Rants on Cycling and on Life


random blog

random german blog

may help
there may be a web translator that would be more effective

google has a translator

Camps and Wakefield


good write up about Single Speeds and Local Races by Larry Camp



training wheels worked just fine

there were thoughts of getting a LIKE-A-BIKE style product
there were all sorts of Internet searches that took me around Europe
there were German manufacturers and British makers
there were various pedal-less bike type of things all over
but no options in the states
well... now there is LIKE-A-BIKE
and certainly soon there will be a reasonably priced Fisher Price option (we can only hope)

but training wheels worked just fine for us
training wheels continue to work just fine

Dean was off training wheels by four and a half
while Grant gets great joy from pedaling the smaller wheeled bike with training wheels
he enjoys it more than the tricycle
I would think that the LIKE-A-BIKE style product would be in addition to a tricycle and a bike with training wheels
not instead
all the skills are needed to learn to ride a bike
not just the balance of coasting down hill

had considered taking the one piece crank set off a smaller kids bike
just to see if there is any pleasure in that coasting machine

I would fear that it is no better or no worse
just different
fun for the kids
but no more safe
and well
I am not sure that it would accerate or ease the learning to ride a bike

there was a time where I looked at it and thought
wow that is one expensive set of wooden crutches
as I was viewing the bicycle like structure in ikea form as more of a training tool
used for two to four weeks to transition from bike with training wheels to bike without training wheels
as pedaling is as much a skill to be learned as balance
and well
steering and pedaling is differnet than kicking around with some wood and some wheels between your legs

yet, I considered buying one of these beautiful pieces of wood
thought that the whole block could use it
that these wooded crutches would be brought out as each child approached the appropriate time to transition from training wheels to without training wheels
I could not justify the cost
looked at them
paid close attention to them when I saw children with them

but never pulled out the credit card
came close
but never made a purchase

thinking that training wheels should work fine for Grant when the time approaches
if there are wooded crutches to grab
I will certainly let Grant (or bicycle proficient Dean) give them a try
as I am sure that the process is fun
heck.... I did it the other day when the chain on my single speed broke!

two seventy nine
there is a great motion gif on the Charm City registration page
but honestly
I think that is too much to spend on a childrens bike
two seventy nine
does it teach my kids to read as well?


Pronunciation: s&s-'stA-n&-b&l
Function: adjective
1 : capable of being sustained
2 a : of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged <sustainable techniques> <sustainable agriculture> b : of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods <sustainable society>
- sus·tain·abil·i·ty /-"stA-n&-'bi-l&-tE/ noun


and here is a definition at Wikipedia

cut me some slack
I am still learning words and concepts
there are words and concepts that I had known before
but am starting to greater understand and appreciate

the urban planners
the city planners
and the people need to come to understand this concept of sustainability

rc squared

Rock Creek Restoration Co-operative
(a not for profit daydream of mine)
((I have lots of daydreams))

when I walk the trails of Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC I experience a mixture of emotions
torn between being elated at how beautiful the trails are;
with being depressed at how beautiful the trails could be

the hiker/runner/dog walker population grows each year
every year there is a new freshmen class
there are more people working these small sections of trail than ever before
the trails are getting wider
the trails are heavily eroded in some places
the vegetation around the trails has thinned out
the park land will not repair itself

there needs to be some action to repair this wonderful park
small action today will prevent the need for massive action later

all the park needs is a band aid here and there

there needs to be more earth
so much of the soil has been taken away
when it rains the roads funnel the water into the park
the park is naturally a valley
but all the paved section of earth that would have one time absorbed rain and run off now just sends all that water into the valley that feeds into Rock Creek itself

in addition to more earth there needs to be some replacing of indigenous vegetation
the old growth trees are reaching their time to die off
there needs to be fertile land so the young trees can grow
seeds need to grow to be saplings and then the saplings need to grow to be mature trees
that may take blocking off some small patches of land from man, deer, and all else

there are too many trails
trails need to be blocked off and rebuilt into fertile hillsides
the trails themselves could do with some basic repair
again more earth

my greatest daydream is to bring in a unfertile sandy soil for the walking path
build upon the already existing walking path
wind the natural path of the trail... guide the trail in a natural direction
thin trail in some places
thicker trail in others spots where it makes sense for people to walk abreast
along each side of the unfertile walking path put fertile soil to the same height
fertile soil extending into the woods
plant clovers or some other fast growing vegetation with ferns
seeds for hardwoods will also take root each season
the lighter colored soil would act as a "yellow brick road" guiding the hiker unconciously to stay on the trail
there would still be various trail options
thick paths would split into two thin paths
forks and splits would still exist
but they would be marked well enough so that people would easily be able to stay on the path
the obvious path would prevent people from widening each trailhead and each trail intersection

the trailheads would need the most repair

logs would be used to level off camber trail
logs would also be used to terrace steep sections into natural stairs

shortcutting would be blocked no only with fresh dirt,, but also with the placement of indigenous plants
in addition to terraced stairs some of the steeper trail sections would be blocked off and switdch backs would be cut into the hill
plant life would be added to the steep sections

I can appreciate Rock Creek Park in its "natural state"
but the current natural state is decline
there needs to be an effort to create some sustainability
right now this park, which is an amazing natural resource, is being neglected

avatar game
scene creator

watching avatar with my kids
we have it on DVD
it is really good stuff...
Ang is on this earth to keep peace and protect nature
or something that effect

touch and go

touch and go
25 year reunion festival
a friend's band is getting together for this
I wonder if they will be able to get it together for this
they all live in different states
which does not allow much time to practice
unless they play really really loudly

more good stuff

chainsaw panda rides a bike brings up a few interesting topics...

helmet laws for cyclists
the yellow bike project

go there and take a look!

and counting


39 years and one day today


nice bob jackson

i think that is one of the bob jacksons I have seen parked about town

yesterday's post work ride

yesterday I ducked out early
pulled out the "birthday card" and asked to get out early
should have asked to get out early earlier
but... got out early just the same

was able to roll for just over an hour and a half on the bike
most of my ride was on the local bike paths
as I was earlier than usual I had less RUSH HOUR COMMUTER TRAFFIC
less people equals less hassle
it was good to ride with my heart rate going up from what I am doing
not because of what some other joker is doing

a good ride

getting close to the Shenadoah Mountain 100
focus should be more mental than physical
need to make sure my bike is ready for the task
tune it up today
test it at the race on Sunday

another federal building

just some stuff to read.... injury on the bike

as many readers know I am a cyclist
my focus is riding the bike
I love to ride my bike
I do not always want to ride my bike
but I ride my bike just the same
a few minutes into riding my bike I am reminded that I love to ride my bike
riding my bike on dirt is my favorite part of riding my bike
I ride my bike on pavement not just because I love to ride my bike
but because riding my bike on pavement makes me faster on dirt

last year I suffered two injuries; a broken/dislocated index finger in the spring and a dislocated shoulder in the fall
nothing too serious, but serious enough to take me off the bike and send me to the doctor
there was some surgery all sorts of physical therapy
as well as a good deal of time on the bike
those injurys are still part of my daily life
the pain and the fear of recurring injuries
it sucks
but.... it is not like I got diagnosed with cancer

I am a cyclist
I am not a cyclist for a race
I am not a cyclist for a season
I am a cyclist for life
it bummed me out that I missed races and missed part of the season
but.... I put it all in perspective
I was fine and would be back on my bike
there are future races and future seasons

for those who do not know I am co-captain of a mountain bike team
DCMTB is our team (DC-mountain bike)
our main sponsors are City Bikes and Metro Gutter
Joe Foley is the co-captain.... he really handles the lions share of the captaining responsibilities
earlier this year Joe broke his clavicle
this was a real bummer for Joe, as Joe has been getting faster and stronger over the last two years
he dropped weight and he picked up some serious speed
once recovered from his clavicle joe was in a bike/car accident, which took him away from his bike again....
it sucks, but he is okay

Matt Donahue, another DCMTB member crashed his bike and injured himself
dislocated his shoulder to be more specific
this has been a recurring injury for him
the dislocation bums him out
but the injury does not bum him out as badly as missing the Shenadoah Mountain 100
I tried to share with Matt my feeling of being a cyclist for life
it was over email... I did not see... but I think he gave me the finger for my Chicken Soup for the Injured Cyclist Soul type of philosophy

DCMTB team site

Joe Foley's Blog
Joe is a cyclist, a photographer, and a lover of beer

Matt Donahue's Blog
Matt cross over from Downhill to cross country
he had the handling now he has the speed and endurance
but now due to injury, he is taking a few weeks off the bike

Brian Kemler in Mexico's Blog

Brian was the captain of DCMTB when I joined some years ago
funny picture of Brian as I seldom saw him without a helmet on

Sean Bega; City Bikes Chevy Chase head mechanic and director of Hub Racing has an article from the Washington Post about the death of Judy Flannery; check it out
Judy Flannery was a family friend and a Masters Champion in the tri-world
her life was cut short.... read the article

yesterday I signed up for the last Cranky Monkey and Charm City
today I need to suck it up and sign up for the Shenadoah Mountain 100
my wife and kids are going to camp
so I might want to show up and race


thirty-nine today

today is my birthday

this morning as grant played happily with the thomas the train/star wars village i created the night prior, dean complained

dean is holding strong that thomas the train is not for his mature five year old tastes

so often an effort to do something cool can blow up in a parents face
like when I made tuna surpprise by mixing two boxes of regular mac and cheese with one box of arthur mac and cheese
along with the standard cream of mushroom and tuna
arthur was hiding all around
dean would have none of it
had it been all arthur or all regular mac and cheese it would have been fine
but the mix did not appeal to him
the mix drove him away

these responses tend to do more with a mood
this morning dean was in a mood

when lisa got back from a morning run with the dogs she reminded the boys that today is my birthday
everyone got a little excited
the boys each started singing different happy birthday songs

dean asked if he could give me my present now
lisa said, no tonight
dean said, no now
I said nothing... but was thinking, no now

lisa got the present

immediately I started joking as i was handed a small
a white shipping envelope that held the bulging form of whatever was inside

I questioned...
it does not look like a unicycle
it does not feel like a unicycle
it does not feel heavy enough to be a unicycle

I tore open my package
my eyes widened and my mouth smiled
it was a wool dirt rag jersey in grey and black
along with two pairs of dirt rag socks

what a great gift

dirt rag
no.... that is not me in the photo above
that is a different Clydesdale
Dirt Rag Co-founder Maurice
a clydesdale and a member of the mountain bike hall of fame

the jersey and socks are my size
the unicycle could be a tough purchase to make
size and quality and such
lisa made the right decision.... as per usual

dirt rag art director at myspace

the DIRT RAG FORUM sent me an automated message wishing me a happy birthday
isn't that sweet

dj yellow fever

djs yellow fever spin locally
each week I get an email announcement with a different amusing jpeg
here is half of the yellow fever dj package brian liu

I used to see more of brian before my life as a father began
now I just see his emails

here is a slug from his email
Tonight & every other Tuesday @ Cafe St Ex.(@ gentrified 14th/T St NW DC!)
NO cover. NO weekend warriors. NO EXCUSES!

yellow fever at myspace

brian also runs a design firm called toolbox
he runs a tight ship
they tend to have some pretty cool clients
not sure if he has drifted from print design to multi-media to film
as I know he has traveled a great deal in the last few years to work as a photographer/cameraman


discipline.... I just want to play with them

I did not have children to discipline them I had them to hang out with and play with them tonight on my ride home from work I was trying to keep it mellow was on the Specialized tri-cross wanted to keep it in the small ring wanted to keep it spinning on a bridge that crosses over river road a pace line of commuters came up on my left before the crest of the bridge they had to fade over as there was oncoming traffic a few joggers or something to that multi-use trail effect the second guy faded right on top of me I had to break and fade back then came up on the left and asked them what they were thinking the second guy, the guy who faded right into me said he was sorry sorry? sorry for what? sorry for what you are everyday? the trails are not the place for a paceline the first rider takes off his headphones to try and get an idea what I am saying I start over the trails are not the place for a paceline it is just like in a car... if you are racing nascar and you are following close behind it is called drafting but, if you are driving your car on the highway and you are following that close it is called tailgating there is the... I said I was sorry I did not want to hear that I am sorry crap if I did not say anything he would not apologized he would not have realized his idiocy but there were two runners coming up the bridge exactly... when you are driving your car do you pass blindly because the car in front of you is passing? no it is the same thing here the third guy in the pace line tells me I am holding them up I tell them to keep on rolling they do not need to stick around and listen to me there is a little more back and forth there is a little more of my grumpy diatribe eventually I have to pick up the pace not to drop them but just to be away from them I am not out riding the trails to have to discipline and educate other riders I want to just go ride my bike I turned it around at Bethesda Ave and pointed it back down the Capitol Crescent trail for home a short ride my rides are like most riders day off I take the Capitol Crescent trail back home the same way I came wanted to ride longer... but had to get home to the family gave my three new friends a smile and a wave as I passed them headed the opposite direction they gave smiles and waves back I am sure they had a laugh about the feak on the bike me the way back was the same set of uneventful near head ons with riders who can not see further in front of them then the top of their front wheel some near serious head ons then back home got back home and took brutus for a hike on the Melvin Hazen a short ride and a short hike are better than no workout at all guess I have to discipline my children if I am going to want to play with them

just as roadies do not like other roadies
freds do not like other freds
do mountain bikers like other mountain bikers?
for the most part
I do not like people

26 letters in the alphabet

taking it back
can not let my bitterness and anger spill over to the rest of my life

I am taking back the "W"
that letter is far too useful
as I can not live with only 25 letters

so today I borrowed a baseball cap from either dean or grant
which I am not sure
one of their hats
took it and wore it out to the local pub

can not associate each and every "W" I see with negativity
so I took it back
wore the hat and liked wearing the hat
the hat was comfortable and it covered my bald head

of course the hat was blue
I would most definitely not wear the red nationals baseball cap
now... lets see if I can get my head around wearing that red shirt with the big white "W"
I may need professional help on this one
if the "W" had been smaller or the shirt had been blue it all would have been easier

the more simple toys often take more complex thinking

wooden maple blocks
wooden thomas the tank engine track
plastic legos and plastic action figures
combine them and create new toys and new games

my boys are playing with our blocks, our trains, and some star wars action figures... no legos at this time
but there is always the option to add or modify

dean has spoken out against thomas the tank engine
as if thomas is so for four year olds and he is now five
but... reintroduce the same toy at a different level
and the old toy is a new toy
tonight I made tunnels and levels with the wooden maple blocks
the thomas the tank engine track was set up on each of these levels with three different tracks
the tracks never connecting
each with a battery powered engine slowly grinding its way around the looped circuit
each going through a network of tunnels
the tunnels are the wooden block supports that create the raised levels

the boys helped with the tunnels
I set up the track
my archetecual design
my engineering
but their respect for its delicacy
and its need for space

the blocks are ending
lisa is taking the boys up to bed
lisa asked dean to bring up the book that he was reading
it was a Thomas book... maybe the kids in the playground are letting him know that Thomas is for the little kids
cause dean threw it to the ground and said that it was grant's book

will clean up the creation
maybe add a star wars village theme to it
as the toys set up in the night make for an easier morning
dean still has one more week before he goes back to school (kindergarden)
it can be tough to entertain two boys on a long summer day
they get up early and they stay up late

is wacky track cheating?
I think it is

i miss roscoe

it has been just over a month since the death of my dog roscoe
the house is not the same
walking the dogs is not the same

i miss roscoe
lisa misses roscoe
and well
not sure if what brutus is feeling is missing roscoe
but I do know that brutus' life is different

brutus' behavior around the house is different
brutus' behavior in the woods is different

brutus and roscoe were brothers
born of the same austrailian shepard father and two different golden retreiver mothers
born five days apart

these dogs lived life in tandem
brutus was roscoe's yin
roscoe was brutus' yang
now brutus is half a dog
it is like the mischief has been surgically removed from him

lisa and i are now in the stage of considering getting another dog
in colorado we saw many wonderful dogs that made us crave a second dog
we are thinking we will get a young puppy... not a puppy... but a 2 or 3 year old
not sure of the breed
we will open our eyes to the opportunity and let the opportunity present itself
the primary concern... that there is some sort of positive synergy with brutus
as much as we are going to get a dog for ourselves
we are going to get this dog for brutus

brutus needs a playmate
brutus needs a companion

more cycling images

searching for Mara Rago's most recent cycling images brought me to other photography
although I did not find any of her other stuff through different resources
I did find this stuff


photography and a small world

feminine frames calendar
photography by mara rago

mara at myspace

last nice as I burned the midnight oil watching the tube and drinking my drink I wandered the weird world of myspace

chanced upon a friend's list that took me to a friends list that took me to a friends list
the tangents were such that I put two and two together

the face on my space and the notion of photography sent a light bulb glowing over my head

a number of years ago, the weekend prior to my wedding I was in Moab Utah at one of the Granny Gear 24 Hour Events
on the return flight home I rode alone as my Clydesdale team mates were all from the west
a few seats ahead of me was a women's sport team
there was a short interaction
there was a short exchange
that was that

the Internet makes the small world even smaller
there she is again...

custom... very custom

going for a little ride

mean girls....

mean girls suck
the movie mean girls was pretty alright
different than heathers
perhaps a little less abstract

street performer on pearl street


standard post work ride...

tonight was a standard post work ride
there was not much time for a ride
but I rode just the same
it all falls into my notion that life is cumulative

but I have not been playing all my old tricks
have not been pulling the kids in the trailer as much as I should
have not been taking the stairs instead of the elevator like I should
have not bee walking the dog as much as I should

tonight I got a quick ride in
tonight I got to extend my post ride for a few extra minutes
tonight I got to ride the specialized tri cross

the specialize tri-cross has not been much in the rotation
actually the specialized tri-cross is sort of reserved for cross riding and cross racing so it has not been riden much at all since its purchase
well, more specifically since my shoulder dislocation

the bike flows and floats
it is light and smooth
it makes me realize that all my other bikes are slugs
mountain bikes are known to be slow and sluggish compared to road bikes
but, I think that my collection of mountain bikes may be sluggish in the world of mountain bikes as well

so I am enjoying the frictionless roll of my next to new cross bike
the tires were pumped to the max and the chain is show room new
had to stop to raise the seat then got off the streets of georgetown onto the capital crescent trail
early into the trail I encountered a guy on an old lotus built into a fixie
he was going fast and I was not going so fast to justify a pass
so I pulled up along side of him and started up some small talk

we talked bikes and tried to work the trail fast, safe, and considerate
it was good to share the trial
although his destination spun off from my about halfway through my short post work ride

later into the ride I was on Rock Creek Parkway
just doing my thing
not trying to get into anything with anybody I make a pass on a very nice salsa cross bike
I give a "nice bike" that goes unheard by the older man with a silver beard and headphones

up the one hill
down the one hill
back onto the long winding flats of Beach Drive
at the parking lot before the Park Police Station I get buzzed
grandpa passes me within inches
I had glanced back thinking he was there
but I guess he was pulling some ninja shit and riding in my blind spot

as I can be grumpyI barked, "nice audible" as he passed
seeing that he did not hear me due to his headphones I pull up on his left
turn to him and give it to him straight...
"you passed me a little close... my wife does not sleep that close to me... what the f_ck is up that"
or something to that effect
he gives me an apology
he repeats his apology
cyclists can be such geeks
this guy had a nice bike
he was moving along at a good pace for an old guy with a gut
but... he was not in my tribe
he was a sub faction of the road culture
I have been dealing with this sort for some time
they have a different thing going on
they draft off people uninvited
the race to be king of the trail
they sprint to make a pass then turn off right in front of you to end their ride

the road dropped to a slight downgrade at the police station
I make a foolish risk
at the police station I pick up the pace
never looked back
this guy could have been on my tail he could have let me go
I did not care
it was more a matter of trying to enjoy the speed potential of this bike
the comfort of this bike cornering the long winding bends at high speed
the bike is unfamiliar so I did not get aggressive on the turns
glided without rotating the cranks around the sharper turns
slowed for the turn at piney branch in anticipation of the car that fails to see me
then slowed for the turn up park road
the light was red but the path was clear
so I turned it up the hill

once on the hill I glanced at the watch
the ride was short and the shenandoah mountain 100 is close
so I motored up the hill a few times
up and down a handful of times

I think I will ride the Specialized tri-cross a few more times this week

getting stoked on the notion of getting my Jamis Nova warrantied
as the new and improved Nova is pretty sweet
would love to build it up all fresh and new
not sure which frame will get to keep the Paul's Levers and the Spooky brakes...

watching Mean Girls
it is good... but it is no Heathers
then again... I am old and they did not write and direct this movie for me or other old people like me
so I

I think that people in the road culture may view me as a Fred.... my backpack/my lights/my utilitarian approach to cycling

Adams Falls... not far from Grand Lake

more shots from Rocky Mountain National Park

while I am thinking about alleycats

a picture is worth a thousand words
this photo blog most certainly tells thousands upon thousands of beautiful words

a photo blog from Harrissonburg VA
well... there are words too
but is primarily images

also from the same source down in Harrissonburg
that may be too many Rs or too many Ses
spelling is just another one of my weaknesses

there is going to be an alleycat worth checking out in that neck of the woods...

Douthat Dynamo
now they need some images
maybe a flyer

on Labor Day weekend there is some Messenger event in Philly
a big deal
maybe like saying Lollapoloosa is some music thing

give it a read
it sounds like an awesome event
a week after the Shenadoah Mountain 100
wonder if it is the anti-sm100
definitely give it a read
if they create an image I can post it again

not local.... but sounds like a good cause

a friend's blog

a few weeks ago a friend's husband was in a motorcycle
he lost his leg and is still in serious condition
here is her blog about his progress and her trying to deal with all that is changing in their lives

noach and the

say a prayer for him
say a prayer for everyone you love
say a prayer for the world
we could all use a little help

Go Nats!

a few weekends ago lisa and I took the boys to a National's game
it was t-shirt day
to my pleasure they had XL shirts
to my family's displeasure... they only had XL shirts
somehow we walked away with five XL Nationals t-shirts
or not

the shirts are red
the shirts have a big "W" on them

I have already given away 4 out of 5 of the shirts
considering using the 5th to clean my chain
I can not see myself wearing a red shirt with a big "W" on it
I know that the meaning is different
I am not pleased with how the combination of shirt color and the "W" make my stomach turn

maybe I should have used all five shirts to clean my chain

I would like them to alter their logo or change their team name in the next few years
the stigma attached to these last many years will be a negative one
watching sports should be a pleasant escape
not a painful reminder

michael moore



mission accomplished

those words have never meant the same since the president of this fine country printed up a banner, hung it in the backdrop of some large naval vessel, and uttered these words in front of our country, our troops, and the world

well... unlike "W"
I can say... Mission Accomplished
and mean it
well... mean it without fear of an immediate rebutal

this weekend Lisa went for a "girl's weekend"
which left me in the position of Mr. Mom
the boys are alive
the house is still standing
mission accomplished!

there were birthday parties, trips to the pool, rides in the trailer behind the bike, and a little time in front of the tube
Avatar Book 1 Volume 4 entered the rotation
as did the Tim Burton Willy Wonka
the extras for the Willy Wonka film had five year old Dean learning the steps of the Umpaloompas
it is all really quite hillarious
there was no coffee made
the kitchen went hardly used
many meals were eaten off the property

a good time was shared by all

on a side note...
our rental vehicle in Colorado had a drop down DVD player
the boys discovered it early on into the trip
there were some requests
but I refused
the most we spent in the car was a few hours
the mountains around us provided enough eye candy
I saw no need to pop in a movie and have my kids tune out their trip to Colorado
there was little complaining
it made me proud to see my boys soak in the world around them
watching out the window as we made our way from one mountain destination to another
looking for big horn sheep
spotting elk on the road side
looking at the trees, the treeline, and the mountain peaks
it was awesome


shenandoah mountain 100.. still in question for me

here it is
the tail end of august
the shenadoah mountain one hundred is just weeks away
labor day weekend to be more precise

this week was meant to be a barometric reading for me
a broken frame
a broken chain
a heavily bruised hip and sore left side kept me from rocking out a long road ride to see where my body is at

got to tow the kids in the trailer this afternoon
that does not tell me much
as although I lacked power for speed
I had no complaints with endurance
ironically... power is usually what I possess
while endurance is usually high on my long list of short comings

will ride a few post work rides on the Specialized Tri-Cross this week
that should be a good way to get out of town and see how my legs and lungs feel

the crash did more than bruise my hip
it bruised my ego and stripped me of some confidence

so much of the SM100 is mental
and right now
I just can not get my head around things