Rants on Cycling and on Life


alley cat today

looks like the rain is going to hold out for the alleycat race today

although the alleycat races are not my thing I was thinking of heading down to take some photos

but... my plans with the family created conflict
family wins over photos, cycling, or cycling photos

on my way to the national's game at rfk with the family I saw demoncats kevin dillard off to the team time trial alleycat
last night in the bars were all sorts of messengers from philly and new york should be a party on and off the bike

more kevin dillard images
I wonder if he is the creator/web master of the demoncats site?

roll models...

even as an adult I am out there seeking roll models

as an adult male I try and be aware of my life and my life's direction
sure I let the wind blow me in various directions at times
but my anchors are strong
being a husband and a father make my roots pretty strong
so it is good when I see families functioning in less than conventional ways I take notice

just as nick bax's father shows that it is possible to exel at work, exel in fatherhood, excel in a number of sports, and still have time to enjoy a few beers

last night while I was out swilling drinks in adams morgan the topic of kayaking came up
in that converstation the marvel that is the jackson family came to surface
not the jackson five
eric jackson and family
eric jackson and his family have changed the sport of kayaking forever
in the process they are out changing the world as well

these are people I have had the pleasure of meeting and seeing in action

there are people all over the world mixing the conventional aspects of family with some unconventional approaches to life

the metal cowboy and his cross country bicycle trip with his sons is certainly just one of the adventures that is their everyday life
then again.... he did not have to quit his job to make that tour... as a matter of fact as a writer that was material for his job

although i am not the athlete or the intellect that some of these men are
I can take the examples of their lives and try to maintain a course in my life where I raise my family and live my life in ways that suit me
it is not vital that I follow the trajectory of the sheep

just got back from the National's game...
it was shirt day
not as cool as hat day
but pretty darn cool
the kids had a good time
I think cotton candy was their highlight

nats game

we are going to the national's game this afternoon
the wife
the two boys

knowing that the boys would want a baseball cap at the game I tried to beat the system
went to target to buy some Nats Hats

10 bucks at target beats 50 bucks at the game

they did not have kids size
just adults
the kids were with me so the process was not as fluid as I had hoped
wanted to trick them into thinking I made the purchase at the game

had I been on the bike sans kids... I could have migrated from Target to Sports Authority
was tired of suburban shopping and settled on the adult one size fits all

these should be fine

I would wear the hat myself.... but I am not such a fan of having a "W" on my hat

that is a shot of DC's own Marion Barry
yesterday was hat day at the game
that would have been the premium score!


leaving town

maggie of waba

at the coffee shop

I am not sure if I see any coffee


fight club
we all need to join a fight club

a fight club is not about beating up or getting beaten up
it is about being alive
it is about pushing your own limits
it is about pushing your friend's limits
a fight club can be different things for different people

for some their fight club involves skateboarding
for others a fight club can involve mountain biking
certainly fight clubs can involve fighting
who knows... maybe a sewing group works well as someone's fight club

Wednesday Night at Wakefield... that is a great example of a fight club
walking away from that event I feel a definite sensation of being alive
felt a little beaten up... but in a good way

Never Go Back!

dag nasty at MYSPACE
(great for hearing a few tunes)

official dag nasty site
(great for an assortment of links)

man... this music is old
which means... I am old too

wig out at denkos was an awesome album

waba singles ride and movie

people can bitch about dc
they can try to tell me that there is nothing to do in dc
well... those people are full of shit

dc is a vibrant city
sure we are a little uptight and perhaps a little conservative
but... that does not mean that there is nothing to do
waba has events
smithsonian has events
the museums are free
there are free events everyday and every night
you just need to look
pick up a city paper... look at the weekend section of the washington post
go to fort reno next week

training wheels work fine

as a father
as a cycling father I really wanted to try and find the most fun and most easy way for my two sons to learn to ride a bicycle
there was all that talk about like-a-bike and other similar kid products

all cool ideas

as much as I craved these other methods of learning to ride a bike as if the old way was primative in the end... dean got the training wheels off at four and a half
while grant is comfortable riding his bike with training wheels at two and a half

the process of removing the training wheels running along side my son dean the building of confidence the whole experience was just fine
like-a-bike was a tad expensive although I had considered taking the one piece crankset off a small wheeled bike for my boys
when they were in the stages of moving away from the training wheels

would love to hear if there are people having more fun or more trouble free success with the like-a-bike-like products

gary's images from WAW#2


got an hour and a half on the fixie before meeting my family at my dad's for a dip in the pool
it was mellow
it was hot and mellow

too hot for me to eat after my ride
but after some serious liquid refueling
then a splash in the pool

roscoe is not alive to fetch the ball
brutus will only enter the pool if I force him
my parent's dog max will only go in the pool if I throw him in
so it was just me and humans
really just me and my two young boys
grant at 2.5 has amazing mobility with a lifejacket
he goes off the diving board, jumps off the side, chasing in directions he choses, nearly floats on his back, and rights himself when he falls off a raft or rolls over from floating
dean at 5 is part fish
today dean added the flippers to his usual goggles
it gives me great pride to see my boys so active, healthy, and strong
so passionate about life
it is a great way to spend a hot and humid dc evening
the skeeters were pretty bad
but dean and I spend so much time diving to the bottom of the deep end to retrieve various throw toys
the bottom of the deep end grabbing two or three objects on one breath
I am so proud
grant jumping off the side and popping to the survace like a little bobber
those guys inspire me


compare your hometown to another hometown.



more photography

there are guys that love taking pictures
and well
there are a few of us that do not want our picture taken
while some of us do not mind at all
especially when we are caught in the act of such a wonderful moment
(hope camps does not think I am talking dirty)
but here is camps caught in the woods during a wonderful moment

that is a sweet photo of a sweet moment
I would need a fork lift and a hot air balloon to come close to clearing that log
not just clearing that log... but clearing that log at that pace
sweet photo gary
sweet move camps
the photos of me from that event are less than sweet... but the subject was less than dynamic
camps' finishing time is dynamic
the single speeders are not the fastest
but there is some sort of buzz about it that makes it interesting
maybe it is the fight for top five
this week there was some guy way ahead of the field
interesting local stuff

need to scare up the link to pete's wakefield images as well

oh... I did not know that camps had a pogo stick
of course I intend on snagging the images and tossing them up on my page or my team's page
a bunch of reports on the dcmtb team page

the bike is part of it... but is is not always about the bike... sometimes it is just about life

it is not just about the bike
we have more in common than just the bike

we love life
we love feeling and touching life
we love to be alive

we inspire each other on and off the bike

the blog is part of that
it is a network of inspiration
the inspiration is about the bike
the inspiration is about life

I have seen the inspiration flow in a creative direction
these images by jason stoner are of a subject on a bike, but they are also interesting photos
joe foley and kevin dillard are also good photographers who shot images of cycling and cyclists
and if I want to get out of the district into colorado.... timmyp and tino got me thinking that I should put images on my blog
my images are less photography and more of thing
I do my photo collage thing

got stoner's image @bikecentric

photo blog... bicycle blog

fairhill was on the radar but my heart was not in it
the heat did not scare me away
my heart was not in it before the weather forcast
but... hearing of the heat made me feel better about not being there

not having my heart in it and trying to beat the heat
well, glad I was not there to test my spirit

racing rival and friend chris redlack told a short tale of dehyrdation/bonking
chris is a machine
chris is a man of few words
so.... I do not have any more to tell

but some freinds and regular reads fatmarc and buddy had similar tales of woe
well, fatmarc pulled it out for a serious finish and a mental victory

katie compton was not phased by the heat
katie compton like so many other great riders of this era were around in the era of Canaan
I still want the skinny of floyd... was he teamed up with Stamstad or Shogren?

floyd... this guy has spirit

this of course is from YOUTUBE
watching a great deal of le tour on oln
loving it
the coverage is beautiful
the action is exciting
nice packaging
gut I am not the gene shalete of the road racing coverage world

love floyd's response to his bad day on the day prior
he did not give some euro answer about maybe having some throat virus or whatever euro version of taking a dive in world cup football on the cycling scene
no... he just said he was not entirely there
or something to that effect
very cool
then this
I know what happened today
a friend on the street was so pumped he wanted to talk about it
I was not shy about hearing it as I slammed one of those veggie burritos from the sidewalk guy
he is friendly but effiecient.... a burrito soup nazi

it is beautiful to watch
it will be exciting to see how the rest of the story unfolds

great sipping wine and watching the tour
maybe I will get some Ricard for some of these final days
that would be refreshing on ice
a great summer drink

dog people and cat people....

with the death of dog roscoe I have gone through a great deal

all sorts of revelations about empathy and understanding
being able to flashback to each and every one of my friends who has ever lost a pet
and my inability to really grasp what they went through

even now
I see that as much as any one person may love their pet
they still can not fully empathize for another and their loss

a funny revelation about the cat and dog people

when a cat is really really cool....
the cat owner will boast that their cat is like a dog
when a dog is really cool
the owner often boasts about how much like a person that dog is

57 Million......


57 Million people read blogs each day


give and take...

life is about give and take

I believe in the motto... "give a little... get a lot"
that is not the same as... "give a little... take a lot"

as I have started to mature I have come to see that we all need to contribute positively on some level
some of us will do more than others

there will be strong leaders and of course there will be followers
there will be those who are strong contributors in the board room
then there are those that are like me... good on the ground as foot soldiers

I try to make small contributions when I can
each little thing adds up
(picking up trash on my city block, trail repairs in the woods of Rock Creek Park, volunteering with Waba or MORE... just to name a few small things that I try to do)

for some people their positive contribution would be to just put forth less of a negative contribution
sure I can be an asshole... but I try to balance that with some good
some people are just assholes across the board... giving nothing back
just taking away

they may contribute at work...
they may do okay at work...
but that is the minimum
we need to all go beyond that

some thoughts on wakefield

tonight was night two of potomac velo club's wednesday at wakefield
race two was postponed twice
last night's thunder storms had me fearing another cancelation today

there was no rain
there was heat
there was humidity
there was no rain

so we raced

went in a tad early this am and got out a few minutes early
getting out a few minutes early eased some of the stress about the drive to the race
I hate driving in rush hour traffic
it pisses me off
if I am trying to get somewhere
it pisses me off more
it was good to be on the road with plenty of time
I was able to breath
the ignorance of the people on blackberrys, reading the paper, and talking on the phone did not piss me off as much as it would have angered me if I were running late

an early arrival allowed me the luxury of watching the single speed saga unfold in front of me
for some reason the single speed class is a bit more of a fun spectator class
not sure why
but it is
not just to me
but the single speed class at this event attracts a disproportionate amount of attention

lap one rolled in and I was not in a good spot for camera work
but was in a good spot to get an idea of where racers where placing

saw the top four roll by
saw nick daniels hike it in with a flat
saw evan ellicott pedal in with one leg as the other pedal had nothing but a spindle
saw my buddy chris redlack rocking somewhere near the front
saw single speed's salvador dali rickyd hike up some single track carrying bike in one hand wheel in the other

took some photos
wanted to take some stills for some portraits of various racers and friends
but lots focus to racing

lined up with the clydesdales on my rigid karate monkey single speed
feeling that this is a good course for a single speed
as much as I would like to have a shock on this bike
this is a good course for a rigid single speed

had my concerns about the clydesdales starting behind the sport racers
but did not want to be a bitch asking for something special
but did not want to get caught trying to pass the whole class that gets released a few minutes before the clydesdale
figured that the sports could pass the small group of clydesdales
rather than the clydesdales being forced to pass the sports

sure enough
I caught up with the sports and had to struggle with the single track catepillar
could not find places to pass
some of the racers were not making it easy to pass
it is tough to have to petition each and every racer in front of you for a chance to pass
this reminds me that I need to be fair to racers who try to pass me...
and I try.....
although fatmarc may have thought I was in his path for a hundred yards too long at the 12 hours of lodi farms this year
I try.... we are all human
trying to find a balance
not always pulling over
but.... granting space and opportunity
not speeding up to block opportunity

the first lap went by and I tried to be fluid rather than spastic
did not want to waste too much energy nipping at the wheel of racers where there was no place to pass
so I played it back off the single track catepillar
tried to be less fast on the first lap and have more energy for the following laps
I think that people call that pace or pacing
not sure.... the idea is new to me

into lap two I felt stuck behind a long line of racers
some people let me get by
but some other racers were not making things easy
on a section of double track trail I passed on the rocky not path
before turning into a sandy section of trail along side the creek

sure enough
made the move too aggressive and not pretty enough
pinch flatted
rolled through the sandy twists and turns making a few more passes laughing to myself
there I was riding bareback
like a kid free as a bird
no camelback
no tools
no tube and no pump

angered I ran the bike
stubborn I wanted to stay in front of these racers
maybe in a twisted sort of way I wanted them to have to pass me
I stepped aside and them them passs
I stopped running
I continued the direction of the trail

some racers passed offereing help
a fellow clydesdale offered me a tube and pump
having a 29er I denied all offers

there I stood talking to Mike Pattisall
standing in the same spot we stood a few days prior
we talked
I told him about the article I wrote for Spokes that mentions him and larry and our meeting at that very spot
then I tell him that my dog died
we talk about a few things
then feeling lazy about walking back I decide that I will take Mike's offer of his 26 inch tube for my 29 inch wheel

with a little stretching it fits
not as much air as I would like
but I got tired of pumping
then back on the course
a little squirrelly at first
slowed my pace a little on the turns with the slighly sloppy front tire

figured I could finish this lap
and the next
where I could check the results for the first and the last lap and still get a feeling of how I measure against the pack at the end of the day

fought my way through the course
passing a variety of racers
eventually catching the Clydesdales who had passed me
jenkins and quigley were involved in their own little race between each other
more like a pursuit race than a mountain bike race

even got to ride behind some fast and fluid sport women

in the last stretch of singletrack I unknowingly passed the last Clydesdale putting me into first

it was a foolish action on my part not to fix the flat immediately
it was hard to get my head around the event
although I was totally stoked to be racing
it was great to be out on the bike
it was great riding and racing with some many great people
but in between smiles there was some malaise

I gave up so easy
in the end..... the thought of DNF came to surface and I got back on the bike
but how did I let myself take something like standings or finishing times get blurred with spirit and effort

tonight was awesome
getting back on the bike and finishing the race really was exactly what I needed to do
another great race at wakefield

for some reason wakefield is like a powder day
nevermind... it has been too long since my last powder day
it has bee so long since the last time I snowboarded
but... I think that wakefield is like a powder day

earlier this week I tried to find a seat pack for my bike
so that the pump and tube would always be on the bike
my garage like my life can be a bit of a mess at times

I need to clean my garage
I need to shave
I need to do a number of things

with the results will come more words
with the images will come more words

evan tells his tales of woe
rickyd ran into another bike and some bad luck

my estimate of hanging out for ten minutes with Mike Patisall with a flat seems like a fair estimate
gary's got some images

good stuff

this is max
chanced upon finding this image here
had not been there in a while

max raced at wakefield tonight
the photo was taken by jason stoner who also raced tonight

good seeing these folks
also very cool photo of a pretty sick track skid
guess without brake levers you do not need to use your hands
or something like that
(jason stoner looks like a pretty creative character... I knew he was good with a bicycle and a camera... on top of that... his design looks pretty sweet!)

floyd landis... 24 Hours of Caanan?

tonight after wednesday at wakefield
single speeder larry camps told me that floyd landis raced in the 24 hours of canaan
not sure what years

names still on the dirt scene today were mentioned

this conversation was going on after tonight's race as we watch floyd get dropped
here is an article that floyd landis pointed to from his blog
well... not sure if it is a floyd landis blog or an official floyd thing

stole that image from here
will have to dig around here later when I am more focused


not sure... I think I like the clean cut

I do not know this guy
but I have seen his story
have seen him around some races
see his name in the cycling news

hard to tell from the photo
I think that clean cut suits him better
although I think I can understand what his is saying about his sexy locks
as my locks are gone entirely

well... not really his story
his story is still being written
that is just a page in his story
a page in many racers story

local heros

some local heros
well... not local on the small scale and not heros on the small scale
heros on the east coast mountain bike scene on the world level

sue haywood does not update her blog enough
sue haywood kicked ass at some sort of national short track event

jeremiah bishop kicked ass at the same national affair... a strong second
jeremiah bishop is a bit better at updating his blog

I wanted to see sue haywood give a write up about wakefield

tour de france circa 1990

not sure of the exact chronology...
hold on...
it is all coming back to me
all sorts of aspects of my life
(a good gwadzilla archive)

where I was at in school/internship at NIMH not classes
where I was at in relationships/had just finished my turn with a psycho
(she was a siren... she caused many men to crash into the rocks)
where was I ?
I was in Europe
well... at least for five weeks I was in Europe in 1990

with no real language skill
with no concept of currency or converstion
with no real itinerary and no real plan I went to europe with my friend rob
trip that most people would have spent months preping for with maps and books
we went with a Let's Go book and wide eyes

we each had celeste green bianchi mountain bikes
his a grizzley
mine a super grizzley after warranty
those bikes were sweeets!

an assortment of pannier bags with way too much gear
had we thought of it we would have brought an iron
we brought so much that we never needed

our trip was fantastic
we may not have planned or plotted
we may not have had any real destination
but we had a good time bouncing around
some days on bike
some days on trail
some days recovering from a late night in the clubs

I have not toured very much
but have always enjoyed what I have done

the cross country trip is definitely on my life list
a cross country adventure with or without kids
the metal cowboy did a cross country trek with his two young boys
my friend john's young kids were very understanding of their father's need for adventure

maybe I will go to europe and tour with my kids
maybe it will happen
I will have to make it happen
I will try to do a little more planning
as well as not planning has done me thus far in life
I think that things would go better if I spent more time planning

I wonder how fatmarc's friend's laurie and jeb are doing in france?
not sure if they have a blog
they should have a blog

a great write up by a....

nick bax has a blog
nick bax is fast
nick bax is a friend of my brother's son

this friend of my brother's is one of the people who I see as a person to model a life after
he is very intellectual and skilled in his field
he is fit and strong a few years my senior
while being competitive at a level of sport that I have never achieved
he seems to be doing a good job of raising his son (and he has an equally dynamic daughter)

not a bad person to look at and think...
it is possible to juggle a few things in life
not only is this man juggling a number of things
he is doing and excellent job at it

nick shows that he is not just a fast cyclist and a talented racer
but he is also a good writer
who tells a great story

watching the tour

watching the tour
watching the weather

marveling at the riders and the countryside beside them

the beauty around them must aid to drive their power
it is a beautiful thing to watch
the coverage is amazing
the riders are amazing
it is a beautiful thing to watch

I went for a short ride on the bike today
the ride would have been longer
but I had to work late and I got social on the trail
ran into a few people
stopped to chat
slowed to catch up

got home before the storm
got home to my family hanging downstairs in the living room
no real activity
no television
just kids playing

I get down on the floor and try to get in on the game
there are new walkie talkies that do not seem to transmit more than a foot
there were wooden pieces of fruit that were getting sliced by wooden knives
a sound of velco as they split apart

brutus who is usually sitting across the room cam and sat along side of me
leaning in close

games changed as I quized them about their day
I have become my parents
how was your day?
what did you learn in school today?
not that bad... but pretty much that routine

dean catches a bug
well... the bug crawls onto his hand
dean is tame about pinching or holding the bug
I take the bug from dean pinching it gently trying to show him how to hold it

then I accuse him of trying to put the bug in my belly button
it was absurd
kids like absurd
I like absurd

grant got into the game
I teased as if I was going to put the but in to grant's belly... then dean
the giggling started
I mocked tickle that fed the laughter
the threat more than the touch excalates the laughter

then like it has never happened before
dean and grant attack at the same time
stuck like a turtle on my back I try to fend them off
by this time brutus is working well as a pillow

I laugh
I giggle
I scream
I beg for them to stop

everyone is laughing
lisa is smiling looking on
brutus is comfortable in the roll of pillow

there I am on the floor with my boys
I really needed to laugh like that
it felt good to have a good laugh

the kids are asleep now
the tour is playing on the tivo
and I am checking out some blogs