Rants on Cycling and on Life


lazy saturday... thus far... guess we are going duo

here it is the weekend...
saturday afternoon
lisa is with dean and miga (grandma) at a spring fair
the inlaws are passing through town on their migration up north
it is part of an annual migration
good for the kids
good for the grandparents
they are happy to be heading south after a winter in florida
personally I prefer visiting them in florida to pittsburgh
but maybe that will change if I leave a mountain bike in their basement

here it is saturday afternoon...
I am up from my nap
grant is still napping
this morning lisa and I had high hopes of the yoga transition
our usual hand-off of the kids outside of yoga has dean's soccer thrown into the mix
by the time lisa arrived sweating and smiling at the soccer field I was already involved in my assistant coaching activities
the time was such that I would arrive late to my open yoga class

getting in the car
driving across town
looking for a space
rushing into class
being a disruption to those already working out
it all sounded counter to the goals of yoga
some times there is not time for everything
so I blew off yoga... which is fine
as I enjoy lending a hand at the 4 year old's soccer matches
the general concensous is that I am a positive contribution
looks like I need to find a different time in my week for my yoga
maybe I need to suck it up and do it at home
okay... that will never work

so... here it is nearly 4PM
by this time chris credlack has arrived in Fredricksburg and has set up camp for the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms
I am on line waking up from an afternoon nap
best I print out these directions and take a look in the basement
need to gather my gear
make sure I have everything that I am going to bring
guess I will bring two bikes incase the rigid single fails me
had hoped that the glance at my emails would show me that we landed a third team mate
as duo is not the sleep deprivation project I was looking for
three man can be brutal enough
enough with the excuses
have raced this event as a member of a three man team several times before
guess I am going to get to know what it feels like to race it duo
wish me luck
think fast and dry!

12 Hours of Lodi Farms

got to plug in the printer to the laptop for it to print
yes... still waking up from my nap
better double check my gear

so, here it is
time to start getting ready
although I do not intend to leave until after dinner with the family
as I need to eat
left over pizza sounds like great fuel for a 12 hour mountain bike relay race


al santos photography

al santos photography at

car busters

car busters magazine
this is something I need to get further into
the whole car culture idea is out of control
everyone is out of control
I may behave like I am 17
but most people drive like a 17 year old drunk and pissed at their parents
when I drive... I drive like I got the pope in the back seat

walking the dogs... walking the trails

as a dog owner I spend a fair amount of time walking the dogs in the woods of Rock Creek Park
the wooded park is a fantastic natural resourse in this congested urban jungle
these walks are my salvation
it is a wonderful way to start my day
it is a wonderful way to end my day
that said
I need to take more late evening hikes in the woods with my dogs
as that would clearly be better for my soul than scanning the television for something that isn't there
I should at least get in the routine of marching each and every full moon of the month

in my 9 or so years of walking my mutts I have seen the trails change
what were once hard to find routes
are now well beated paths
some paths more beaten than others

I have tried to do my part
picking up trash from time to time
collecting the old bottles for a project that may never happen
playing ranger rick with my blocking of cheat routes and short cuts
clearing and moving fallen trees and branches that are blocking the trail
and slowing the erosion by terracing the subtle grades with old logs and branches

but what are the other trail users doing?
does it occur to them that they should give as well as take?

for some their contribution could be simple
they could make a positive contribution by not making a negative
stop leaving their trash and staying on the trail
that in itself would be an amazing contribution
that much should not be too much to ask

but what about the others?
certainly there are those that could do more to make things better
to at least slow the decline of the woods of Rock Creek

I think that some groups need to spearhead some repair efforts
the running hashers could be one group that could aid in education and clean up
the professional dog walkers could lend a hand as well

the runners run in groups
their groups move at a faster pace than the walkers
the path is cut by a walking pace
the runner then forces the trail to grow wider
in many cases I have seen the annoying powder marks of the hashers guiding the followers on a short cut
thus creating another path that is not needed
they need to stay on the trail
they need to help repair the trail
they need to go over obstacles (including puddles) instead of around them

as far as the professional dog walkers go...
well, they need to take it one step further
they definitely need to get a shovel and put in some sweat equity
as they are reaping a monitary benifit while they are raping the trails
walking a pack of dogs forces the trail to get wider
like cows crazing
the dog walkers move into the trail, usually not far from the trailhead
the dogs often walk many abreast
while leashless dogs run free
as I have no issue with leashless dogs or dog walking
I do have an issue with the impact on the trail from the actions of someone making money while doing so
does that make sense?
sort of like drilling for oil....
the dog walkers need to give back as they are definitely leaving an impact

this spring as every spring there is a new puppy or ten
the new freshman class
some will walk the city streets
some will take to the woods
that is more poop
that is more footsteps
the population is not decreasing

everybody wants the trails to be beautiful
while very few people are doing anything about it

in addition to be concious and controling our impact
I feel that we need to bring in fertile earth
trails need to be rerouted
switchbacks need to be used rather than heavily eroded downhill paths
parallel paths need to be limited
unneeded trails need to blocked and replanted

now how do I make this happen?

will the Department of Interior give me some boots, some green pants, a shovel, and a wad of cash to start this project?


wrong way on M Street

tommy taking a break

more from last sunday

here are a few shots from my camera
I am not a photographer
I was not there to take pictures
I took out the camera and took these
just a few of the city bikes folks at greenbriar last weekend

photography by joe foley

Kevin Dillard Photography
you can find kevin's photos at each location

back on the monkey

as the boys splash in the tub I type on the keyboard
where is my morning coffee?
I should be drinking my coffee as the boys splash in the tub

"keep it in the tub" I yell over my shoulder in a fatherly voice
they ignore me
just as I ignored my father's fatherly voice at their age

well, I the Surly Karate Monkey Single Speed is back in the rotation
back into active duty
rode the KM to work yesterday
hold on... the sound of splashing has increased

gotta mop up the bathroom

my younger son has poured a 32 ounce nalgene bottle full of water on the tile floor
towels are on the floor
cleaned it all up
dressed the younger boy as he cried
I wanna take a bath
I wanna take a bath
my older son was able to dress himself with the clothing I selected
no complaints... bonus
the joys of fatherhood

now that coffee and off to work

DCMTB=City Bikes Mountain Bike Team

DCMTB is often called the City Bikes Mountain Bike Team
well.... DCMTB/City Bikes Mountain Bike Team has a BLOG


would a buddhist swat a mosquito?

would a buddhist swat a mosquito?

I think that even the highest and mightiest buddhist would swat a mosquito
especially if the mosquitos were as tenacious as the beasts that swarm in mount pleasant...

as I have mentioned... I am flawed
like many others I have weakness and I have faults
but... I am evolving... slowly.... yet still evolving

the spring weather has been amazing
dry and warm
while also being dry and cool
simply fantastic
humidity free
mosquito free

I have given way to temptation

sure I often try to rationalize it
you may have heard me try to justify it
there are my arguements of balancing the scales
what I give versus what I take
but in the end it really just comes down to one thing
I love it

I love it like some many people love various things
I love it with guilt as it is a guilty pleasure
yet I love it just the same

it is so hard to resist...
riding cross town there will be a stretch of dirt or a patch of woods
the tempation is greater than my will power
I take a sample
I steal a taste

it may be wrong
as wrong as doubling the speed limit
as wrong as passing a cyclist too fast and too close on a winding stretch of road on a blind curve
as wrong as passing one cyclist with so little foresight that you do not realize that you are playing chicken with another... only to do nothing... never for a second does the foot come off the gas
never for a second considering using the brake

no... common sense and common courtesy are part of my thought process
the worst case scenario is not as wrong as the potential outcomes of each of those wrongs

I have weighed the scales
I have made my decision
chocolate cake is grand
too much and there are many side effects
an occassional slice on a special occassion can be fantastic
everything in moderation
nothing to excess

there I go justifying, rationalizing, and making excuses
I am flawed
but I try

photography show

maggie from waba linked me up with a photo show here in dc
it seems like a semi-informal event
I went ahead and snagged 35 GWADZILLA images and put them on a cd for the slideshow
I will not be able to attend this saturday at the Numark Gallery
as I will be on my bike at Lodi Farms

ivan on his mary poppins bike


slow down... we all have got to slow down

slow down
we all have got to slow down

this week some of my distractions from work have been other than the blog
rather than blogging I used my power of the rant to send punctuationless/cap-lees/spell check-less rants to various people of power in washington dc
not higher ups
but the local folks for some of my local issues

the speed of traffic in front of my dc home is out of control
the auto-pilot style of the cross town commuter cruises up and down my street with no regard for anyone around
mother and child... look out.... H2 coming through
girl walking your dog... better jump... that mini-van is not slowing for anything but starbucks
gramps trying to cross the street to your car.... better shift into high gear as you are about to be road kill

most of my rants were about speed humps and bike paths
tickets generating revenue but failing to change behavior
there may have been mention of that bar in the road with the retractable spikes that only come out to give four flats to the excessive speeding car
but other than that I was pretty straight forward
the fact is I do not want to wait for a tragedy for a change
lets prevent the tragedy with a little change

in addition to the speed of traffic on my block
the speed of traffic in Rock Creek Parkway is absurd
it is like Dom Delouise is leading Canonball Run 2006
on three occassions I had a car play chicken with me as they passed a cyclist on their side of the road
they lacked the foresight for what was on the other side of the road
if I owned a gun I would be on trial for murder right now

the faith

a few more things
those that make the decisions
well... the city planners would not do well playing monopoly
chess it beyond them as they can not think more than a move ahead
they only play checkers in an effort to get king-ed

here are a few things in Rock Creek Park...
on weekend parts of beach drive are closed
yet cars are permitted to drive through there to get to the picnic groves
the speed limit is 25MPH
on weekends they should have a "flip sign" that sets the car drivers limit to 15MPH
and enforce it
when people rent the groves
there should be a short mention and maybe a hand out about proper driving ediquite
something about the rollerbladders, the bikers, the walkers that are all out on the "closed road"

the park police use flares as part of their rush hour road closed week day procedure
there has to be something more enviromentally friendly
the runoff is direct into the creek and direct into the river
common sense
avoid any polution you can

hiking trail conditions
repair the trails now before the natural state is flat eroded earth

now onto dressing the boys for bedtime
as they are not dressing themselves

the tale of the tape

the results from the greenbriar race are posted

I love to look at the results
I love to marvel at the lap times of the fast guys
I love to compare the speed between the classes

so much can be told from the numbers

looking at the Clydesdale class at this event it is clear to see that there are a number of fast big guys out on the bike this season
that race could have gone any of a number of ways
the absence of technicals could have changed a great deal

a glance at lap one shows that redlack was not the second clydesdale
then looking at lap three you see that the once second place clydesdale dropped to fourth
a result of a broken chain.... the third place finisher was good enough to share his chain tool to help him take it home

time for me to leave work
tonight I will try to collect some of the race images from the various photographers


a message to the freshman class from the old school

race report: greenbriar challenge

here is something I started the night of the race
will post it
and if I feel like getting more into detail I will later
the tale of the tape reveals that all the Clydesdales were fast and competitive
my flat, another's broken chain
and chris' being fast all effected the outcome of the day
the results

a day out on the bike

out there trying to fight my demons
the dragons are never slayed
maybe kept at bay
maybe tamed for a day
but never slayed
the demons and dragons remain only to attack again another day

today I danced with my demons
and wrestled with my dragons
the battle was not without its hardships
battles on the bike and battles in my head

the days preparation went moderately well
as a matter of fact the schedule for the day got me to the race earlier than I had been to a race in a long time
it was not to arrived crazed and rushed
it was good to catch up with familiar faces
it was good not to waste an excess of energy running aorund like a chicken with it head cut off
so I arrvied not in a rush
and only slightly crazed
crazed with a smile on my face

as it had been a long time since I had been on any serious dirt for any serious distance
it would be the first time I raced since I dislocated my shoulder in the fall
lack of riding would definitely be part of my low self confidence
there may have been one or two less than technical dirt rides leading into this race

races can always carry a certain amount of anxiety
there are the questions of preparedness
that is a list of questions too long to list
there there is the pressure of performance
then there is the anxiety of the challenge of the race
the race promoters have been good enough to have a wide variety of classes for the various style of racing along side the normal sanctioned breakdown... junior, beginner, sport, expert, and pro along with the breakdown of the ages... masters and such....
there are so many reasons for there to be a breakdown of classes
it is good for spreading out the racers on the course
it is good to foster competition on a more personal level
racing in the clydesdale class offers a small number of racers all reaching for the brass ring
even it that brass ring is a personal goal

off the carousel and onto the race...

the clydesdale class was small
small in numbers not in size
the class was maybe six deep
with only one familar face, chris redlack
chris was the racer I was choosing as a favorite for the day
then a number of less than standard looking clydesdales
not sure who they were but they all looked strong

I knew my old riding buddy redlack was building off what was a very strong season last year

I know he has been building on last year as I see him riding down Beach Drive as I am skipping stones for my dogs
another person I have seen on that stretch of road in rock creek park is bill davis, ncvc's bill davis
bill has reinvented himself
not just the shaving of the mustache
but bill has redesigned his body
an already strong and fast technical rider
bill dropped a few extra un-needed pounds
and well
bill is faster than the once bigger bill

upon seeing bill I got anxious
not only will I have to chase redlack
but I will have to try and follow the wheel of bill davis
in a scared teasing sort of weight I question bill's weight
as he is looking very muscular but not 200 pounds
bill tells me that he weighed himself that morning
telling me that he weighed just over 200 pounds that morning
I tell him I should have brought a scale
the ribbing continued
I left not realizing that bill was pulling my leg
the idea that there have been sandbaggers in the clydesdale class not just amuses me
it aggravates me
bill was jerking my chain
as I discovered 15 minutes later as he was showing me his new car
it was good for a laugh
only extending my already crazed smile

I suited up and rolled around
it has been months since I have been to anything like this
not just months for me, but it has been months for a lot of these people
it is good to see some old friends
I do some up and back on the bike with an assortment of friends
the riding is more social than warm up
it is good to see everyone
everyone is feeling the buzz of the day
the day was cool and dry
a great day for riding or racing

redlack and I caught up
there was talk about the race to come, the wife and kids (kid for chris... only one child as of now) and the fast approaching lodi farms race that we are teaming up for in a week
a three man team that currently only has two riders

the riding up and back was really more me riding then stopping to say hey to someone
standing around
then riding around till I see another old friend only to stop and stand around rather than pedal around

the race started a little late
late starting races is nothing new to mountain bike races

I stood in the shade waiting for our group to be released
as our group's release time approached I lined up along side of chris redlack
feeling cramped between chris and the tape I rolled around behind the 5 or 6 other clydesdales and took pole position at the other end of the line
chris joked across the line of racers
something about body odor or breath
there was a pleasant exchange with the unknown rider by my side
then it was time to go
a very official race official took our numbers then blew a whistle for our release
the day had begun
all clad in lycra we charged for the single track
like a group of school boys rushing for the diving board after the lifeguard signals the end of adult swim

chris and I pushed ahead of the groups from the sound of the whistle
only looking forward no time to look back I am not sure of the pace of any other rider other than chris who is sprinting along side of me
we shared a few words and I accelerated for the hole shot into the woods just in front of chris
jokingly trying to wave chris off
foolishly inviting a challenge

the grass sprint funneled into loose gravel then turned into a hard packed climb
I tried to muscle things in the middle ring
my heart and lungs pumped
my legs tried to pump
it was good to be racing
that crazed smile settled into a wide grin

the first lap started well
my demons had me surrounded
the three lap distance is hard to pace when I know nothing about my fitness or pacing things in general
going out hard and hanging on tends to be my style
go out hard and hang on that is what I did
hanging on means painfully creeping forward

chris and I did a little cat and mouse
chris being a more technical rider passed me on some of the rock gardens
I took advantage of the climbs as best I could
not that I am a good climber
but... for a clydesdale I do my best

the lap is repeated three times
the first lap involes a bit of first time discovery
some voyage into the unkown
some mild recollection of sections of trails from riding and racing here in the previous years
the fear of crashing was present
on a few occassions I was clearing my way through a rock garden or rolling down a techincal section when the anxiety of my injuries crept up
a dislocated and broken index finger which now has 6 pins and a plate
then a dislocated shoulder that is still getting physical therapy
the fears kept up
nothing more than a reality of a sport that can offer great pleasure and potential injury
an occassional speed check
neccessary or unneccessary?
it is all part of the day

on the last technical descent of the first lap I was feeling pretty okay
starting to get warmed up to the bike
starting to get a little more of confidence and a little more rhythm
also recognizing this section as the tail end of lap one I felt a bit of a rush
riding behind Cargo Mike on his surly 1x1 then a quick pass
I take the lead into on a downhill
things feel a little squirrelly
on a hard right hand turn from a fireroad descent into some wooded singletrack I got sloppy
most certainly cargo mike was wondering... can this guy move so I can ride this shit
we cleared some more fast rocks and then moved towards some dinosaur shit style mud and roots
the demons and dragons love to lurk in this type of slop
the off camber roots
the mystery depth to the mud slop puddles
the question of what is on the other side of that rock drop or that fallen log

as I pass a group of cheering spectators I ask if I have a flat
the control of my bike is feeling weird
the handling is so off that i think I have a flat in the rear
with cargo mike looking to make a pass
I offer him a clear pass on the right as I stick to the left

we each go over a fallen log
is it a flat or my shock
my front end lands bad
the thud makes me think that my shock had bottomed out
the slam in the front exaggerates my lifting of my rear wheel in the back
like a drunken clown I ride a polish wheelie off trail down into a leaf filled gulley
ugly as it was
certainly entertaining for anyone who may have been around to look
I get lucky and correct things
have both wheels on the ground
feet still in the clips
only to pedal may way back onto the trail only for mike to pull off ahead as I watch my pancake front tire get all squrirelly on a sharp right hand turn where the trail transitions from the mud and muck to very hard packed small sandlike gray gravel

the tire is flat
so is the trail
I make a decision to ride to the finish and make my repair there
more room
and the measure of my first lap time
my bag with a second 29er tube is at the Start/Finishline
as I make the tube replacement I am being cheered on by my city bikes team mates
a check for needs
an exchange
it is all a bit of a rush
the wire bead tire gets sloppy on the rim
on and off and on and off
I seed the tube in the tire and try to feed the tire back into the rim
chris passes me
I am not far along my repair
I focus on my replacement
turns out chris is not the only clydesdale fast on my trail
the rest of the clydesdale class passes me as well

the friendly clydesdale at the line cheers me on as I finish my repair
I thank him and let him know I will be seeing him in a few minutes
a bit cocky
but I am pumped

the flat fixed
my camelback on my back
back on the bike
start of lap two
back down then grass, up the gravel, back onto the hard packed brown earth climb
the second lap involved all that is fun about a chase
the chase is not as fun as cat and mouse
but the blind chase has its fun as well
how far was chris redlack ahead of me?
what will it take to catch him?
do I have what it takes to catch him?

lap two has the benefits of a warm up
the knowledge of a very recent lap acts as a preride
so I know the descents and feel more comfortable with my speed
my warm up allows me to clear rock gardens that were not cleared without dab or dismount on the previous lap
then there is the knowledge that it is okay to dismount and march rather than ridea at one point and another

lap two went by with a great deal of racing pleasure
mountainbiking is a rush
the sensations of mountainbiking are for all the senses
not just eye hand coordination
there is the flavor of the dry dust or deep dark mud
there is the taste of cotton mouth
the smells are also awesome
dry pines and dry earth
there is a wonderful scent to a light dust in the woods on a warm day

at the end of lap two I was right behind that same clydesdale from the standing line
again the exchange was friendly
he was moving strong
I was looking to pass
I was still looking for redlack
I make a pass on the first climb of lap three... the final lap

when I see the results I will know this racers name
and know to look out for him at the line as he is strong and a threat himself
we did a little cat and mouse
well, more like an accordian as I pulled away and he pulled up behind me
I would shake him and he would reel me in
it was humbling to be reminded that chris redlack was not the only clydesdale to watch on the course
my fitness showed its weakness
walking the climbs in that clumsy march not thinking clearly of the best place to re-mount and ride again
lots of energy wasted trying to think

two thirds of the way through the third lap I passed another clydesdale
this one suffering a broken chain
I had not even thought of this guy
this guy was kicking my ass while I was looking for redlack
as I pass the guy with the broken chain I start to realize that I am running out of course
time to use what fuel is left in the tank
lap three the last and final lap has the disadvantage of fatigue from the prior laps
but the knowledge of the obstacles of the course and the personal limitations of the day

so I let the 29 inch wheels do what they do
I let them roll
the final miles were ridden with that same crazed smile that I arrived with
the satisfaction of riding my bike on such a glorious day was a rush
there was no sign of redlack
I pictured him with a pint glass in hand already cleaned and dressed with his car packed
a day dream pretty close to the reality
as I roll in I past the finishline I turn my head and listen to the mecee/MC tell my name, my class, and my finishing time
I am pleased with day on the bike and a second place finish
the two minute and 39 second differencial brought a smile to my face
with a shake of my head I say to myself
fucking redlack

chris redlack greets me moments later
we laugh about the race and how things played out
both bummed that there was a flat tire that prevent us from having a a more accurate head to head

the post race parking lot exchanges were many
everyone had a tale from the day
there were hand shakes and smiles
racing is often the closest I ever come to a group ride

the parking lot moved to the awards
then after the awards I got to ride home
with a silver medal around my neck I drove home to see my family and show my kids my cool new medal
with a quick unload of the car I head up the block to dave and anna's house
dave, a city bikes mountainbike team member as well, raced earler in the sport category
as I turn up their sidewalk with my medal hidden under my shirt
I get that a small hint of that crazed smile as I see that my boys rode their bikes across the neighborhood rather than driving or walking

there were some burgers left from a grilling session that I missed
we talked about the race and the drunken night out on the town the night prior
the kids played in the basement
then rode their bikes home
in the alley behind the house the boys continued to ride their bikes
fighting my requests to go in
ignoring my demands to go in
so I gave in
as I known exactly what they are feeling
today was a good day to be on the bike

dean and grant made loops up and back down the alley
making an occassional exchange of the medal
the focus goes from my race earlier that day to the race up and down the alley that my boys are having

lon haning in dupont

the catch 22 of the clydesdale class...

the arrival at the greenbriar classic on sunday had the energy of family reunion
there was the confusion of familiar faces and forgotten names

there was the excitement and energy of the event about to unfold
as it is early in the season everyone was ampted to get on the bike and out on the trail
everyone was psyched to get out and race

looking for the DCMTB/City Bikes set up in the parking lot I saw all sorts of people unloading and suiting up in the parking lot

the late afternoon start really lended itself to a casual pre-race experience

after a second loop through the lot I found a section taped off for the City Bikes mountain bike team and parked standard mountain bike issue honda element along side of Mike K and Chirs Clarke's cars

without rushing to take the bike off the roof or step into an assortment of cycling specific gear
I made my way down to register
by the registration booths I saw old friend and rival Bill Davis

bill and I have duked it out on the clydesdale race circuit for years

but... in the last couple of years Bill has been dropping weight and picking up speed
more muscular than the average cyclist bill is big
but, no longer looking clydesdale big
and this is not an illusion created by the removal of his mustache
all of bill's efforts to gain speed has caused him to lose weight so much weight that I doubted his clydesdale qualifications
after a hearty hello and a firm handshake we started talking about the race
bill started in with excitement about weighing in at 201 that morning

half jokingly I talked about forgetting my scale

we went back and forth talking about a few other things
then parted so that I could register for the race and start getting ready

as I walked away from bill I took on last look....
he was not looking like a clydesdale
not only was he not looking like a clydesdale but he is looking fast and fit

I know he has been dabbling in the dark side out racing his road bike
I have seen him on Beach Drive in pace lines with DC local heros
already I was accepting that Bill was going to take the top seat in clydesdales unchallenged

after registering I ran into fellow clydesdale Don Watkins

was happy to see Don, his beautiful wife, and their wonderful new daughter

was not pysched to see that Don was in a leg brace for some ankle issues
would much rather see Don on the bike
but good to see him just the same
great to see him
awesome to see that his life is moving forward with family and that riding and racing are still part of his life (don't call Emma Jean EJ... don's wife will kick your ass)
don and I talked about bill's questionable clydesdale status

a glance from across the parking lot caused the thoughts in my head started to grow

my heart rate elevated

my blood began to boil

sandbagging the clydesdale class?
come on

my social loops continued

caught up with some familiar faces

shared the excitement of the day with strangers

made mention of the bill davis sandbagging situation to those that I thought would find it interesting

in my prerace meanderings I wander over to bill again
this time to take a look at his new car....
bill had shown up in a shiney new Honda Element the same orange as mine

we talk about the car the purchase the deal he got
the roof rack options
he went with and why
and other such things
within all the talk about the car bill told me of his morning mishaps
and the question of what class to race
not wanting to spend the money to race NORBA he was torn

then it came out
my old buddy bill davis was f_cking with me
he had weighed himself that morning
he was weighing in at 176, not 201
the ribbing of an old friend
he got me... he got me good

then it was time for me to focus in on redlack and the others at the line

it is an interesting thing this clydesdale class and its weight requirement
so many larger racers get smaller as they seek to get faster

they train their way out of the clydesdale class

bill is not the only one to forfiet the fun of being a clydesdale for speed
my brother was once a clydesdale

now my brother marc is fit and fast competing on a higher level

focusing on cyclocross yet still excelling in mountainbiking
marc still big by cycling standards, but not big enough to line up with the clydesdales

this morning I got an email from rival and friend Chris Redlack

chris whooped my ass by nearly 3 minutes at greenbriar
this weekend past
chris is fearing that he is soon to lose his clydesdale status
weighing in at 205 today
he knows that his early season weight will change as he begins to ride and race more
this would be unfortunate
as I love to race my buddy chris

it is an interesting dilema

an issue that has bit of an honor code

very few of these races do not put the racers on the scale

just as they do not question a racer signed up for one of the women's class
they trust that those signed up for the clydesdale class qualify
t is an honor code a code that has been broken
there have been skinny guys with rocks in their pockets at the Granny Gear events
those are demons for those racers to contend with I have my own set of demons
sure it may irk me

racing is not about podiums or prizes

racing ishould not about sandbagging

although it happens in all sorts of classes for an assortment of reasons

enough with this rant

must knock out some work

then get an actual race report out

no time to proof read

hope this rant meanders in some sort of logical fashion

Photo by NCVC's Kevin Dillard.... another rival and friend
gwadzilla archive about Rosie Ruiz

a great shot by Kevin of the start
Redlack in my Shadow


eric roman on a geared bike

at the greenbriar challenge this weekend past there was the odd sight
eric roman on a geared bike
on a geared bike that was not pink
not pink?

looks like the single speeders may need a new david koresh

eric roman took the podium
that site... was not odd at all
cyborg? maybe... the results


there should be plenty of words and images from the race

joe foley
kevin dillard
ricky's friend al
those and more had their cameras out
I need to go to sleep... tomorrow I will dig up the links
(links are arriving)


Ricky D does not need an excuse for pink..

stole this from ricky d at bikecentric
would make some jokes... but do not mess with ricky d
he can get evil electronically
he has mad photoshop skills

here is ricky d's message

Ol' buddy Mike (and resident Speedgoat web guy) gave me the heads up about a righteous raffle his shop is throwing: a chance to win a $7G Moots road bike adorned with custom pink bits for the paltry sum of $10. All the money goes to the Breast Cancer Fund. Huge payoff for very minimal investment! Win win.

I love this story...

so, I raced today....
it went well
not perfect... not bad... awesome at times...
it is a long story as all my stories are long
I have yet to put it down
perhaps I will sleep on it and it will all make sense tomorrow
in the course of the evening while watching the sopranos I scanned the net for images and results

has a picture of a yeti that made me think of this story...

a number of years ago when the mother of my children was without kids and was my girlfriend and not yet my wife we took a few months to travel through southeast asia
the classic backpacker stuff.... no marco polo first ascent stuff.... but a great lonely planet experience as well....
enough on that
the thought that the lonely planet is the devil is a rant for another day
this thought of the lonely planet being the devil was a metaphor for the map in the book the beach
that may have already been blogged about
in any case

lisa and I were in nepal

no kids
no dogs
life not like our lives are now
so we are in nepal trekking on the annapurna circuit
it is actually the last day of 21 days of trekking
the whole experience was amazing
as a person who loves the mountains this was a peak in my limited mountain experiences
so it was the last miles of the last day of a 21 day trekking experience
there was great relief
we were reaching our goal
reaching physical goals brings the participants a wide range of positive emotions
our destination was just ahead
so, rather than finish up the last miles and wait at the roadside for the afternoon bus back to Pokarha
a gorka porter guide of two late teen british boys recommended stopping at the last tea house
the porter hired to cary lisa's bag did not speak english... and had never done the circuit before
so we paced ourselves of the instruction of the brits guide, kumar
kumar and our porter ravi became fast friends on this hike
doing physical things along side others builds a kinship of one kind or another
as we settle in I rest my 40 pound pack on stone wall behind me
the altitude and its change in pressure along with a menu that often consisted of dahl bat or dahl bat can alter the human internal pressure
with my pack resting on the stone wall I thought that I may be able to release some of this pressure
with a lean and a tilt I went for my descrete release
with the rumble of a giant came a throaty belt of a release
not what I expected
not what I planned
before embarresment could settle in the women turned to the women along sider here and made a few gestures around her head and uttered something in nepali
then everyone including the porters broke out in laughter

i asked the porter who was also the young brits guide what she had said
with a great nepalese smile in his eyes and in his mouth he laughed as he said
she thinks that maybe you are the yeti

I laughed too and felt that I had recovered from my awkward display

I think so yes

I blogged about this exact same story a year or two ago
just googled it
gwadzilla archive of the same story told differently
sorry.... the only thing more low brow than farting is fart stories and fart jokes
I am what I am

I did not check
but after a google this page looks like it contains my mention of the lonely planet metaphor

yeti sighting in western maryland yesterday!

wish me luck... give me strength

the morning has come
last night was fun
maybe too much fun for the night before a race
my head hurts
hopefully this next cup of coffee will set things right

time to walk the dogs
time to load up the car
time to approach my demons
time to race

headed off to western maryland for a mountain bike race
the anxiety is building
just got to ride my own race
can not let myself get wrapped up in the health and fitness of the riders around me
let them go
no one can carry my up those hills but me

maybe I had one too many bourbon and ginger
maybe I had two too many bourbon and gingers

I am excited to get on the bike
the time leading up to the start line tends not to be a pleasure
too much anxiety