Rants on Cycling and on Life


a bicycle blog talking about cars?

honda: the city element

auto blog

trying to figure out what I need to make my AC power adaptor give me power so I can blow up my aero bed at Big Bear next weekend

maybe I should just call redlack
he is knowledgable about such things

I like the color
riding lower will not help me
well, it would help me to get the bike on and off the roof rack


Cedar Crest

I do not skate
when I did skate... I did not skate well
land was where I was comfortable
land was where I stayed

my ambitions on the skateboard were humble
point A to point B with some fun in between
much more street than ramp
more downhill than tricks

there is a HISTORY OF CEDAR CREST site

this place was amazing
it was a place where the limits of the sport were pushed
it was a place where the limits of civilized man were pushed
it was decadent
many of these young kids on skateboards made the Hells Angels look like geriatrics doing shots of ensure

I am not a messenger... nor do I play one on tv

I am not a messenger
nor do I play a messenger on tv
but... I am a cyclist
bicycle messengers are cyclists
and well...
that makes us kin folk
some sort of twisted cousins

does this image scare you?
it scares me!
check out more of the freak show at DEOMONCATS!

images of colorful people
colorful inside and out
the photographs only show the colors on the outside
these folks look like they are having a heavenly good time
make that a hellish good time
as they are all demoncats

the images are shot by Kevin Dillard
great images

(the image above are of Shawn and Kim)


Chain Reaction ReOpens

right turn

that picture makes me want to post this picture again

Maryland's ICC

well... ground is breaking
and it is breaking my heart

it blows my mind that "they" have these "studies" and "they" somehow figure that a bicycle path does not fit into the plan
it blows my mind
have they been on a multi-use trail?
have they seen the price of gas?
have they seen the fat people at the Walmart?
(okay... you do not need to go to Walmart to see fat people)

study smudy! is what I always say

right now the street in front of my house is a major commuter route
the traffic moves fast and furious up and down my street
everyone rushing no where fast
no one yeilding the right of way to anyone
everyone ignoring the double yellow line
nothing slows their aggressive thrust forward

well... after too many close calls for everyone on the block
I started to email a cast of characters in various positions in the neighborhood and the city
well... my voice has been heard
and they are going to do a "study"

yes! A STUDY!

well.... you get a four year old to do a study and they will tell you that you need a jungle gym and a sandbox

just imagine what they will do with their vision of the car dominated future...
let me tell you.... it is ugly
our parking spaces will be taken away and marked off as HUMMER ONLY PARKING
the turns will be banked so that the traffic can achieve higher speeds
the trees will be replaced with street lights
okay... that is not funny or interesting
I am sure that they will mess it up
worse yet!
why does there need to be this "study"
this is not the first street with such an issue
isn't there a guy at the DOT who does this for a living?
he (or she) is already getting a pay check...
have them draw up a few plans from similar such roads
propose this to the neighborhood
vote on it
and then use that
no need to reinvent the wheel
the issues are not new
this is speeding traffic
not life from another planet
get real here

icc study
wash times article on the ICC


if I had the money and the space for all the toys

cycling is for all ages

what is funny....
I took this photo of this same woman just several blocks later
the ability of cycling to reverse aging is amazing
or at least this is how she feels inside

last image of meredith

Under Attack!

we had a wonderful spring
spring was long, cool, and moderately dry
it was a wonderful spring

then like mother nature sent out a memo that summer is here
summer hit like a meteor
memorial day came on with all of its summer splendor
the day after memorial day I woke to heat, humidity, and mosquitos
the wonderful spring was nothing but a memory

washington post article on asian tiger mosquitos

article on WORST DRIVERS in the US

my cousin sent me an article about the WORST DRIVERS in the US

article about drivers in MSN

thanks Jon
keep the info coming
it is good to try and open my eyes to other perspectives

cartoon of our car culture by Andy Singer

more meredith

me and the boys

tommy on the bike

today I am scheduled to work late
shifting my post work ride to a pre-work ride

checking my messages in the am I learned that my late shift has turned into a long shift as my boss is sick and I need to head into work early to cover
so much for a long pre-work ride
yet there was room for a ride just the same

so my morning went along with the dressing of the boys, the walking of the dogs, my drinking of the coffee, and more drinking of the coffee
then on the bike

this morning I got on the fixed gear and headed on a short loop around town
down into rock creek park
onto broad branch
into chevy chase dc
into chevy chase maryland
onto the capitol crescent trail
spin the slight grade downhill into georgetown onto M Street towards work

as I turned onto M Street I made a cautious line through the bumper to bumper cars then popped free into carlessness on the bridge
in the left lane I felt the presence of a bike beside me
a bike along side of me uncomfortably close
so I asked the rider to give me some space
not so much as a turn of the head
I let him go.... okay.... I let him go as I made one or two cuss-less cat calls
something about my space
something about his mother wanting her bicycle back
those words from a man on a pink fixed gear

so... he made his pass
I went on to do my thing
I thought about it and figured maybe I had cut him off in my meanderings through the wall of traffic
as we approached more traffic... without a glance back... my friend who failed to respect my space then failed to respect my line
he cut me off just as I was about to shoot a gap
again I said a few things
again he did not respond to my words
he didn't hear me
he didn't see me
it was then that I realized that I was dealing with TOMMY ON THE BIKE

so I let him go
after this blog post... he will be gone entirely
until I see him again
where I will be sure to give him plenty of space
as well as predict his very predictable behavior

even with having to deal with other people
it was still a great 45-50 minutes on the bike
topped off with a shower at work
nothing short of refreshing


tonight's ride

let me see if I can make this fast...

the boys are still up
it is way past their bedtime
but... we just took a shower/bath
and well
I am dry and they are still splashing around
lets see what I can throw down before they flood the bathroom

tonight was a pretty good example of how a father who wants to mountain bike manages to mountain bike with two kids

it was known in advance that lisa had a work dinner and that I would be in the mr mom roll
so I planted the seed a few days prior
got a feeling for where the kids were
the seed was the thought of a picnic at the airport

we talked about the bike ride
the sandwiches
the use of the trailer
and the airport
when I got home from work I thought that the neighbor's slip and slide was going to win out over heat and humidity on the bike path in the burley trailer
but I was wrong

the boys were stoked for the adventure
so with the theme of mission impossible in my head I started to get ready with the excitement of trying to defuse a bomb
there was a change in cycling shoes
the swaping of the bikes
the trailer needed to be pulled from the garage then assembled
the boys would need drinks
the three sandwiches cut into thirds had already been purchased on the way home from Potbelly's
there were granola bars
there were capri suns
there was water
lots of water for everyone

while I gather this gear the boys gathered there vital stuff
I assigned the filling of the water bottles to the boys
there were several bottles with ice at grant's side
grant handed them to dean
dean filled them up from the filter on the fridge
there was moderate overflow and spillage
but that is to be expected

once the water bottles were filled I reminded them to get their toys
the same toys that they spoke of two nights prior were the exact toys that they gathered
like good criminals they were sticking to the plans of a well thought out caper

from the backyard the boys watched the slip and slide as I finished hooking the trailer to the bike and getting the right two helmets
it looked like fun
but dean and grant were already excited about the ride in the trailer

with a slow grind we were off

up the alley
across the street
onto the sidewalk
down porter street to rock creek park
and onto the bike path along side of beach drive

the commuters were out along side of the post work workouts
the trail can be thin at times with the trailer in tow and the head-on trail users out of focus of the tasks at hand

we went around the tunnel and through the zoo
up the hill
cross the street
then down the hill
we followed the creek till it got to the river

then we followed the river to the airport
crossing the potomac after a stretch of road on the way to haines point
the tourists were out in full force
it is the start of tourist season... but that does not interest me because I do not hunt

with the children content in the trailer I rolled past the intended picnic area beneath the landing planes
we pushed the bike past the airport towards Old Town Alexandria
but shortly after the airport itself the boys asked to go to the airport
I turned around
with excitement I told them that we were at the airport
they told me that they wanted to have a picnic at the airport
I said we were on our way

moments later we were at park where the planes glide into the landing strip
it was then that I learned that both of the both of the boys thought that we were having a picnic in the airport
there was a small discussion after the slight confusion
no tantrums as hunger superseeded sublties such as location
with sandwiches in hand the boys were content

the planes screamed overhead as we ate our sandwiches
the bicycles rolled by
commuter racing
racers training
couples out on a date
familiar faces then a mountain biking friend from my mountain biking team

after the sandwiches and some drinks we were back on the path and across the river to the awakening at haines point
we shuffled in with the road cyclist training (both the racers and the wannabees)
only to pull over at the scupture instead of doing multiple laps on the road
here the boys got to climb the various apendages of the sculpture
we spent as much time leaving as we did staying
with the son already deep over the horizon we needed to rush home before dark

the boys complained
they wanted to stay
they always want to stay
it was late
the speed and the bumps made drinking in the trailer difficult for dean
so I slowed
I sped up
he spilled
it went that way for the final 35 minutes home
pretty much had to ride through it

arrived home
unpacked the boys and the gear
pulled the bikes and the trailer into the backyard
set the boys up with a snack to occupy them as I put stuff in the garage

then the shower
to the present time
by this time I have already pulled boys out of the tub
dried them off
passed off once child to the wife who walked in from her work dinner
talked to the other while he dressed himself
I am finishing up this entry as lisa sits with them as they read to themselves as some bedtime quiet time
it is late
way late

managed to watch the kids and get a ride in
a good time shared by all
something we should do more often
as it is good for the family
good for the legs and lungs
working hard to move slow is a good workout

reality and life...

this story is about a bike that is a pipe bomb

lojack on your bike

a story in the DCist about a bicycle owner fed up with stolen bikes

Lucky Number Seven-Lance Cleared

lance cleared in previous drug allegations
ny times tells the tale

here is the same story from forbes

that is good news
great to have that feel good story stay along side of the sqeaky clean image
hard work and fair play

Spokes Article....

this year I was given the opportunity to write the
SINGLETRACK article in the Mid-Atlantic cycling magazine SPOKES

I am about to start in on the article for next month...
usually I wait till the night before to start my homework
it I want an
A on this test.... I best start sooner

the topic:
please send me an email if you are interested in some


I am really impressed that my little name to email link works!

mile high club

never has ballooning been such an attractive hobby

sloggi ballon

sloggi blog

yesterday I had never heard of the sloggi underware product
now I want to buy stock in the company
or maybe just direct deposit my check to some of the models bank account

sex sells... or does it?

sex sells!
or does it?

it is clear that sex sells sex...
does sex sell other products?

does advertising sell products?

sex in advertising may act to grab our attention
does this attention grabber get us to the store to make a purchase?

then the notion of exploitation...
are the bikes being exploited to sell underware in the sloggi ad?
(feel free to go to this underware site... only when security is taking you to the door and your boss is handing you your last check.... remember to tell them you were shopping for a gift for your wife!)

are the suicide girls being exploited?

and how about poor old jenna jameson?

this is an interestng set of questions
I like the images
I like images of pretty woman
I like images of bicycles
put them together.... WOW!

just a little something to start your morning

it was a visit to FressWheelingSpirit that got me on this tangent
now work is calling me away
would love to research this topic at greater length
but.... too dangerous for the work place

but come on... it is MYSPACE!


post alley cat grin

alley cat triple crown this weekend past
apparently meredith had a good time and placed well at all three events

I know little about it as these are not really my thing
checked demoncats
great images
but nothing about the triple crown

many weaknesses

I am a man of many weaknesses
one of my favorite weaknesses has to be coca cola
I love coca cola
I love all the varieties of coca cola
no I am not saying that I like old coke, new coke, cherry coke, vanilla coke, whatever coke
I am saying that I love the varieties of coke as they vary by presentation
coke in a plastic bottle
coke in a two liter bottle
coke comes in an aluminum can
and of course
coke comes in an ornate glass bottle

coke tastes best served warm onto cold crushed ice
but people will almost always chose for coke in the classic ornated glass bottle even if it lacks that wonderful aluminum flavor

I drink way too much coke
but... it is so darn tasty
it is not just a compulsion
it is a craving
and at times
it is a wonderful pleasure
at times it is out of habit
most of the time it gives enjoyment

serious spds



tim again

endurance loop to schaeffer farms

glancing at a map it is looking like an endurance loop to schaeffer farms may ba more than I think I would be interested in doing

from mile one on the C&O Canal...
to roughly Violettes Lock
that is roughly 22 miles
then there is some serious road miles
unless there is some singletrack on the golf course
either way
that is a lot of miles to get to schaeffer farms
the riddle
is clopper lake on the route to schaffer?
does the loop at Clopper Lake connect to Schaffer Farms?


the closest legal trails to my house would have to be the Fort Dupont/Fort Circle trails
these trails need to be developed
with enough work this stuff could be worth going to
right now
it is less than a destination
okay... these trails are a destination
but the thrill of getting out alive is a bigger thrill than the trails themselves

CO2 and 29ers

new toys...
recently I got a Serfas CO2 cartridge
brought it along at Lodi Farms
was pleased I did not need to use it
then used it to top off my tire out on the trail a Schaeffer
then today at Gambril State Park with my brother I got a flat
was going to walk it back to the car as we were less than a mile from finishing our ride
but went ahead and fixed it as it needed to be fixed sometime
went right past the Crank Brothers mini pump and got out the Serfas CO2 cartridge bike pump
part of the process was learning to use this tool for when I would need it
I learned a few things
learned how to use the pump... easy enough
learned that it may take more than one cartridge to fill a 29 inch tube
that is tood to know
these things may be great in an an intense race situation
but no need to fill the landfill for the average flat situation
I am not that lazy

gambril this morning

went to gambril this morning

with the permission slip signed I had the bikes packed and the bike ready to go when I rolled out of bed this morning
grabbed some coffee and took the dogs for a quick walk before I left
patted the boys on the head (okay...I did not)
gave the wife a peck on the cheek (yes, I did)
then crossed town to pick up my brother

had talked with some others about meeting up to ride
but as the weekend started to wind down the window of opportunity started shrinking
as it was memorial day I had things to do other than ride my bike
there were hot dogs to eat and a pool to splash around in

arrived at my brother's
he gears was packed and waiting for me
his boys were geared up and already riding
three year old conrad was not only wearing his gloves and his helmet
while eric was taking off his sunglasses but keeping the helmet on
living the rule
no discussion
no helmet... no bike

loaded up the car and headed out of town
there was no real traffic to speak of other than the image of rolling thunder
we discussed if rolling thunder was a bike rally or a memorial day ride
my brother propossed make it bicycles only and see if these people still want to ride in a parade for the same cause
I thought that free baked beans at the start would aid in keeping the name of ROLLING THUNDER true to form

we arrived in the trailhead parking lot and took the last space
it was fairly early
but there were already people finishing up their morning hikes and morning rides
we suited up and got on our bikes
with little discussion we decided to take the route of old faithful, the yellow loop

gambril is good riding
the rock gardens are a challenge with plenty of winding singletrack break in between
it can be a challenge
at times I got a tad frustrated with the new development of girl scout routes and cheat lines
it is tough on the brain
as the brain is solving each problem as the wheels roll up on them
pick the safe and clear
pick the safe and clear
well.... there is not always time decline a selection because it is too easy
as that is against the primary goal of finding the safe and clear line
too safe and too clear is too complicated of an revision to make as you are slamming down the trail

riding with my brother is a good match
we have been riding together for years
we have been hanging together for years
there is never a shortage of things to talk about
even if the stories have been shared before
the skill level is very similar
although we each have a different riding style with varying strengths

we alternated leading
although I think he lead more
although he knows I often prefer not following someone else's wheel
there were a few moments where we raced for position
challenged the other for a hole shot
or cleared a section that the other failed
we went out for just short of two and a half hours
including my flat tire just a mile out on our way back to the cars

it was a awesome ride
do I dare say it was an epic ride
we each felt moderately confident
we each felt good about clearing sections that were challenging
we each felt good about not getting hurt
and getting to ride on this fine weekend
what a memorial day

after our yellow loop forward
and our abreviated yellow loop backwards.... plus a short down and back on a catotin trail we loaded up my car and pointed for home
there was temptation of the burger king or maybe the taco bell
but the window of opportunity had closed
we had achieved our goals
it was time for responsibilities

the responsibilities of memorial day involve splashing in my dad's pool and eating burgers and dogs all day
we arrived at my dad's with the wives and children already pool side
the cousins were all swimming like fish
with a little more than a brush of the dirt on my sweat dried legs I was in the pool as well

the day was pretty special in a very simplistically common memorial day sort of way
highlights include dean and grant going off the diving board in their favorite to infinity and beyond sort of pose
along with various andvancements in each of their swimming techniques

many burgers were shared
there was lemonade (and sodas for dad)
lisa left early so grant could nap
the cousins left for their next adventure
and well
dean and I stayed behind and continued to swim

evacuation was not easy
there was no kicking or screaming
while there was need for some simply trickery or basic promises
we arrived home without more than a second to get the grill going for dinner guests and their children
the boys were exhausted
not in the best mood for entertaining
the best was made of it
as behavior was getting menacing I motioned for a little SKY HIGH
that kept the two older boys entertained
while the two younger boys stayed with the parents and were munched on fruit and bits of ice cream sandwiches

the night for the boys ended with a bath
like they needed more water
I am ending the night with a drink
like I need another drink

cabin john trails

this month in SPOKES magazing I wrote an article on a dirt endurance ride
a ride from the US Capitol Building to the Cabin John Trails just outside the beltway

that article should be out in a week or so at your favorite Mid-Atlantic bicycle shop or gym
if they do not carry SPOKES.... ask em
it is free
what have they got to lose
the cycling culture has everything to gain

this weekend past I did a fraction of that ride
only riding more road rather than dirt
starting in bethesda and ending home
rather than the capitol building back to capitol building
okay... I did not do that ride
but I did ride to Cabin John and then back home this weekend

the spring weather was awesome
my bike and my body held up pretty good
was a tad hung over
managed to sweat it out

that is a fantastic dirt ride...
I wonder how much of a dirt ride could be created to get out to Schaeffer Famrs?
how would that work?
maybe I will toy with that idea
I have heard it talked about
wonder what the route from downtown DC to Schaeffer would be.....

its a boy

its a boy

she's just a girl

its my life

a gwen quiz
is she hot? (yes)
is she cool? (yes)
what more questions are there?


around the corner

day two of a three day weekend

here is is sunday afternoon
only halfway through the second day of a three day weekend
laying low hanging out with my younger son, grant
he woke up in a mood from a nap... a short nap
not ready to try and entertain him I offered to calm his mood with Corduroy

it is funny
dean love movies
dean wakes up and requests a movie...
dean gets ready for bed and he requests a movie...
he does not get the movie... but he is persistent in his requests
grant on the other hand can not be bothered
well... other than the short film Corduroy
Corduroy is his buddy
corduroy is a children's book that was converted into a film

dean is at the Nationals game with his grandfather
maybe when they get back we will all go swimming
we went swimming this morning
but... why not swim again this afternoon
after all, this is Memorial Day weekend... grilling poolside is an American tradition!

so... her I am blogging and watching a set of short films with my two year old son grant
letting my body recover from the classic combination of a late night of drinking followed by a hot day out on the bike
hot.... well, only in comparision to the very moderate and pleasant spring we have been experiencing

earlier today we went to my dad's house
it was a good way to kill the morning
also a good way to drop dean off to go to the baseball game
go nats.... and some cotton candy

we all swam
my boys, my wife, and my dogs all in my dad's pool
my dad's dog will not go into the pool... some lab
after some swimming dean took off with grandpa for a baseball game
the rest of us stayed behind
I cooked up some dogs and sausages for my stepmother... her visiting cousins... and my immediately family
we all ate like Americans
like the european americans we are
there was a variety of sausages
then lisa went with grant to the grocery store then home to take a nap

hold on... corduroy is over
snuck in Harold and the Purple Crayon
grant has no interest... grant only wants to see Corduroy

before lisa drove away with grant and the car I unloaded the geared surly karate monkey with front shock and jumped into some basic riding apparrell.... the basic lycra super hero costume
lisa pulled out the driveway in the car
I pulled out the driveway in the other direction on the bike

without much time I decided I would ride from my dad's house in Bethesda to the Cabin John Trails just outside the beltway
I just wrote an article for SPOKES magazine about riding from the Capitol Building to this same set of trails
this would be an abreviated version of that ride
but... this ride would contain some similar elements of carlessness
riding the bike rather than putting in on the car
although not from home and not from the center of dc
this would still be a solid endurance ride with some fun dirt involved ride

in less than twenty minutes I was at the trailhead
the route was made less aggressive by avoiding the cars by guessing my way through unkown whitman territory
lots have changed
yet lot is the same since I guessed my way through these roads 20 some years ago
after some scary shoulder riding on River Road.... it was the trailhead to cabin john just outside the beltway
not far into the trail I could see that the folks from MORE had been in here doing their trail thing
a fallen log had been removed and some rerouting had been done
as well as some well wornness to the trails showing that there has been a decent amount of traffic on these trails

the trails flowed
I rode a fairly mechnical set of loops
feeling spry
starting to gain some confidence on the bike
tried to keep off the bike
allowed the bike to leave the ground a few times
marveled at the proximity of these trails to the house I grew up in and my ignorance to their presence
I day dreamed about trail rides decades ago and conversations of these trails but my inability to ever piece together where they were
there had been mention of them
but I had always thought that people were talking about trails further down River Road deeper into Potomac Maryland

I ran several repeats of some of the internal loops behind the Locust Nature Center
went past the toddler park and the miniture steam engine
watched the clock and estimated my return
rode the dirt for roughly an hour twenty then rode the shoulder of River Road back into DC
it was a rewarding ride
a great little ride
now to piece together a ride for tomorrow am at Gambril State Park

there goes the neighborhood

last night headed home I approached a light a mile or so from my house
the light was green
there was a green turn arrow
I pulled up behind a car in the middle of the intersection and waited for them to turn
time passed
the light was green and the turn arrow was still green
yet the car in front of me did not go

the kids were fidgeting in the backseat
I was itching to get home
the turn arrow went to yellow
before it turned red I gave a little hit on the horn
not a love tap
not an a-hole heavy lean
but a honk with the horn just he same

the car in front of me woke up then made the turn
we made the turn following behind them and I admited to my wife that my actions were partially dictated by the stickers on the back of this car in front of me
somehow the Nine Inch Nails and TOOL stickers did not match up to the two Bush stickers

the car sped out of view
we caught them at the base of the hill
then followed them up the hill
they got away from us then when we got to our block this same white car was pulled into a space
the car driver was grimacing with his nose nearly pressed to the car door glass as he gave me the finger
ten cars ahead I went to pull into a space
then lisa said lets go check him out

I said nothing would be gained
but... I figured there was nothing to lose
so we made a turn around and cruised on pass

as I got closer to the car I broke right in with a
I honked trying to alert you to the green turn arrow
at this my bald brother rushed my car
cussing and screaming
I told him to mellow out
while my wife cussed over me right back
my kids in the back seat witness to it all

the encounter went just as I had feared
before I left I admited that my honking at his car was more due to my question of the somewhat incongruent stickers on his car rather than his blindness
I welcomed him to the neighborhood and then went and parked my car

it was all bad
nothing was gained
I tired to explain to my wife that that was not good behavior in front of the children
then tried to explain to her that a woman can not cuss at a man with her husband present
unless they are expecting their husband to get into a fist fight for them

we went inside
I immediately wrote a note then leashed the dogs then went down the block
the note went like this

my bad
you may be correct, I may have been a little heavy on the horn
it was inappropriate of me to blur two completely separate issues
-your neighbor with the orange car

I wonder how the reception of the note went?

it bums me out to see another W Sticker in the neighborhood
honestly.... in these times.... I do not think that political bumper stickers are such a good idea
that mini-road rage incident is a perfect example how things can steam roll out of control

I dream of a 25 letter alphabet
an alphabet without W