that people get all bent out of shape over Christmas

in the same way that people started changing the names of things like freedom fries, freedom toast, and freedom kissing... okay no one tried to call it freedom kissing
but you recall the absurdity well...
Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday") is the day before Ash Wednesday, and is also called "Shrove Tuesday" or "Pancake Day". It is the final day of Carnival (English:IPA: /kaɹnɨvəl/ and Romance languages:IPA: /karnival/). It is a celebration that is held just before the beginning of the Christian liturgical season of Lent. The feast should not be confused with the Polish Fat Thursday. from Wikipedia
there is more to this holiday that excessive underage drinking, full frontal nudity for the price of some beads, and the Girls Gone Wild box set yet, people do not know enough to be offended it does not surprise me
the definition does not make mention of what Lent is....
this is the fast for forty days...
okay... I hardly know myself...

and me....
am I giving up anything for lent?
but... I should give some stuff up for me, for my family, and for my future

it was a year ago that Red Bean closed in Mount Pleasant (dcist)
not making it to Fat Tuesday.... which was a sad end for a bar that wanted to give DC some of that New Orleans flavor

the very memorable Adventures of Frank as told by the Washington Post
a Post Update from late 2005
a great GWADZILLA ARCHIVE chock full of stuff including a race report and a photo of me in a cheerleader's outfit

gwadzilla archive from two years ago

seems that Frank Connel has landed on his feet
Frank Connell is happy to be back in New Orleans
as much as he loves DC... he loves New Orleans
in addition to cooking at
Frank is starting up his cooking column in the Old Town Crier
Frank is finsihing up a cook book
clearly a man with many hats
like a rubber ball he rebounds pretty well

today/monday a man at work brought in some Mardi Gras beads
it really brightened the mood of the day
I think it increased productivity
I know it made me feel more positive at work
or was that the post work ride that makes me feel that way?

green space turning brown

these images are less than a mile from each other
both spots are no more than 2 miles from the White House

the district just does appreciate its vast amount of green space

small triangles of green space go to waste
cross foot traffic beats the earth to lifeless soil

the National Park Service does not appreciate its green space either
I can appreciate the National Park Service keeping Rock Creek Park in its natural state
but... currently the natural state of this park is decline, rapid decline
the creek is eating away
there needs to be some action
I see that there are occassional efforts.... some efforts may be more logical than others

I would be willing to see baby steps
as baby steps are better than no steps at all

the Melvin Hazen trail wraps around some National Park offices.... yet the hill erodes in front of their beautiful history stone offices

the site of the green space turning brown reminds me of the lyrics from some old songs by The Samples

the satelitte images borrowed from GOOGLE do not display the loss of vegetation in the parks
the area selected in color actually was highlighted to show two spots where life moves under the radar

here in this urban enviroment there are these little nooks where the homeless live
these men are not former eagle scouts
they clearly do not live by the "pack it in... pack it out" ethic
there is no belief in "take only pictures... leave only footprints"
as these homeless campsites are surrounded by the trash that these men create

my sympathy for these men would be greater if they did not leave such a massive footprint of their presence
I am not blowing the whistle on these urban campers
but... I do wish that there was greater concern to their effect
perhaps more knowledge of their potential threat to the community

a revisit to some gwadzilla images

lola on her bike
tar with his


George Michael in the News
at first I thought he may have been pulled over for doing 69 in a 55 zone, but it turns out he was passed out in his parked car


National Bike Summit This Week in Washington DC
if nothing else
it may not be a bad idea to look at the schedule of events to make sure your cycling needs are being met

League of American Bicyclists
IMBA hosts the International Mountainbike Summit in BC this June
WABA's also involved in the SUMMIT

should be a big week for some cycling bloggers
I know that Jonathan Maus of Bike Portland is planning to make the cross country trek for the National Bike Summit
there will most certainly be others


time to look forward

it is time for me to look forward
time to start getting on the bike
time to start getting some legs, some lungs, and some confidence
what do I need to do?
I need to ride
more specifically I need to ride more and more frequently
dirt should be in my near future
have not seen dirt since I dislocated my shoulder on my cross bike

above is an image of myself and some of my City Bikes Mountain Bike Team Members
a quick look back makes me pumped to look forward

I think to them.... I am a fred
the fenders
the rack
the backpack
the beater bike
the utilitarian nature of my bikes
the kids behind me in the trialer
the type of gear I choose to wear when I ride
all of these things make the peacocks think that I am a fred
even if I am riding faster, further, or pulling a trailer holding 80 pounds worth of kid.... I am still a fred

the backpack is enough to label the tribe
nevermind the good sense in a hydration system, tools, pump, and tubes
that backpack is "fred wear!"

by definition 1 I think that
most of the peacocks I see are freds

From the bike slang dictionary (see definition 2):

fred n. 1) a person who spends a lot of money on his bike and clothing, but still can't ride. "What a Fred -- too much Lycra and titanium and not enough skill." Synonym for poser. Occasionally called a "barney". 2) (from roadriding) a person who has a mishmash of old gear, does't care at all about technology or fashion, didn't race or follow racing, etc. Often identified by chainring marks on white calf socks. Used by "serious" roadies to disparage utility cyclists and touring riders, especially after these totally unfashionable "freds" drop the "serious" roadies on hills because the "serious" guys were really posers. According to popular myth, "Fred" was a well-known grumpy old touring rider, who really was named Fred.
definition number 2 is more what I have come to understand what the roadies mean when they look at me and silently call me a "fred"
what they do not know is that I am not just a fred, but also a mountainbiker
but.... to the roadie.... any discipline in cycling other than road riding is less serious and also less respectable

I have always found great pleasure in the synopsis of the cycling categories on the official site from the 2004 summer olympics


Three Cycling disciplines are included in the Olympic Games sports programme: Road cycling, Track cycling, and Mountain Bike.

Road Cycling is considered by many people as the top cycling discipline, as it takes place on public highways, with courses that contain uphills and downhills as well as straight stretches and technically difficult turns.

Track cycling is more specialised and more complex than other Cycling disciplines. It consists of short-, medium-, and long-distance events, where speed, endurance and tactics are important factors in gaining the victory.

Mountain Bike started in the US (California) in the mid- 1970’s as a form of entertainment and recreation. It rapidly developed into one of the most thrilling international sports.

pretty funny stuff!
I think the author of that description of that web page may be the person who things that "road cycling is considered by many people as the top cycling discipline"

once I a was at a engagement announcement for a couple
the man in the couple was a Cat 2 roadie
so there were a good number of road cyclists there
in making a social loop I tried to strike up conversation with the various cyclists
I kid you not... each and everyone of them told me an anecdote of the one time they went mountainbiking a decade prior
like that is viable
wonder how interested they would have been had I thought to tell them an anecdote about me riding a century a decade ago?
not much of a story there

(hold on.... if I rode a century... I would tell it here... nevermind I am rambling agian)

there is nothing wrong with being a fred
that is like having a hunter for sport snub a person who hunts for food for survival
seems that the sport hunter has lost "site" of the root of his sport

the times have changed
there was a time where the people rode less expensive gear
when there was a certain humility
trying no to have a bike too far above an individual's level was common
now... look at the aids ride... lots of carbon fiber TREKS out ther
great for the bike shop!
a little over the top
great for cycling as a whole