Rants on Cycling and on Life


24 Hour Mountain Bike Racing

no more blogging
time to load the car

time to focus on the road to the race
and the the race itself

24 Hour Mountain Bike Racing changed the sport of mountain biking and changed my life
there was a time where I only did a race or two a year
those races were the 24 Hour Mountain Bike Relay races

took a year off due to injury

now I am headed back

did not wrestle to create a Clydesdale team

going back and racing with the Vets 35+

should be a hoot
racing with some good folk
racing against some good folk

think fast and dry!

hope my bike and body hold up!

reports to come after the weekend!

check out the history on the granny gear site
it is an awesome event
I have had the pleasure of racing at Caana, Donner Pass, Moab, Snowshoe, and now Big Bear
should be awesome!
(and do not forget real time results!)

same guy... different day

same guy... different day... same SD card

bicycles and the law

in short....
when a bicycle moves on the road there are various laws...
the same laws that are set for cars exist for bicycles
yet.... just as the car drivers modify the rules of the road to make things move more fluidly so do the bicycles and the bicyclists

bicycles tend to ride to the right side of the road
but.... this is not always possible
the cars pass the cyclists and drive too far to the right for bikes to proceed
so, just as the cars have passed the bicycle... the bicycle passes the car
sometimes the bicycle breaks the double yellow line that is marked for no passing
but... it is common place for a car to do the same thing

what is most important is that this action by either party is done safely without any enfringement upon the rights of others

then, just as cars pass the bicycle
when there is a line of cars the bicycle splits lanes and moves to the front of the grid lock traffic
the cars pass the bicycle
the bicycle passes the cars
this works better than the bicyclist taking the whole lane
refusing car traffic to pass
forcing traffic to move at the pace of the bike

coffee done
dean forgot his lunch
I need to pack and head to big bear

let the comments act as a forum to finish this thought

I own a car...
I drive a car
that is one of the major differences between me when I am on a bicycle then the cars around me
I can seen the experience from both sides
most cars are inconsiderate of other car drivers
the issue with their inconsiderate behavior towards pedestrians and cyclist is human life
the lack of crumple resistent side panels and multiple air bags
flesh and bones do not respond well to rolling rubber, black aspault, and a slick glossy pain job

people need to understand that the cyclist is a person
a person just like them
someone's daughter or someone's son
that person has friends
and that person may have children
that person is a person who has a right to their safety
and a right to the road

too many car drivers see the cyclist or the pedestrian as a obstacle that they weave around fast
removing the human element
removing safety from the scene
also removing common sense and common courtesy

the action of opening and holding the door for another is a lost art
not everyone needs to be a boy scout walking blue haired ladies across the street
but... something as simple as holding the door open for another is quite basic
but these things are not taught anymore
therefore these things do not happen

the same goes for appropriate behavior on the road
stop signs
stop lines
actions at intersections
and behavior when approaching the crosswalk
the appropriate behavior has not been taught or stressed
the appropriate action is seldom
people repeat the same inconsiderate and dangerous behavior on a daily basis
if we cold just get people to respect other's right to safetly when crossing the street
we would be well on the way to making the world a safer place

everyone should pass pedestrains or cyclists how we would like people to pass us if we were pedestrians or cyclists

moral higher ground... karma.... and no raised heart rate

lucky for me BLOGGER WAS DOWN yesterday or I would ahve spent the day responding to the various comments to my post about the mishap at the register at the local box store the other evening

hypothetically... it this were to happen again... would I still walk away smiling?
yes, but I would be sure to get the 240 dollar tent rather than the hundred dollar tent
okay... who knows what I would do in a hypothetical situation
that is the mystery of a hypothetical
on a different day I would respond differently
although in this case there are really two basic responses
-walking away with the goods
-turning around and making mention of the clerical error to the person at the register

some other hypotheticals...
-an extra twenty from the Bank Machine?
take it and run
-a package in the mail delivered to the wrong address?
return to sender or to the appropriate address
-a bag of money falling off the back of a armoured truck?
I wish for that hypothetical

there are some things to be learned from this incident...
we all need to spend more time POLICING OURSELVES
if we all policed ourselves then we would have less need for police
if we spent as much time scrutinizing ourselves in the mirror as we do judging others around us
well... it would be a better world

I did what I did
I knew it was questionalbe
yet, I went the path I did
and well
I questioned my own actions and delt with an ethical dilema
in the end I settled in that my decision may have been wrong
but... nothing to sweat

let us all take this experience and let what we learned be applied to our future
not just our future at the box store
but our future across the board

I am flawed
I am as hypocritical as the society that surrounds me
but... unlike so many others... I am trying
sure I have my moments of weakness
but... I am trying
am I keeping the tent?
yes, am I going to enjoy it?
does it give me a little pleasure that this error fell my way?
does a hundred bucks alter my destiny?
no... I could have afforded this without issue
but... without grand rationalization
this grand box store has been given my money before
will get my money again
have tried to make returns to this store with little luck
this tent acts to try to balance the scale
life does not always work this way
I need to be happy when it does

City Bikes Headed to Big Bear

two city bikes teams headed to West Virginia for the 24 Hours of Big Bear
I will be joining my brother Marc, Chris Clarke, and Kent Baake in the 35+ class
while there will be an additional City Bikes team in the Expert Class

City Bikes Blog

city bikes mike
matt d

chip.... back from an adventure

chip is back in dc
back from an adventure
perhaps as many years of his life spent out of the states as in the states
now he is back...


getting ready for big bear

getting ready for big bear
as most things in life this weekend really snuck up on me
so... here I am getting ready for big bear

this morning before work I took a few minutes to fix my single speed
had not ridden the surly karate monkey since the 12 hours of lodi farms
there was an issue with the chain being too short after the power link snapped free on my second to last lap
things were too tight to ride... worked in a pinch to get me through the race... but was so tight it felt like a fixed gear
at first there was hesitation that I lacked a replacement chain
turns out I had a replacement chain
then after that it was just slacking

so this morning when the babysitter showed up a few minutes early I snuck into the basement while my older son slept and my younger son played with his baby sitter's grand daughter

there was not much to do
after all it is a single speed
what is their really to do
I replaced the chain and checked the wheels spinning through the brakes
a few turns of the pads on the disc in the front
a few turns of athe adijustment screws on the v-brakes in the back
then onto the bike for a spin to work and then later after work
before leaving work I raised the saddle a tad
the post work ride involved a quick sample of some urban dirt
the bike seemed fine
the bike seemed fine
the bike seemed fine especially since the single speed is a back up bike for this weekend's 24 hour relay event

the geared bike was tunned in the evening
really just needed to be cleaned and lubed
not much needed to be touched
spaced on the Pedros bike specific degreaser and used the old stand by, Simple Green
will ride it into work tomorrow for a test of how things are working
feeling confident that things are as they should be
have not ridden the geared surly karate monkey since I rode out to Cabin John and back the other day
rode out on the road rather than the canal.... a good loop but not the serious dirt capitol endurance loop
actually the last ride was at Gambril
either way... the bike worked then
the bike should work now

both bikes have some noise issues....
the thudbuster seat posts on each bike are squeaking
sounds like I am being swarmed by a thousand hungry mice
well.... I am used to the sound of swarming hungry mice
so I am not worried about it
but this will certainly be aggravating to the racers around me this weekend
especially the flat bar roadies

before I tunned the bike I had made a quick trip to an area box store strip mall to gather some random supplies

there was no list... just some random supplies
had been hanging with the boys in some pre-bedtime activities
lisa subbed in for the the final settling after I let the boys blow some steam by running wild

the box store mall required a trip out of the city
once across the river there are multiple box store options
unsure what I was buying the car made more sense than the bike
as the backpack would not carry as much as I may impulsively buy
a power inverter for the element and the aerobed for this weekend of camping was top priority on my mental list
I felt confident that if one store did not have everything I needed than the next store down the line would suit my needs

I meandered gathering various goods
tempted by this
tempted by that
tempted by everything
the parting words from my wife echoed in my ears
"don't go crazy"
at costco the other day I think I may have gone a little crazy
costco can do that to me if I am not careful
the walkie talkies may be vital
while some of that other stuff ... the diapers the toilet paper and such... that stuff is over the top

as a father of two it is important to be concious of spending
actually as an anybody being concious of spending is a good idea
right now we as a family are trying to be more concious of our spending
we need to be more concious of our spending
so I let those words go right on my list
right on my mental list....
in parenthesis above my priority one... a power converter

knowing my weakness I tried to avoid socks and underwear
sometimes I think I have too many pairs of socks and too many pairs of underwear
so I moved past and tried to focus on priority one before my mental list got scrambled
there is always the chance that my mental list will get erased
at times my good intentions while shopping turn into a classic Jack and the Bean Stalk experience
well... not so much a giant and some gold.... but coming home with magic beans
so... on my way to the power converter I slowed for tents
not for tents
but more for car camping pop up screen types of things

I looked at the models
I looked at the prices
I looked at the stocked shelves
then I let the words echo in my head.... "don't go crazy"

I picked up on bag holding the tarp with posts
I looked at the price of each
measured 25 bucks versus a hundred bucks
the words remained in my head
"don't go crazy"
I nearly walked away with nothing
then the thought of enhancing my kids experience while camping this weekend made me thing that a hundred bucks rather than 25 made perfect sense

so I loaded up with a hundred dollar screened in tent type of thing
from the camping area I moved to the auto area
there was no passage of time before I found the power inverters
there were choices!
I knew nothing of the needs
I knew nothing of the choices
I knew I should have called Redlack about this
Redlack knows about this sort of stuff
he had a microwave running off his car at Lodi Farms

after some enie menie minie mo.... I made my selection
from the power inverter I was in the lawn and garden area
temptation was running high
the grabbing of the screened in travel porch had me weak to temptation
tiki lamps or citronelle candles?
what about that picnic table?
would I need either?
would I need it all?
what about enhancing the kids experience?
there were some inexpensive long and tall citronelle tiki candles
one shot disposable
that should do the trick

fought the impulse to buy any dvds that I may not ever find the time to watch
grabbed some febreeze
grabbed two types of febreeze
grabbed some gatorade and some other serious junk food
then onto the cashier with the shortest line
I had moved through the store with the speed and effieciency of a cheap hundred dollar game show from the seventies

my stuff was rung up
my card was run
my cart was packed and I was headed to the door
then I thought of the cost and the estimate in my head
I had wanted to stay below two hundred
with the fifty dollar power converter along with the hundred dollar tent thing left that hope as highly unlikely

after some friendly small talk and the loading of my cart I started to exit the store
as I pushed the cart I scanned the receipt for my final talley
how could my bill be around one fifty?
the tent did not get rung up

now I am not a bad man
but I walked
tried to keep my smile small
but I walked
no rationalization
just kept walking
felt like the ATM machine had just given me an extra twenty and I did not feel like I needed to stand in line to talk to the branch manager
sure as a parent I need to lead by example...

but I am human
simply flawed

let me finish this drink and get some sleep
it is late

I told my wife about the tent and the final bill
she got a laugh and told me she would not tell
I asked her not to tell dean
she laughed even harder
as a parent I need to be sure that I set a good example for my children

yet I still do not think I need to call the branch manager about this one

more rationalization goes rambling through my head
I think I will enjoy this tent more this way
chances are I will grin each time I use it

a word of the the day antidisestablishmentarianism

a word of the day from my word of the day email

antidisestablishmentarianism, noun

Opposition to separation of the church and state.


a skate down memory lane

a quick aside
I did skate
never did I skate well
my skate efforts were humble
clearly more street than ramp
not my primary focus.... just something I did

okay... with that behind me let me throw down this rant...

this Cedar Crest site had me thinking about all sorts of stuff
my mind was wandering about the Dogtown an Z Boys and a need for a documentary on the DC Toke Team\The B-Town Skaters/The Sunshine House or maybe something on the local dc skate scene as a whole
there is some serious folk potential there
there were people pushing the limits of sport and life
those stories should be told
words or images
either or
either way the story should be told
only..... not by me... but by them
I was on the fringe of their fringe culture

the randomness of that Cedar Crest site had me trolling the dark alleys of MYSPACE
only I was not on the beaches of southern california looking at soft core porn still shots of a girl that just wants to have fun
but rather I was weaving my way through endless friends lists that included all sorts of dc hardcore bands from the earliest days of dc hardcore along with a long set of random names from the dc skate/courier days
so as I was glancing at VOID, IRON CROSS, and MARGINAL MAN's myspace sites I was also stumbling upon various nick names that sounded like people I knew from across the bar or from standing at the keg

it was interesting to see the names and think of the stories... all those stories... things I experienced first hand as well as stories that were told to me that became so precious that I would tell myself
never claiming to have been there
just feeling that it was a story worth sharing
interesting people and their interesting lives

one incident that became a story did involve me yet again from the fringe of it all
there was this bold british messenger who was living in the states to skate
he was clever and cool with a bit of wit to him
a sharp and quick wit that is more from the other side of the pond than from around here
along with the basic arrogance of youth he had a strong love for his home country
often putting down this country while glorifying his own
I am sure I have come on strong with the red, white, and blue myself so I take no offense
again... the arrogance of youth
not to mention the failures of this coutry are clear and present

enough background
enough intro

one day a day not so different than any other I was passing through Dupont Circle on my bicycle while working as a messenger
now this story has been told so many times that it is not clear to me at what point I actually arrived on the scene
or at what point I became aware of the action I am about to retell
either way I was there and this happened
what I saw... what I remember... and what I tell are all a little blurred
true, but all a little blurred

one afternoon this skateboarding brit working as a bike messenger takes a break in the park
he pulls up and takes a seat on the bench that circles the perimeter of the park
he takes the seat along side another messenger
from what I heard they were not friends nor did they know each other prior
as they each were sweating in the classic dc heat and humidity sort of way
the non-brit with his shaved head and courier apparrel pulled out a fatty
in seconds these strangers became friends
not too long into the peace pipe an officer approached the two young men

in a matter of seconds the party came to an end
the female officer was frisking one then the other
both men were in that classic COPS assume the position pose when the wiley brit decided he had enough of that party
so he split

with the officer's hands still checking the body of the other this guy was gone
he was sprinting across the park past the fountain
the officer abandoned the frisking process and sped after the fleeing british, skater, messenger

once at the opposite end of the park
about to step off the curb and onto the street this wiley little brit made a U-turn
headed straight back the direction he came
headed straight back towards the officer that was chasing him

she was stunned
he turned
then he was gone

seconds after he had left the park that is Dupont Circle the sidewalks were swarmed
every faction of law enforcement on every form of transportation flooded the park
there were Park Police on motorcycles and in cars
there were flat foots moving fast in a pre-Segway era
there were Special Police in Suburban Vans and the basic american cruisers
and there were DC Metropolitain police
it all seemed like a lot of activity for such a minor infraction
it also seemed like a lot of eyes and ears were on this park
as there may not have been any way for the officer in pursuit to contact anyone for back up

with all the madness in the park I acted without thinking and rolled over towards the action
in the background I was able to lean over still on my bike and lift up the recently abandoned bicycle
was unable to get the messenger bag with parcels still in it as the bag was in the hands of officer friendly by this point
so I slowly rolled out of the park with a riderless bicycle rolling along side of me
the distance to the main office was not far
passed the bike off to someone who I thought would be able to get back into the right hands

sure enough...
the bike got back into the right hands
the owner of the bike left town for a short while for fear of being arrested and worse yet deported

did that story make any sense?
hope I told it right
the written word responds differently than the drunken rant by the keg
maybe the british protagonist would be able to iron out the specifics

gwadzilla archive with a mention a story of the TOKE TEAM

a video on MYSPACE today... a skater stands poolside and well..... just watch

times are changing... times have been changing this way for a long time

years ago there were fewer messengers

there were fewer messenger companies
there were fewer messengers for for each messenger company
or so it seems from the outside
maybe there is some data on this
maybe someone who is out there actually knows the facts
not here for facts
here to talk some shit

there has always been an overlap of fringe and counter culture with the messenger community
punk rock is counter culture
skateboarding is counter culture
at least before these things were being sold in a mall these things were counter culture
not making a statement
just stating a fact
so... with all of this counter culture there is a great deal of overlap

such overlap that there were people who were into punk rock, skateboarding, and worked as messengers
not to get hectically into the sociology of work
but... jobs and industry are often shared and discovered through family and friends
how do you hear about the industry?
how do you meet the employer?
how do you hear about the opening?
perhaps from a member of your family or one of your friends

enough with that
I barely graduated college so no reason for me to act like I have PhD in sociology
on with the rant...
the skateboarding, punk rock (some leaning closer to hippie than punk in some cases... fringe just the same), messenger types were a colorful lot
there was always a flurry of activity in that crowd
they moved like nomads taking over group houses
they walked into parties like vikings
they moved like hells angels on man powered machines... skateboards and bicycles
they were alive
living each moment as it that moment were the only moment
some of that of course paralleled youth
most of these guys in this group that I am thinking of were in their late teens or early twenties

the tales and lore that surrounded these guys would make a wonderful book of short stories
each and every one answering to an assortment of nicknames rather than the name their mother gave them
names issued by their new family
their cultish family of the ramp, the street, and the bar
some of these guys need to get together
get drunk
and let these conversations be taped by hidden video and microphones
the reminiscnece alone would make for a great read
or a Podcast
or a quasi-documentary

earlier today I emailed hounddog mentioning that he could really make a great documentary of the skate scene itself
as "the dog" was pretty talented with the camera and the editing suite some many years ago
oddly enough he had been wrestling trying to get some of his stuff to convert to digital just days prior
maybe the Cedar Crest Tribute Site inspired that
tribute site?
I make it sound like a Journey Tribute band

great gwadzilla archive with X-Rays from my dislocated shoulder in the fall
and some fun images from the SM100
enough with this effort with a rant
wanted to tell an story
this intro was way too long



great bumper sticker

from the old school

this guy has been working the streets for ever
today was the first time I ever heard his voice
he moved too fast to really get a good shot
but... he was open to the idea

city streets

wheel day in the pre-k

today is wheel day in the pre-k
wheel day is a day where the students get to bring in a wheeled vehicle
my son dean brought his bike to school
many of the other children brought in bikes or scooters
these are the types of days that parents treasure and fear

normally I do not handle pick up or drop off
but today my work schedule allowed me to handle the task
the infrequency of this task keeps that experience special instead of routine
wheel day had the potential of being extra special
special for me and for him

after walking the dogs dean grabbed his lunch box and his helmet
I grabbed the bike
not sure if it was wheel day or just the day itself
either way dean had no sign of I HATE SCHOOL on this day
it was all excitement and anticipation

we arrived a few minutes early which gave dean a chance to ride around the play ground a few times
we went to around various obstacles towards the concrete banked walls....
I knew would be his objective
twenty years ago I broke my first mountain bike on this same set of banked walls
was trying to catch air on my Mongoose ATB with a fellow messenger named Puker
Puker was a righteous skater who had been on the cover of THRASHER MAGAZINE in 1981
neither of us were catching much air
but apparently I caught enough air to break my frame
enough on this ancient history
that was frame number one of over a dozen mountain bike frames to be broken in the years that followed
back to this morning

the thought of the kids swarming around and the wildness of my son had me spooked
part of me was thinking that I should have shrouded my son in pads
another part of me felt that crossing my fingers should be enough
the rest of me figured that I should just show him around the lot
so I had him drop in on the not so steep wall a few times
he was more cautious and more in control than I expected him to be
which was good
I know that he can try to be a little 4 year old show boat some times
so I tried to have him be alert to various obstacles and barriers

dean worked a few laps around the jungle gym
up a subtle grade
down a short fast grade
then up the handicap ramp to the classroom
where he tried to ride his bike into the building

once inside the kids all showed off their scooters and their bikes
dean was glowing
all the children were glowing

the school day is now over
there has been no call from the school nurse or my wife
which is good
hopefully dean had a blast riding his bike with his school mates
it shocked me that there were so many bikes with training wheels
this acted to make me more proud of my son
it also made me think that it would be fun to get together with some of the kids and the parents
have a few wrenches handy
have a little bike riding session
where the kids learn to ride the bikes without training wheels with the example of their peers

Essence Good... Stink Factor Bad

The Essence from a work out tends to be fresh, clean, and good but the scent of Stink Factor is bad
the modern polyester fibers of today's active wear has never ending value for functionality most of these fibers created light weight gear that breathes well, wicks moisture away from the body, and dries quickly
but... with all of those strengths comes one massive weakness


the backpack and gloves tend to be some of the worst victims of STINK FACTOR
actually... the user of those gloves or that backpack are the true victims

the gloves can cause a very stinky hand if the user is not careful

and well... the straps of the backpack can carry quite a strong scent themselves
nasty... nothing shy of nasty....
I have a shirt that smells clean out of the wash... is perfectly fine dry... wears well... then when I break a sweat... the STINK FACTOR is freed!
this particular shirt has the essence of cat pee
I do not even own a cat!


the backpack is worse
the gloves
as gloves are cheap enough to be disposable
but the backpack is a bit more costly
FEBREEZE can have temporary resolve to the STINK FACTOR

so can soaking and washing these items

but in the end
these items need to be burned!

I googled stink factor
and well.... I come up high on the list
Gwadzilla Archive from 2004
(pics from Peru/bush/bontrager/thoughts of the day)
Gwadzilla Archive from 2005
(pic at City Bikes with Ned Overend and other funny stuff.. archives are fun!)

crash video

crash videos are not my thing
this one is not so bad
try not to get distracted by the other videos
the speed seems lower than the play by play claims

Watch Video Clip

more from the maus

the bicycle paper

looked for information on a bicycle wash that occurred in the area

no luck with words or images
but here is an old article about keeping your bike clean by jim langely


and yes.... even more


the weekend thus far

here it is sunday morning

no boasting

friday night I rode virtually straight home from work
no workout to speak of on that day
there were hopes of an alley party
but the weather and its threat of rain kept everyone in doors

we invited a family and their dean aged child over for hot dogs
I am good at cooking hot dogs
kids like hot dogs
I like hot dogs
hot dogs are easy to cook

friday night blurred into saturday morning
it was a late bedtime and an early rise
some mid night disruption kept lisa from her yoga ambitions
no yoga for mommy
no yoga for daddy

daddy went to costco instead of yoga
sometimes we need to shuffle our priorities
started gathering good for the big bear event

soccer for dean
grant played in the park with mommy along side of the field
as dean alternated with some solid soccer playing and some serious day dreaming
then back home
grant napped dean watched Avatar
lisa ran some errands
I went to the basement and worked on a project that was well over due
years over due

I hung some peg board in the basement
built a work bench
hung some more peg board
wanted to build a more elaborate work bench with some cabinet type features
but the work bench I want to build would need the organization of a work bench to build
not just the need of a functioning work bench, the organization of my tools, but some planning and some materials as well

it is a fully ghetto work bench
the table top and the shelves are made of an Ikea dresser that collapsed
the frame is comprised of warped and weathered wood left over from the deck
I did not find the level till I was nearly done
ah... such is life
the work bench and the peg board are in a room the size of a closet with the water heater and the fuse box
getting some stuff out of the way
no need to trip over these tools
no need to trip over the multiple tool boxes
with everything put away nothing can be found
the peg board will make repairs and projects more fluid

time to evacuate
the boys are wild
finally dressed
time to get out of the house

no bikes
good to give the legs a rest
days off can be as vital as days on
or at least that is what I try to tell myself when I am without the bike

(I just corrected my two sons...
dean called grant an idiot
grant called dean a poo poo head
I told them that I did not want them calling each other these names
or anyone else for that matter
dean agreed... unless some one is driving too fast... then he will call them an idiot
list laughed)

a veteran of the street

this guy has been out on the streets for as long as I can remember
suspiciously he has not aged in the last decade
over a decade ago I used some shots of him with his shopping cart full of stuff as my christmas card

street shots