Rants on Cycling and on Life


images from the hill

washington dc is a beautiful city
a city with an amazing history
history that still happens with this changing world

the incident on the hill with the issue with taking pictures was a bit unsettling
to quote george carlin, "we give up certain liberties in the name of freedom"
or something to that effect

as I was doing nothing wrong I took no offense to the approach of these officers
my heart rate still rose significantly
it was awkward, not quite scary
but somewhat intimidating just the same

intimidating to the point where I question what images I should post and what images I should not
now that is scary

to quote the charles bukowski character in that classic film, barfly, "I don't dislike cops, I just feel better when they are not around"
"to all my friends"

just some stuff from the city

kill my television

kill my television?
kill your television.

I agree with this idea
in theory

I know that I would be a more productive person, a healthier person, and maybe a happier person if I did not have television
television is a habitual addiction
do I turn it on because there is something to watch?
I watch because I turn it on...

but honestly... if you are going to do television you need to do cable
and well... if you do cable you need to do HBO
HBO is really what justifies it for me

a few things georgy carlin on now, bill maher, the documentaries are amazing (they know this.. they tell us.. they are right) last letters home in itself is worth a month's cost of cable
the series are great... entourage, sopranos, six feet under.... I may hate sex in the city now... but I used to love it

enough blog
more george carlin
oh... curb your enthusiasm has already made me a better person
on a few occassions I halted my behavior as it was about to become too much like something larry david would do

not all cyclists are messengers... not all messengers are hypsters on trackbikes

mathew for action if I remember correctly

saturday... this saturday... today

this morning neither lisa nor myself made it to yoga
we are out of our routine
it is tough to get the rhythm back
it is time to get back into the rhythm
it is time to get back into yoga

we took the dogs and the boys for a hike in Rock Creek that we do not usually hit
well, we do this hike with the dogs individually
not normally together
not normally with the kids
but, the trailhead to this section of woods is a hike from the house
a hike that is beyond the current span of our children's endurance
there are more logical loops that offer as much earlier on the hike
without demanding that I carry everyone back on my shoulders

while on the trails I was admiring how packed and dry the earth was beneith my feet
the air was also warm and dry
as I walked the path I imagined differed trails in the area that I would really love to rolling on at that exact moment
the thought of shaffer was more appealing to my mood than gambril
although gambril started to sound pretty nice
knew it would not happen, both 29ers are at the shop and well... not sure if my old Rocky Mountain Blizzard is currently trail worthy
accepted something I had already plotted
my riding would be on the road for another week or so

we walked forward
neither boy moving at their sometime olympic pace
I drifted back to the moment and tried to get the boys to pick up the pace
a few quick steps and grant was demanding that I put him on my shoulders
this is often the case with a 2 year old
one day they walk miles the next they refuse to walk a few feet
on this day grant got a free ride up the climbs and motored at a mind boggling pace for a child who just past his second birthday

the temperature and the state of the trail had me yearning for some off road riding
knowing it was not an option I tried to get psyched to take the boys out in the burley trailer
thoughts of an hour and a half pulling the trailer
looping back on the mall for various monuments and the kite flying festival
maybe try to occestrate some monument photos with the kids

I proposed this to the boys
grant was game
dean was not
this was fine with me
less weight.... nearly fifty pounds less weight

we finished our hike
the boys doing much better with being on their feet as we backtracked
the dogs had been able to chase a few squirels and splash in the creek
we returned to the car for some saturday afternoon errands

the errands took us to the post office and a bagel store that is closed for business
without food everyone was irratable
we drove with four passagers each whinning until we arrived at a park in georgetown
we arrive just as my brother and his sons left
they had a noon children's birthday party
our hike did not free us up in time for much more than crossing paths
the cousins were all excited to see each other
cousins is a special relationship similiar to that of siblings
maybe with less fighing... or so we will see

the park offered much entertainment
kept everyone distracted from their hunger for some time
we left before anyone got irratable
home for lunch momma lisa made up an assortment of stuff for the boys
while I had some cereal
as we wound up eating lunch I started to try and get the boys hyped
thinking I could sell dean on the trailer
no dice rock slice
dean was not up for the trailer
which was fine... it is good to get some one on one with grant
even if he becomes sleeping dead weight 10 minutes into my heavily weighted pull
before dean could get loud and bossy about not wanting to go
I said that it was fine
he could either go in the trailer or go shopping with mommy
in an almost smarmy way he said he would go shopping with mommy

grant in hearing this decided to swap options
grant was abandoning the trailer option for shopping with mommy
my ride just dropped another 30 pounds in child and 30 pounds in trailer
it also altered my duration of potential ride time

I only had the time lisa would be out at the store... and then some
that time is a variable
a variable of an unknown that would not be determined until after the ride
then I would know if I rode too long or if I could have ridden longer

lisa packed up the car with boys
I rushed downstairs and put on some gear
knowing I did not have much time
it was time to maximize my window of opportunity
like batman down the batpole and out of the bat cave
I was in black tights heading out of my basement and into the alley with a bike over my shoulder

down park road
out of mount pleasant
down rock creek parkway/beach drive
then through the gate onto the closed section of beach drive
closed to car traffic
open to recreation traffic

there was plenty of traffic
dogs on leashes
kids on scooters
parents helmetless riding along side of their helmeted children still riding with training wheels
coming the opposite direction can an long list of road riders
no familiar faces
but lots of nice bikes
many older gentlemen maintaining a good pace
as each rider comes at me and passes I try to imagine how far they road
what paths they took
where they will end up

ahead there is a petite rider moving at a pace similar to mine
I fight the desire to catch this ride
as I am trying to stay in the saddle and just spin
no muscle
no burn
just pedal.... not not long enough to qualify for LSD (long slow distance)
but something of that idea
my riding is not so much a science of training
just sort of rides I do and have done

as I settle in on a pace the rider pulls a little further ahead
at last glance I decide that this rider is female
as the road curved the small female road rider drifted out of sight

there were points where I got a little closer to the same female road cyclist
but I fought the urge to pick up the pace and tried to focus on spinning
and if not spinning
riding with more rotation than muscle
which means riding a gear or two easier than I would normally be pushing

the wind was in my face
in my mind I tried to plot my course and estimate my time
the four or five hour road ride is not really my thing
my numbers were more trying to figure and hour and a half to three
knowing when I start the mental debate the number three would immediately be tossed aside

more road cyclist came the opposite direction
more in a post ride chatty state then they were more than likely in some time ago
I imagined who was coming from where.... short up and back for them? or are they on their way back from Sugarloaf? mysteries whose answers I will never know mysteries hardly worth considering
but these are the things that occupy my mind as I ride on the road

at some point I get caught in a light and she disappears
which is fine
as I am focused on my own thing

just as I am thinking about the flying squirrels that I seldom see and the bat house I have been meaning to build I feel the moistness in the air start to build
the air grew a tad more cold
some solid yet sparse cold rain drops fell
my route was still under consideration
rather than letting turning around to avoid getting cold and wet becoming option one
I decided on riding this section of road out and back
only turning right onto the Capitol Crescent trail for some more gentle downhill spinning taking me home

as I come around a corner I see that same small female road rider
she is along side the road about to start up again
I imagine she has put on some warmer gear
maybe full finger gloves or arm warmers

we exchange smiles as I pass
I refrain from mentioning the headphones
as soon as she mounts the bike she is making the pass
as I am not moving too fast I am easy catch
she drifts into that same pace
only a little faster than me
I try to pace off myself rather than her

she pulls away and is often hidden by turns
it is an unententional game of cat and mouse
she gets caught at a light
I get to continue my pace past
only to be passed shortly after

on each pass there is no warning or alert
this is not the roadie way
I always try to accept that this is the roadie way
as I am more of a fred type that likes to give a hearty warning
then again
I am not normally giving audibles about cracks in the road or such
as mountianbikers tend to read things for themselves
although there are warnings and recommendations of gear changing, step up in techincal section approaching, and the guide to the best line to make it work

the cat and mouse continued
we had passed a number of cyclist at our clip
we both had turned around and were working our way back

at conneticut avenue we get caught at a light together
some friendly words were shared
eye contact was made
she was in fact female
she slowed her pace and we pedaled along side of each other

it was nice to share the ride with someone
some quick exhange of Q&A
all very friendly and nice
I mention I wish I had my camera
thinking of mounting it on the handlebars

there is mention of my blog and the images of cyclists

we run out of road
I pass the turn to the Capitol Crescent Trail
she slows for the slight downhill and I wait for her at the light
we say our goodbyes
as much as I would have liked to continue the conversation I could already feel that I was not going to make my two and a half hour desired destination

it makes sense to think that I could just keep riding
but I couldn't
I would just have to go home and end my ride
the capitol crescent trail would extend my ride a little bit
and allow for more if I felt the need

the slight grade down the capitol crescent trail was a pleasure
the slow pace allowed for a pretty much no handed glide
going for the handlebars when passing other trail users
going for the brakes when unpredictable trail users came from the opposite direction

the paved path runs parallel to the c&o canal in its final miles
another great place for me to let my mind wander
I think about so many rides on so many different stretches of the canal
my mind wanders about the pieces of land between the canal and the potomac

a recurring daydream about the nps allowing some of this land by fletchers boat house opening up to some formally built trails
through the trees I see some rocky sections
there are signs of high water pushing deadwood great a decent distance from the potomac shores
my daydream include irragation, bridges
and of course clean up
the wasteland of deadwood becomes an urban playground

the trail feeds into georgetown
before dipping under the whitehurst freeway I check the time
consider stretching it
consider a right turn to haines point
or maybe a right turn then over the bridge into virginia only to grab the next bridge back into washington

the glance at the watch had me thinking of the value to a few more minutes on the bike versus the value of getting home to the family

got home to the kids
grant was just waking up from a nap
woke up with a serious mood

it took some serious work to get grant distracted and playing
his runny nose and slight cold has taken over his mood
but bionicles were able to distract him
dean and grant were playing impressively well

there was need for a diaper change and me to start dinner
lisa had at my request some ingredients for fajitas
it was getting late
if we were going to eat I had best start cooking

it was not easy to lure the boys downstairs
they were playing so well
grant's mood could still be grumpy so I tried to coral them gently
I offered to make a couch fort

couch forts are big with the kids
not so much fun for parents
lots of fun for the kids
at times the boys can tear the fort down in less time that it takes to make
part of making a couch fort is rebuilding it and maintaining it

evolving it to a working state

once the structure was solid enough
and to their liking
I could slip into the kitchen while they played
before I had the flank steak and the chicken out of the fridge there were boys at each knee
they were playing well
dean was chasing grant
grant was seeking shelter in a joking manner at my side

without being too grumpy I tried to persuade them to stick to the fort
the meat started to cook so I went back into the living room to maintain the fort

it was not easy chopping onions and peppers without chopping off a finger

just as the dinner was complete lisa came in the door with a load of groceries
like racoons at a campsite the boys started tearing through the plastic bags
I demanded that no one eat as I was cooking something better
everything in the bag was presented as a better option...

lisa was able to gather the boys
she had them wash their hands then sit at the table
with them everyone at the table I was ready to serve dinner

the whole process makes me appreciate the actions of my wife
she is not a stay at home mom
she works part time
although she is a full time mom
every time lisa cooks she is able to cook with the monkeys hanging from her hip
without much complaint
without chopping off a finger

if each subculture

if each subculture just shared the word that it is better to stop at stop lines than to roll to the middle of the intersection
if each subculture just shared the word that it is better to make a complete stop rather than rolling through all together
think about it
if any cyclist were to alter their behavior while they are in a car
to simply slow to a complete stop at the stop line at each intersection that demands such
well, that in itself would make the roads a safer place

now, if each cyclist could extend this stop sign common sense/common courtesy gesture
well, that would cause an increase in safer drivers which means safer streets
take it to the fabregee shampoo ad
and so on
and so on
and so on

well, each subculture could as individuals take on this same challenge
certainly all mom's would see that this make sense
no mom want to feel threatened that they can not cross the street
never sure if the approaching car is going to stop at the right moment and yeild the right of way
well, I am sure every mom that ever pushed a stroller has more than one story about a close call from a careless driver failing to stop at a stop sign nearly hitting the stroller
not to mention the basic discourteous nature of cars "blocking the box"
sitting stagnant in traffic with the car basically parked over the cross walk
worse yet... blocking the handicap ramp which makes life with a stroller so much easier
yes, the subculture of the mom should be easy to enlist
now, have each mom no matter how new no matter how old each live by this same sense of stop sign common sense and common courtesy
well, have them extend this by infecting one friend with this same notion
perferably a friend... not their husband
although we want their husbands to join the movement
we do not want them being told how to drive by their wives
as that may backfire causing more stop sign running, box blocking, and basic slow roll through that people have come to foolishly accept as okay

let this grow and grow....
any subculture that uses the street would be able to understand this simple improvement to the state of the world
why not?
cyclists and moms extend to roller bladers, walkers/hikers/runners, and so on and so on

but it would not have to only include the subcultures that it immediately benefits
any other subculture should be able to empathise and join the movement as well
rowers know what it is like to feel the wake of some jerk with a mullet on a jetski
as they do not want to be a jerk on a jet ski they will understand that they should make complete stops at the stop line

divers know what it is like to be in fear of having a powerboat propeller run through their back like a saber saw
so this subculture would easily understand what more fun each person on the street would have if they were not paranoid that the approaching car will neglect to stop.... or even not stop in time.... which could be too late

I could rant from subculture to subculture
no matter what the subculture
it would makes sense
it would be an improvement

the positive side effects of this one change in behavior ripples beyond belief

now... how do we get this started?

well, I have started
I spend a lot of time watching in my rear view mirror fearing getting rear ended
too much proper behavior on the road will encite road rage
tried driving the speed limit... that flips people out
there is a reasonable limit of expanding the speed limit
people have exceeded that
there is no reasonable measure of roll through a stop sign
the car either stops or it doesn't
it either stops in time or it doesn't

a no brainer to making this a safer world

basic street scene

fixed gear fueling up


the flow of traffic amuses me
as I ride my bike
as I walk my dogs
as I move about the busy streets with my kids
as I make that more frequent than occassional drive in my car
in all of these cases
I am amused by the flow of traffic

not just amused
also terrified and angered

what amuses me is that the effort to get their faster is really slowing things down
too many drivers confuse acceleration and maximum speed for getting their more rapidly
efficiency is the key
it is a bit more like the tortosie and the hare
or perhaps more like a couple of handfuls of marbles thrown into the sink
without thought the marbles knock into each other
too many marbles trying to fit into the same spot cause the marbles to get caught pressed against each other
stuck in place rather than passing on through

that is how the traffic flows in the city
due to the mindless momentum
the foolish confusion trying to achieve speed rather than using thought and seeking efficiency
never evoling never learning
always trying to force the square through the circle slot


Trip for Kids/Bike the Sites

Bike the Sites has partnered up with Trip for Kids to host a Cherry Blossom Charity Ride

this may be a great opportunity for those who do not normally ride downtown to get to do a spin on the mall

friends coming into town?
this may be the ticket

April 4th Bike the Blossoms

the us capitol building

us capitol building
this week I had some work to do up on the hill
while out of the office I like to travel with camera in hand
not to go into great detail...
while on the hill taking a few random shots of this beautiful city I was approached by two capitol hill police officers simultaneously
they were polite and respectable
I understand that these are different times
but honestly.... the whole area was mobbed with tourists taking photographs
why was I singled out?

these are odd times
I like my big brother
but I am no fan of big brother
it is important for them to follow leads
and chase down suspicious behavior....
but where do I fit into that equation?

Stevie G of Mobile City

stevie g of mobile city
mobile city

from canada

from tino of BIKELANEDIARY
also from tino... tino's cycling/short films

tino's main page

I better roll...
this morning pre-work blogging is cutting into my pre-work riding
still have to walk the dogs
maybe the dogs will get a long walk and I will blow off the pre-work short ride

over to city bikes

last night I scheduled with the family a trip to city bikes in chevy chase
yes, the adams morgan shop is closer to my house
significantly closer... as neither shop is far
yet, the chevy chase shop offers parking, a larger store, a slightly less urban feel, and a mechanic that is expecting my arrival

time was moving fast
not in terms of the evening, but in terms of the changing seasons
the race season is just weeks away
it seemed prudent for me to take some of my own advice that was written up in the March issue of SPOKES
in this article I gave an absolute beginner's approach to the mountainbike season
talking about the bike, the body, and the trail
within this adolescent article effort I spoke about getting the bike into the shop sooner rather than later
later was rapidly approaching... as I had not done things sooner... immediately would have to be good enough

it took some time for that advice to sink in
well, it took budgeting some time and the cracking of a Karate Monkey frame to get me into the shop

so, after an hour at rush hour of battling it out with the cars on a short loop through Rock Creek Park
I arrived home to a house of wild monkeys
dean and grant were as wild as wild can be
their energy was all over the place
lisa had dinner prepared, but the boys were too wild to eat
when I went for the leashes to walk the dogs
the boys each asked to go with me
the boys each demanded to go with me
when the boys energy is like this a structured activity can be positive
exercise is almost always positive, unless of course you need to rest from an injury
these guys needed to get outside before they caused an injury
at times like this it can be positively imposible to get them to listen long enough to get ready to go
there were shoes to locate and hats to find
with a Petzel on my head the boys demanded Petzels on theirs
jackets were being peeled off as I tried to aid tieing shoes for the other
hiking boots on one child caused the other to want a change of shoes
really just the basic father of two boys bullshit
this moment in the evening that is not unlike most moments in the morning or any moment when trying to get out the door

the hike was not particularly eventful
I was pleased to get a short walk after a short ride
part of my "life is cumulative" short work out training plan
the boys were not given lights even after their demands
but the each managed to hike well enough even after the light was gone and the world took that dark violet crayon color
on more rocky or rooted sections I pointed the blue HID glow so that my able bodied two year old did not do an unnecccessary face plant

we returned home
the boys were a little more focused on food
I built a couch cushion fort to entertain them while I went to the bike shop
my efforts to make the evening easier for my wife ended up distracting the boys from their dinner
they are good eaters... if they are hungry they will eat
we allowed the distraction
with the boys entertained with the cushion, chair, blanket, couch fort combo I was able to load the Element with two bikes
one of the parts I needed from the shop was a roof rack part
as the clearance at the local fresh fields parking garage is not what it claims
lisa returned from shopping one day with a broken roof rack
so the bikes were put inside the vehicle rather than ontop

thursday night is a classic late night for the bike shop world
it is a convention that was created at some point in bike shop history
it makes sense for the modern world
as weekends and work hours are not always convenient for the standard cyclist with a basic 9-5 routine
but I do not know what shop in what era of time this late night thursday routine began

driving a stretch of road I had ridden earlier I made my way to chevy chase maryland
I rolled the two bikes to the back of the shop greeting the colorful cast of city bikes characters
when I got to the back of the shop it was good to see that bega was expecting me and was ready to take these bikes in for their needed repairs
the Surly Karate Monkey Single Speed was in for a warranty replacement of the cracked frame
so the frame would need to be stripped of its parts then sent back to Surly
while the geared Monkey had not been ridden in months
as a matter of fact I had removed the race numbers from the Shenandoah Mountain 100 from the handlebars before packing up the Honda Element aka the toaster
the geared bike was feeling pretty "tight" but I figured I would have a few things done in the way of preventive maintenance
wanted the bikes to be race worthy
not looking for a game of "wack-a-mole" on race day

with the bikes processed for repairs there was talk with sean bega about my recovery from a fall injury among other things
bega drove me away with his loose shoulder joint and his loose shoulder tricks
I can not stomach such things... not in a gross way... more in a way that hurts to look at
in any movie where there is a shoulder dislocation scene I need to look away and take my mind to a happy place

from sean in the back I moved to shawn in the front

shawn helped me shop for a bike for my wife
then aided in finding a cable hanger for the fixed gear project that has been dragging along
we made the Thule order and he gave me a deal on the OFF ROAD TO ATHENS film
although I have seen it twice I had been meaning to purchase it
as the DVDs are not moving as fast as they had hoped he gave it to me for 14 bucks
(a deal he will make for anyone, Off Road to Athens for 14 bucks plus tax)

the shop experience involved it usual club house exchanges
there was some talk about new gear and new bikes
discussions about 29er this and 29er that

walked away with a bag of stuff
some lights, some tubes, the dvd, the cable hanger, and a catalog to show the wife
although I had not really done anything
dropping off the bikes to be worked on was something that needed to be done
so there was a certain feeling of accomplishment
should have those two bikes back in my possession soon enough
at this point I will begin my return to dirt!
it will be a wonderful reunion
until then I will continue slugging it out on the road
hopefully the weather will be nice this weekend so I can pull the kids in the burley trailer
pulling 100 pounds of trailer for an hour and a half should translate into some sort of training

in addition to the drop off and purchases
I also made a pick up
the owners of City Bikes were generous enough to donate a Timbuk2 Messenger bag to a fund raising auction that my older son's school is having


that wave of thanks

in society there are certain little "nicities" that we use
those thanks that we say
we mean them... but they are some what retorical

in some cases I would prefer to avoid them all together

when out for dinner with the wife I tend to be polite to the waiter or bus boy as they refill my water or take away my dish
there is a short pause from the conversation that is usually accompanied with a glance, a nod of the head, and a verbal thank you
the thank you is meant...
that thank you should remain

while moving about the city streets on foot or on bike there are similar such exchanges
when crossing the street and a car yeilds to me there is often eye contact... then a thank and a wave
this thank and wave is given in most every situation... even if I as the pedestrian have the right of way
as a cyclist I experience the same sort of thing

when stopped at a four way intersection
(yes, I occassionally stop at stop signs)
I wait my turn
being a car driver and having an IQ over 80 I am able to establish by each person's arrival the line in the queue
when it is in fact my turn I take that turn and move forward... always paying close attention anticipating the action of the car drivers
so often when my turn arrives a car driver will wave me on
to that I am force to give that nod and thanks....
what am I thanking them for? not running me over?
they have let me take what is mine
is there someone I should be thanking each time I take a breath?
(okay... the religious types may have a response for that)
but there are certain things that irk me....

the same nod and wave of thanks aggatates me when I pull my dogs or children to the side of the alley so that a car can pass by
like the car has greater rights
and I am just a pedestrian in the way

yes... these little "nicities" are valuable
I like to hear a thank you when I hold the door open for someone
or when I yeild to them as we squeeze by a tight space in a hardware store or a restaurant

another brick story?

another brick story was created on the blog this morning
as I was building to a climatic end of a personal account of a historical event
grant the smaller of my little monkeys took a break from wrestling his older brother to turn off my computer
with the push of one glowing blue button I saw the screen go black
no signal... no chance to publish and post
the basic tale was of the Mount Pleasant Riots in 1991

there was talk of tear gas
boarded up bike shops
the actions of a former dc punk kid who took the actions from works to aggression
as he walked out with a handful of stolen goods from 7-11 on Mount Pleasant Street
with his face hidden with a sweat shirt wrapped around his head he turned around and returned one of the full cans of coke
he returned it right through the front window of that 7-11
like the shot heard around the world
the flood gates opened
shouting and screaming moved to looting and destruction

it was that action that took the energy on the streets to action on the streets
mad and dangerous action

it was the mob against the establishment

I rode the streets curiously on my bicycle
an innocent bystander like so many others
watching the danger unfold in front of me
amazed that people were not getting more hurt with all the flying rocks and speeding police cars
shocked to see the police risk lives as the sped down the streets lights flashing
only to chase a small child for tossing a rock

buildings were on fire
police cars were over turned
metro buses were burnt to nothing more than large aluminum skeletons

the looting seemed so calculated
young boys ran from the CVS then People's Drugs with what looked like a list of packages requested by their moms; pampers... midol... whole milk... eggs... and coffee... not the power rangers and chocolate bars I had expected to see in their hands

there was one small child with a grand smile pushed a shopping cart full of bricks
as I rolled past slowly with sunglasses over my eyes and moist bandana over my nose and mouth both shielding me from the burn of tear gas I commented on this young enteprenuer...
making mention that he would get rich selling the bricks for a dollar
to that the cute little child responded with the timing of a professional comedian.... "shit... you throw these bricks at a cop car and I will give you them for free"

I wonder
I can not help but wonder
some forteen years later... has this same young boy from Columbia Heights grown up only to continue to hurl bricks at passerbys?

mount pleasant photographer


no taxation without representation plate

one million plates served
a fraction to how many Big Macs have been served
it is getting a message out there

DC Statehood?
at least give the people on a hill a vote that counts


as a father of two boys I would have to say that there is a double standard

is what she did wrong?
was it rape?
not sure

it just is not fair...
where was this woman when I was 14?

if we had more teachers like this in the US school system we would certainly have less high school boys cutting class

I feel sorry for her husband
I feel sorry for her next husband

the 14 year old boy...
I am not so sure I feel sorry for him

it is wrong for anyone (even if they are hot) to abuse their position (no pun intended)
there are members of the community that we teach our children to trust; police officers, teachers, and even priests
so... when a child finds themselves in the the presence of a predator.... well the signals must be confusing
now this predator is even more confusing... for the obvious reasons
I am with the judge
I think she should have seen some time... just because she is cute does not mean that she did not commit a crime


yes.. we all want to see video of this woman

cut and paste from the web

Columbia Heights Cyclists Beware

Brick Image.JPGA faithful reader tipped us off to a Craigslist posting that may be somewhat disturbing for those of us that ride our bikes around town. Titled "Bicyclists: Have you ever been struck by a hurled object while riding?," it reads:

I have been. My leg is broken right now as a result of being struck by a brick that was hurled at me from the balcony of an apartment building on 11th Street. The cops haven't done anything for me because A) I don't have a postive ID of the perpetrator, and 2) I didn't stop to see if there were any witnesses. I know which building it came from and roughly which balcony, but they insist they can't ask any questions of the occupants of the building based on this. I'm quite angry. The receptionist at my workplace said she saw the exact same thing happen to a different bicyclist in the exact same place back in November. If something like this happened to you *and you filed a police report, or have other documentation*, please write to me. If I find enough people for this to look like a legitimate "trend," I want to investigate and write about this.
We're not the types to trust Craigslist posting for news stories, but having suffered from some people's apparent grief with cycling and cyclists, we can see this being both true and alarming. So, if you know something of incidents like these, please let us know. Posted by Martin Austermuhle in News

stolen from DCist
I think I saw this post already mentioned on WASHCYCLE


it is not an original thought to hate mondays
a monday after a wonderful vacation can have an even more negative effect
within the notion of the monday blues there is a certain level of apathy and inertia

for those of us that try to stay active or meet certain personal activity requirements
for some it is going to the gym three times a week
others it is yoga three times a week (wish that were me)
then for the cyclist there is the minimum rides perweek

monday is a vital day in this equation
it is the first day of the week
it the individual allows the apathy to dictate the day then they can scratch off this day as a potentially active day
while those whole are concious of this inert monday can combat this apathy and get the first work out in
(yes... I know Sunday starts the week on the calendar)

if a person gets a ride, a yoga session, or a trip to the gym out of the way on Monday
they have started the week in a positive fashion
while also knocking one work out of the fast moving already busy week
if they fail to work out on Monday they may find it to be Thursday morning with no workouts accomplished on that week
thus scratching the week
shrugging the shoulders
and allowing the week to slip by promising to resume working out on the following week
this is a failing approach

there are always a thousand reasons not to work out
don't fall victim to the excuses
it is our nature to be lazy
all animals are lazy by nature
the lion attacks the weakest gazzelle in the herd
a bald eagle will dig through trash before it hunts
most animals will dig through trash before they hunt

the morning and the evening can have a similar effect
within my daily routine I have to schedule in my personal Physical Therapy Exercises
three times a week I am supposed to add onto my regular daily routine some surgical band exercies (a poor man's bowflex)
well, the evening comes along
there are dogs to walk
dinner to eat
kids to play with
then there is the effort of getting the kids to go to sleep and stay in bed

last night as I was getting ready for my evening workout I heard a loud thump from the upstairs
the loud thump was followed by crying
it was dean the older boy not the younger
he has been moved to the twin bed without the rails so that his younger brother can sleep in his room
this is the second time this week he has tumbled out of bed

I rushed upstairs to his aid
as a parent we try not to overplay tripping and falling, the skinning of a knee, or the basic knocking of heads
but, to fall out of bed is a rude awakening
so I went up to try and lessen the blow
managed to get Dean to settle down then back in bed
he was upset but still pretty much asleep through the whole exchange
tried to alter his mood with mention of the return of training wheels to his bike
there was some talk back and forth that was confusing in his half wake/half dream state

so I went back downstairs
just as I was settling in with the Chappelle Show First Season DVD
about to get out my surgical bands and single dumb-bell I heard a second thump
then the sound of crying
then the sound of feet moving rapidly down the hall, then down the stairs
there were tearfilled cries for daddy
we spoke as he rushed down the stairs as I powered off the television and the laptop

dean came running up to me with a red face and tears on his cheek
I knew he wanted to sleep in the "mommy bed"
I granted him his wish
with all the disruption I figured I would go to bed as well
go to bed without finishing my exercies

so, the evenings and the mornings work like the mondays and the week
get it out early
or you may not ever get there
as it the case with my evening efforts to do my PT work out

what will I do today?
I will try to fit in my physical therapy some time before the evening
so it will not get lost in the shuffle


Volunteers Needed for Bike Valet

my friend Maggie at WABA has asked me to send out the word that they need more volunteers for Bike Valet at the Cherry Blossom Festival

Valet bike parkers will work similar to a coat check clerk. Taking in bikes and giving the owner a claim ticket which the owner will use to claim the bike. Detailed instructions are available and will be given to volunteers. The valet bike parking area will be located at 15th and Independence Ave near the Tidal Basin. All volunteers will get an official National Cherry Blossom Festival volunteer t-shirt.

WABA 's information on the Bike Valet

the volunteers are needed for the next several weekends
see if you can fit this in your schedule

City Bikes DC

City Bikes Washington DC
with two locations in the DC area
one downtown location in the neighborhood of Adams Morgan and another just outside the district inside the beltway in Chevy Chase Maryland
City Bikes DC has updated their site
there is mention of the Bike Valet that WABA is providing at the Cherry Blossoms

city bikes coop in oregon
unrelated other than the name


single speed cross bike

single speeds on a cross bike out in colorado
more here


MORE: Mid-Atlantic OFF Road Enthusiats
on the MORE FORUMS is a list of races in the Mid-Atlantic Region
mark your calendar... or bookmark that page

Say No To CRACK!

yes... it is true
I broke my Karate Monkey frame
CITYBIKESMIKE has an image of the crack on his blog
there should be no issue with warranty as Surly is good about these things
should be back on the Karate Monkey Single Speed in no time at all!

if you look at the image you will see the crack
some additional scrapes were made to see if it was just chipped paint or a cracked frame
it is in fact a cracked frame

that is what happens when Magilla Gorrilla gets on a Karate Monkey!


back from vacation, back on the bike

got back from florida yesterday
got back on the bike today

it was a bike filled day as dean and his mini-cohorts mobbed the back alley with their bikes
one friend joined dean on a training wheel-free adventure
they both did well
dean again was more into the notion of skidding his bike than pedalling forward
although he could stay upright and pedal the distance of several garages
his tendency was to skid as soon as he got moving

success just the same
the boy is four and he is having fun on the bike
I seem to recall skidding and dragging my sneakers to be a big part of cycling for many years
turning is a variable that he does not use in the world without training wheels

so through the course of the day bikes were borrowed
training wheeled bike options were present
they all got to ride their bikes
helmets and all

later in the afternoon after things had toned down a bit I snuck out on the bike
managed to hit Rock Creek Park out past the mormon temple
doing an old favorite up and back
spun for about an hour thirty
actually rode the bike and mashed the pedals like I do
more like slamming the pedals than circles
got there and back just the same

returned home
was reminded that the dogs had to go out
as they had not been out since the morning hike on the melvin hazen
well, nothing to speak of
although they were present with the bikes in the back alley
where they spent hours in a stalemate starring at a cat through a impassable fence

good for the kids to get on the bike
good for dad to get on the bike
a good day for all
a good bike filled day for all
it was not planned
there was talk about buying a new bike for the wife
it has been years..... her fisher is pre-trek
a pre-trek hoo koo e koo is not much to speak of

she could use with braking, shifting, and travel.... she has never had any suspension that really worked
technology has come along way
sure people are rushing for rigid single speeds
but the technology is still there for those that want it

no pictures of he biker gang in the alley
too busy participating to play daddy photographer
living and experiencing is more important than documenting
although documenting is vital as well

when I got back from my ride I saw the biker gang was back out
well.... the bikes and helmets were out
which showed signs of a return to the alley for more riding
they were in a neighbor's kid's club house
two young neighbors threw on their helmet and raced me down the block

photo finish reveals a tie to all events
other than the third lap race where i peeled off early and ran into my own backyard

Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction has updated their website, finally
looks like Chain Reaction has something blog-esque

this chain reaction motion something was something I threw together and tossed on my blog some time ago
it moves on the blog.... ancient gif builder piece
donating bicycles and bicycle equipment is something helpful we all can do

then again...
getting a bike into a non-bike person's hands is often something that can change a person's world
that is a great feeling... seeing people years later using a bike that you got into their hands as a daily mode of transportation for years

in the city so many kids treat the bike shop as a service to the public
it is great when there is a shop that is actually designed as being a service to the public rather than a business

dirt rag is good to me

dirt rag is good to me
a few weeks ago I went ahead and took the plunge
instead of just renewing my subscription I got the subscription for life
makes sense
a few times I have let my subscription lapse and well... I was lazy about renewal
with the season just starting I renewed only missing one issue
which upon ordering the lifetime subscription they asked if I wanted to get the past single subscription that I missed
heck yea!
sure enough in the mail when I got back from vacation was an envelope with last month's dirt rag

a pleasant surprise
went ahead and paged through
then drifted back to the beginning
read a few pieces as I paged through more slowly
taking in the full magazine piece by piece
reading the stories that meet my needs and interest of the moment
images and advertising capture my attention
captions benieth images capture my attention
I read through another article
some commentary
some reviews
eventually getting to the end and reading a great piece
the last and final piece was a contribution by Jeff Guerrero

it was a short article with some nice illustration that I read without knowing that the contributor was the art director
somehow I looked at the illustrator but not the author

the notion of trail maintenance or guriella trail repair is a great feeling
just as their is pride in the improvement/addition/contribution
there is a protective anger when the trail is abused
abuse from riding/walking/riding wide
abuse from trail blazing/short cutting the trail (way the worst)
abuse from leaving trash

I do similar work locally on various hiking trails
to see a simble terraced stair
or a well placed log holding the side of the hill
well... it makes the time spent well worth it

to make a better world we all need to give as well as take
right now there are far too many takers and not enough givers

for some people giving is simple
stop giving abuse
stop giving people trash to pick up
that would be contribution enough to improve the world of tomorrow

volunteering time on the trails
picking up trash
there are a thousand ways to contribute to your community
giving piano lessons would not work for me
as I do not play the piana
but... I try to give where I can
giving as well as taking
even if I just give a little
all the giving is cumulative and that giving adds up

make sure that you give as well as take
and if you give more than me
good for you
I am not saying I give the most... I certainly don't
but as least I give a little

dirt rag image wa something I created a few years ago and was psyched when it was published in the reader's art
here is an amusing gwadzilla archive of that moment in time

creative, crafty, or perhaps creatively crafty

back from florida


not sure why....
blogger is ruining my blog-fun by denying my posting of images
plugged into the router thinking it was a weak WiFi connection
that changed nothing
really takes away the flow of creating and viewing the pages

this month's SPOKES magazine has an article from fellow blogger Captain Jack Sparrow
not just an article, but a cover story with images
well worth a look

while gwadzilla tried typing into Word rather than Blogger
tough having an audience of the masses
swing by your local Mid-Atlantic bicycle shop and grab a copy of SPOKES
there are a variety of articles that will entertain many aspects of cycling mind

just submitted another article for next month
the topic for April?

in the BLOG article I plug a variety of blogs
wanted to plug more
but... wanted an article not just a list

off the top of my head
bikeblogs,bicycleblogs, washcycle, bikeportland, fatmarc (aka david karesh), fatmarc's cult, jeremiah bishop, marla streb, gundog99, goclipless, bluecolarmtb,singlespeedoutlaw, bikecentric, then there were those abroad... velorution and martino's bike diary
and of course... those in alaska; up in alaska and bicycles and icicles
that may be it
others had been listed or mentioned
but... the article was getting to be too long
some ideas had to hit the edit room floor
wanted to turn everyone onto so many great blogs
hopefully the links will take them there

to give warning to those authors to be on their best blog behavior
or better yet... be on your worst blog behavior
the article should be out in April
tried to get the reader to understand navigating the blog...
so the links on those pages may get attention as well
the article may go ignored