Rants on Cycling and on Life


this looks like a good option

for those looking to hang a bike....
looks better than what I got at the container store



my buddy john sent me this

cargo mike and his cargo bike... again

good neighbors

good neighbors
whether in an apartment, suburban sprawl, or camping...

good neighbors can enhance your experience

at the 24 Hours of Big Bear we had the pleasure of caming our City Bikes two team crew along side the Baltimore Bush Doctors

we shared a campfire
we shared the experience

they were some cool cats with some solid support!
good meeting them

good racing with them

I have some pictures of them on the Sport Podium...
but those are at work
and well I am at home sick

it is friday... treat yourself to a Menthos

those same set of images of that same girl...
mentos ad
by now everyone has heard about the mentos/diet coke combination
here is a tribute to the Vegas Bellagio fountains

Race Report on DCMTB Site

I wrote up a report from the 24 Hours of Big Bear on the DCMTB Team Site

Check it out if you like words!

should be more words and images here...
although the images for that race are on my work computer

more cargo mike

wonder if cargo mike and max ended up going night riding
as I expected
I was grilling and sipping cocktails with a friend on Capitol Hill by the time the sun set
not a good pre-ride potion
so I bowed out of the offer to head to Wakefield Park
(it always amuses me to see Joe Foley's name for these trail reviews)

ouch... a bruise

not a casualty on the clock
a whiskey dent from a pedal back from the pub

awesome gear

a few months ago I was looking to spruce up my closet with some new gear
found some very cool sporty options at retro league
but was hesitant as I am a US EXTRA LARGE
not a Euro Extra Large
is there such a thing?
after making contact with the company I decided not to make the purchase
now with the World Cup playing I am starting to thing that a tight jersey or track jacket with my belly hanging out over my belt would be pretty cool

retro league

take it from a big mouth...

Mickey's Big Mouth is still a signature of the Mickey's 12 ounce glass bottle...
but the full signature has changed
in my youth the Mickey's Big Mouth Bottle had a very unique pull tab
a tab that I never discovered the proper technique for opening with
but witnessed the awkward opening with spillage many times

if I remember correctly I would pin the bottle between my knees
then pull the tab down up then off
no spillage
no coolness

the 40 ouncer had a standard size pour spout
while there were various products that had a nice handle on the jug like a big bottle of cider or moon shine
packaging... part of the experience

mickey's site

yellow jackets on the trail

yesterday as I took the dogs on a short loop in the woods I encountered some yellow jackets
actually... brutus' behavior indicated that he encoutered the yellow jackets first

brutus is a bit "wiggy"
he is a wonderful dog and I love him dearly
but he is not without his issues
maybe I stepped on him one too many times when he was a puppy
maybe his near death experience and month without eating contributed to this
whatever the root
brutus can be a bit of a freak dog
so seeing him respond a number of swarming yellow jackets can be a bit amusing
as he looks more like a homeless man with a nervous tick and a internal debate between a few of his many personalities

then when I got stung... I knew that he was not drifting off into a weirder state of mind
but he was actually responding to some tangible external forces

at the site of the swarming yellow jackets I moved as quickly as my form would permit
feeling the yellow jackets at my side I swung my dog leashes about me
swatting blindly in the air
striking my own ankle with the hard metal latches at the leashes end
only got stung once
was not sure if my swelling was from a minor sting
the use of the leashes like some sort of medieval weapon

this morning I returned to that log that crosses the trail and sprayed some toxic bug killer into the nest
will return with the rest of the can this evening to assure myself that I finished the job
no reason to risk having another hiker getting stung by this family of yellow jackets that decided that the center of the the path would be their home


I know it is a hornet
but it is a cool logo
tattoos being expensive was a good deturent for me in my youth
or I would certainly have two chest pieces of the battle of the Mickey's Hornet and the the Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull

roscoe is very mellow
the dogs are very similar
the dogs are very different

independent girl courier

various faces


IF Chicks and Big Bear

IF Chicks Blog
IF Chicks Blog about Big Bear
IF Chicks Homepage

IF Grassroots Race Team Blog

IF Bikes

world cup fever

everyone seems to have a little world cup fever
including myself
not putting anything on the TIVO
but trying to catch what I can on the tube while at work

Poland has nothing to be ashamed of
yesterday's ending was exciting
to lose to Germany by a goal scored in the 91st minute is brutal
but that is the game
the intensity of the German players was something to be admired
they attacked, they attacked, they struck the post in an unlucky fashion
then they refused to let up and attacked again
after that goal
I thought for certain they would attack again and score again

a great game
I felt for my Polish brothers out there
to be so close and to lose it in the final minutes
a real heart breaker

more world cup images similar to the first


bicycle thief

two wrongs



American Council on Safety and Health
on the Helmetlessness of the Steeler's Quarterback


morning ride... post work ride... post race legs

got up a little later that expected this morning
the blonde haired alarm clocks are in pittsburgh visiting their grandparents so i got to sleep in a few extra minutes today
sleeping in a few extra minutes was fine on monday and tuesday as I was scheduled to go in late and work late
but this morning I was set for the standard 9-5
which made my sleeping late a bit of a dagwood bumstead scenario

so, got out of bed and did what most people do in the morning
scratched my bum
drank my coffee
brushed my teeth
had to put the seats back into the Element so lisa could head up to Pittsburgh for the weekend
by the time this was done it was time for me to head off to work
lisa agreed to walk the dogs

I went to the basement to suit up for a ride to work
with my backpack filled with work clothes and lycra on my body I was ready to ride
I grabbed what bike matched my cycling shoes
the 30 year old Colnago fixed gear worked with the Pearlizumi shoes and the Shimano cleats
as the pink bike with the fixed gear and various campy parts has old worn SPD pedals
not the best bike for my tired legs
rode it the last two days out of laziness
was heavy on the front brake due to legs too tired for deceleration

with the bike out of the basement I returned to the basement to get the old jamis nova and a pedal wrench
a moments thought made me realize that swapping shoes would be easier than swapping pedals
so I grabbed the Sidis and a bike to match
the Sidis have Time cleats... so does the karate monkey single speed
an easy choice
an easy gear for tired legs

the rides have been light since the weekend's race at the 24 Hours of Big Bear
tonight should be no different
have yet to plot my course
maybe to Capitol Hill to grill with some friends as I have a bachelor's pass
we will see if any other old married folks are free for a drink

otherwise it is just home to walk the dogs
after my post work ride of course


fast laps... no prizes

Granny Gear Results of Fastest Laps

it was an amazing course
a fast course that cruised with great fluidity
a great course for a race
a great course for one lap
a great course for multiple laps

the attendance at the Granny Gear events has been low in the last few years
but... my guess is the numbers will start growing
the new West Virginia venue is fantastic
the quality of the soil is such that it maintains a certain grip even when wet
I have been told that the course drains well after a rain
the proximity to Washington DC is also a positive factor for many

the abscence of prizes may come into play as well
no prizes means less pros.... or so it seems
no prizes will take away some of the motivation for Sandbaggers to Race Sport
the glory of reaching the podium is not about prizes
the glory is in the bragging rights

let me brag....
I was the slow guy on a fast team
with four people on a team someone is going to be the fastest
while someone is going to be the slowest
as hard as I tried to be the fastest... I ended up being the slowest
there is no shame in my efforts.... I gave it my all and am proud of my humble performance

our team was strong
we managed to finish fourth in our class
but... ended up 8th overall
apparently the Vet Class was the fast class!
it was awesome!
it was awesome racing with and against some good people
it was awesome testing my personal limits

(who knows the link to the photographs from this event?)

Fort Reno

Fort Reno Summer Concert Series

Fort Reno has been a part of my summer experience since I was a teen ager
in my teens I was a regular at Fort Reno on summer Monday and Thursday Nights
we often arrived on our bikes with frisbees and sodas in our bags

several years ago I was just back from the 24 Hours of Canaan
as I drove through town I gave a tour to my fireman buddy from Idaho
we meandered through Northwest DC as we traveled from the beltway to my Mount Pleasant home

as we passed near Fort Reno park I spoke of the summer concert series and the various bands that played there
as we got closer we decided to see who was on the list for that evening
as there seemed to be a flurry of activity
less parking
mom's pushing strollers in combat boots
dad's with incomplete mohawks due to thinning hair
to my friends great pleasure the band of the night was Fugazi
a band he is familiar with and a bit of a fan
what a chance opportunity!

not sure of you can catch Fugazi or the Slickee Boys at Fort Reno these days
but... there may be something worth seeing
check it out

French Toast may be on my list of maybe
could be curious about
sons of disobedience, & joe lally

tar busts a move as well

bust a move

another man.... another story

why all the brooms?

Indian Buffet/Nirvana/The Peaceful Warrior

just got back from an Indian Buffet
not free... definitely easy
very very tasty
try Nirvana on K Street if you are looking for good Indian food

Nirvana Rocks!
we all know that
Nirvana was the second coming... a new incarnation of the Beatles
Dave Grohl did things that Ringo Starr and Keith Moon could not
Dave Grohl went on to be bigger than before
Foo Fighters are awesome Pop Rock!
that man has some serious pop sensibility

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior
is now a movie; The Peaceful Warrior
loved the book
am willing to give the movie a chance... will be patient like a peaceful warrior and wait for it to come out on DVD

bicycle advocacy... bicycle advocacy on the legal level

WHEELS of JUSTICE from Australia

as we have
League of American Bicyclists here in the states

as a father
as a cyclists
the thought of the insensitivity towards human life as cars pass cyclists too fast and too close
it boggles my mind
I will never forget the senseless action that took the life of family friend, Judy Flannery
the death of Judy Flannery removed a dynamic woman from the world
she was a wife, a mother, an amazing athlete, a friend, and an inspiration to all that ever knew her
she deserves a moment of silence


dirt rag at big bear

dirt rag was there at big bear this weekend past
they had a booth
they had a sport team
they sold all sorts of stuff
friday night was cold
a tad more than I can see your breath cold
everyone was panicked about the onset of a cold wet weekend
before midnight the campgrounds were filled with heads covered in brown dirt rag beanies
I myself was not in need of their gear
yet I was tempted by the long sleeve dirt rag jersey
sweet jersey!

dirt rag took second in sport
they played a little last minute change in the rotation to make the move from fourth to second
or something to that effect
not sure
I was camped along side of the team from baltimore that got third
they seemed to be floating around back and forth
the use of the college legs was the smart thing to do
not at all a move from breaking away
just smart racing

although... I am a little sketical
is it legal to have super models on sport teams
I am almost sure that this pretty face in this photograph was one of the characters on the podium after the race
oh well.... I guess he is more than a pretty face

dirt rag was giving away bontrager tires to those getting a subscription
what a deal!
hey.... hold on!
now my lifetime membership is not sounding so sweet!
(actually.... not missing an issue because I slack on getting things renewed makes it all worth while... even if I could use a set of tires)

snippets from Big Bear

still trying to let the weekend settle in a bit before I write my race report
was looking to wade through some photos from the race as I let the stories come back to me and settle into place
so much happens in a 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race
that is a lot of walking active hours for stuff to happen
not much happens when you sleep
and well
I did not do much sleeping this weekend past

where do I find these race photos?
there were some people taking pictures
but what are their web links?

let me get some quick thoughts down...
vital details
but details perhaps too specific for the report itself

on the first lap I flatted out
this flat tire will be mentioned as much as possible
because I want my lap time average to look faster than it is
maybe we can think about this flat as we look at each lap time
I am pleased with my efforts
not sure if I wanted to be slow guy on a fast team
yet that is how it worked out
sort of anticipated it before the start
that 35 pound handicap does not help

on with a snippet
while our selected first lap runner/rider/racer kent was out on lap one I was zipping around the camp getting ready
checking for my helmet on my head and my shoes on my feet
burning off anxious energy and caffiene
lots of both
I paused for a seconda and I noticed my brother wrapping up some duct tape

a long strip of gray duct tape was slowly folded into one not so thick thick square
I asked what he was doing....
making a tire boot... want one he said
sure I said as I shrugged my shoulders
so I took the virtually weightless precaution and put it in my camel back pouch

sure enough
on lap one I was cruising fast
starting to think I was pretty cool
thinking to myself that these long rolling streches of straight single track were perfect for a 29er and not so bad for a Clydesdale
sure enough
that hissing of a snake
I cursed to myself camps and his notion of karma
the hissing was a sound that I recognized not the flat fast loss of air of a snake bite
but a high pitch scream of a slow leak
like a tear in the wall....
sure enough
a sharp rock had stabbed into my tire
not on the side but through the knobby tread itself
the tire was well worn
not that I felt it needed to be replaced
but perhaps I should have swapped it before the race

I held the point where the tire was damaged
then let the rest of the air out the presta valve
still holding the tire where the cut through the tire would need repair
I took the tire from the rim

somewhere in the process of removing camelback
unzipping camelback
taking off gloves to tear the ducktape
taking off eyewear due to foggy blindness
somewhere in there I lost focus on where the damage to the tire was
somewhere during this time I watched multiple racers pass by at a rapid pace
it is a difficult feeling
kept the emotions in check and kept reality in hand
knowing it is a long race
and that this repair can be made
I thought to myself this lap can be salvaged... no I will not beat my buddy CityBikesMike second lap lap time
but I am still in this race

with several layers of tape hidding the passage of the tube from inside the tire to outside the tire I was ready to roll
it was a difficult little tear to find
but it was covered when I found it
then the use of the race only CO2 cartridges came in handy

wrestled with the monkey nuts
(a karate monkey thing)
repacked the bag
wrapped the tube around the seatpost
helmet/gloves/glasses... check
got on and started to hammer
stopped... got off... attached the rear brake
then got back into the race
started smiling again
with a little caution as I did not have another tube for another flat

this course was such a pleasure
the first third rode like a pump course
sure I have never ridden a pump course so I do not really know what I am talking about
this course rolled up and down with the rhythm of a pump course
maybe the first two thirds rolled like a pump course as I have no clue what a pump course rolls like
maybe this course just flowed
flowed like a flow course

totally psyched to be racing
totally psyched by the quality of the course and the trail
totally psyched by the weather
totally psyched that on my first lap even with the flat I was able to manage an hour twenty three minute lap
not world record
but pretty sweet for me

granny gear big bear page

Mid West Granny Gear Event!

this looks cool
granny gear has added a new 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race Venue!
I am most certain that it rocks
there is no way that Laird Knight would put the Granny Gear seal of approval on this event unless it rocked!
makes me curious
maybe I need to go visit family in Chicago in September?

I missed the first Big Bear...
maybe I coudl do the first Landahl?
the first Tahoe was at Donner Pass... I was there... that was awesome

press release
granny gear

could have been the best and worst year of the man's life

Steeler's Quarterback injured in motorcycle accident
news from Bloomberg

from what it sounds he is seriously injured
while also being seriously lucky

no helmet?
what is this guy thinking?

I wish him luck
I said a prayer
hopefully he will learn from this
maybe everyone will learn from this

this could have been an ugly combination of the best and worst year of his life
winning the Super Bowl and dying a few months later
that would have to go in the record books along with the passing of Len Bias

this accident gives me chills
not because this is some super hero athlete
no... because of the worst case scenarios that could so easily be avoided if we just chilled a bit behind the wheel
I am not saying that either the car driver or the motorcyclist was in the wrong
just saying that if we just slowed down a bit
we would all be able to live with less regret

this man was very lucky not to suffer greater injuries due to the helmetlessness of it all

Good Luck Big Ben!
I am certain that you have the best men in Pittsburgh trying to stitch you up
along with every person in the Pittsburgh area praying for you... even the atheists

What ever happened to John Stamstad?

this weekend past I raced on a four man vet team at Granny Gear's 24 Hours of Big Bear
it was a hoot, a hollar, and a scream
that may be holler
but I think we went down and up few West Virginia hollars
not sure
as I am not sure if I could define homonyms or synonms
I am certain I can not spell either

the race is over
it is all behind me other than the soreness and the glory
along with the memories this weekend created
it also created a few questions....
one of those questions is


Laird Knight is famous for creating the 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race format
while John Stamstad created the ultra endurance solo class
together they changed the sport of mountian biking
there is no going back
there is a new understanding of the limits of the human body

but, what ever happened to John Stamstad?
is he running the Singletrack Ranch?
leading tours?
coaching endurance athletes?
or still racing?
a few years ago a friend of mine saw him mountain biking in Guatemala
but other than that... I have heard nothing
a quick GOOGLE brings up some stuff
but not the answers I am looking for
much of that is background information

either way.... Stamstad was a bad ass and I am confident that he still is an endurance machine!
thanks for being who you are
where ever you are

John Stamstad write up for the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame
Outside Magazine article from 1996

this year at Granny Gear's 24 Hours of Big Bear Steve Schwarz took first in solo in a very Stamstad style
riding his own race
not trying for the fastest lap times he could achieve
but rather knocking out each lap in a very consistent style
fast but not his fastest

excellent work Steve!
hope you called in sick this morning

Mountain Biking and Family

this weekend past was an amazing race weekend as well as being an awesome family weekend
not just for myself
but for so many others that were at the 24 Hours of Big Bear

Laird Knight is a visionary
he created the 24 Hour Mountain Bike Relay format
within his vision he created a monster
a monster that imploded upon itself
some of the failure was hubris
the majority of the failure was a curse of bad weather
unlucky with the weather over and over and over again at Canaan and then at Snowshoe

within Laird's vision there was not just the race but a festival around the race
there was a three ring circus that was being created around the race itself
at Snowshoe Laird had entertainment for the people who were not racing
there were trials riders and guys doing big jumps
there was music
there was.... well, I do not know.... as I was racing
in the end it did not work
had it worked cross country mountain biking could be a different sport
no one can deny that 24 Hour Mountain Bike Relays have not changed the sport of mountain biking
that is why Laird Knight is in the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame

in the shots above Laird is giving the same attention and energy to a kids race thrown during the main event

this is a classic example of how mountain biking can be made into a family event
there were lots of families
there were lots of kids

Dean got fourth in the six and under category
he thought he got last
I asked Laird to look into the birth certificates of some of the racers
the final results are being withheld until we get the official notorized documents

Smoke Signals... mixed signals

the Washington Post had some interesting articles about some scientific studies
confusing what the goal of the government is on these issues

Cigarettes and Nicotine Gum
Marijuana does not cause cancer

Phillip Morris
it blows my mind that a Cigarette Company can have an anti-smoking campaign for youth
while they more than likely have advertising campains fighting to recruit new smokers

American Legacy Foundation
has some great anti-smoking campaigns
I wonder about their effectiveness?

I think that banning smoking in public places will have an effective backlash to young people starting smoking

more than people smoking in public
I am more irked by smokers tossing their filters and butts to the ground when they finish their smoke breaks
that shit adds up
also... in the work place
smokers get these accepted breaks
what about us non-smokers.... can I take a ten minute break every hour on the hour to take a walk around the block?

cheat lines and girl scout routes

this morning I had the luxury of taking an extended hike in the woods of Rock Creek Park with the dogs
roscoe and brutus were pumped!
they got to run in the rushing creek and sprint on the trail for nearly forty minutes this morning
a great way to start the week for the dogs and myself

it is good for the body
it is good for the soul
there is something even more special about walking in the rain
not sure what it is
maybe it is the green of the leaves
or the sound of the falling rain
whatever the reason... it is great to take a walk in the rain
this morning I got to take a walk in the rain

this morning as I hiked the Melvin Hazen trail in Rock Creek Park I grumbled to myself about the steady decline of this wonderful natural resource
I looked at the fallen trees and the areas abscent of furtile top soil
beyond that
I looked at all the various trail routes and cheat lines
there are clearly too many parallel trails and too many connectors
it is our failure
the hikers, the runners, the dogs, the deer... any of us who take these shortcuts are to blame for this idiotic network of short cuts where short cuts are not needed
in my trail meanderings I tried to remove what fallen branches I could from the trail
and toss whatever dead wood was readily available onto the intersection of the unneeded unneccesary short cuts and cheat lines
as I walked I looked on proudly as I saw that various efforts over the years are taking hold
terraced steps catching eroding soil here and there
trail side logs holding the line
keeping the trail from sliding down the hill
small efforts... but a positive contribution just the same

yes, it is wonderful that the Park Service keeps Rock Creek Park in its natural state
but... like a band-aid on the knee
there could be some small things done to let Rock Creek Park maintain its natural state while slowing its rapid decline

the greatest irony of the rapidly eroding valley of the Melvin Hazen trail is the immediate proxity of National Park Service offices...
it seems that some of the desk jockeys need to get out of their offices and go out their front door
the slightest efforts could revitalize these trails
if there were soil provided I am sure that volunteers would happily do the rest

again I spent the morning daydreaming
and my blog ranting
maybe one day I will take action into my own hands
getting unfurtile soil to rebuild the trails especially at trail intersections and trailheads
and furtile soil and vegitation to aid in thinning the trail where the path has gotten too wide or the where the hills have lost their natural wooded plant life state

wikipedia on Rock Creek Park

completely unrelated
Hound-Dog sent me this THE OOOPS LIST
great transportation mishaps

sign of the times

Yoga in Petworth?
this is great news
not only does Georgia Avenue have countless thrift stores, liquor stores, and rib joints
now on Georgia Avenue in Petworth there is a Yoga Studio
there actually may be more than one Yoga Studio!
(as Georgia Avenue is a very long commercial stretch of road)

Washington Post Article
Yoga House in Petworth

I will have to share this information with fellow DCMTB/City Bikes Mountain Bike Team member Matt
as he was having a conversation with my two year old son Grant about yoga this weekend while camping at Big Bear


Back from the 24 Hours of Big Bear

24 Hours of Big Bear

the facts... standings over all
just the facts... our team's results by lap

an epic weekend...
the weekend was a double header for me
race weekend and camping with the kids
everything went along splendidly

I camped with the team for two nights
lisa came down with dean and grant and climbed into tent for the second night
everyone was having a great time
Dean did a kids race
Grant had an awesome time camping... his first time camping

camped with the another city bikes team
they raced expert
we raced men's vet
it was good camping with them
it really upped the experience

of course....
more on this later
if not tonight
then definitely tomorrow

an excellent weekend
it was rain free
it was bug free
a great weekend for camping and racin in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia

the course was awesome
not sure what the word on the street is
but there may be a debate about the best Granny Gear course location of all time
I wonder?

definitely much to say
oh.... so much to say
had a great time racing as the slow guy on a fast team
did not race clydesdale....
hung with the old guys in vet
4th in vet
7th overall
not a bad finish in a race with 170 teams competing

I bet this Midwest Granny Gear Event had something to do with folks who travled from the middle of the country to race in West Virginia

my friend john sent me this
world naked bike ride
the first time I raced a 24 hour race I raced with john and some others