Rants on Cycling and on Life


24 Hours Solo ( a film)

24 Hours Solo
a film from the people that brought us Off Road to Athens

jason berry's blog


the return of Rosie

stu unger

930 Club Founder Died earlier last month

930 Club Founder John Bowers dies at 61

an interesting piece of the puzzle
I had no idea that the current owner was not the original owner

interesting stuff

Washington Post Obit on the life and death of John Bowers

documentary 930 F Street

Critical Mass/Bike the Bridge/SF

more images here

bike the bridge

more on bike the bridge

to think locally...
designers were able to create the W. Wilson Bridge without so much as a bike lane

ah.... I love this guy... oh my... not like that

Gay sex allegation sidelines Haggard

a scene with Haggard in Jesus Camp

JESUS CAMP the movie


bob marley war on YOUTUBE
give it a look
give it a listen
give it a thought

Lyrics to Bob Marly War
read it
share it
think about it

Balco rhymes with Falco... Rock Me Amadeus

Olympic track coach indicted in BALCO investigation

Balco rhymes with Falco
Rock Me Amadeus

and Trevor Graham rhymes with Heather Graham
we all know that Heather Graham is "dope"
she is all that and a dime bag

different kind of "dope"

in all seriousness
one kingpin like this gets busted
linked to so many others
could be the piece of the puzzle that reaveals it all
cheaters could be falling like dominos


the horn...

the car horn is a funny thing...

so many people hit the horn when they should hit the brakes

I admit
I use the horn
a gentle wake up call
a cute little "beep beep" to wake up the zombie in the car in front of me
especially if I see that they are driving with their arm arced at 90 degrees with the phone to their ear


as a person on the street in a neighborhood with a great deal of through traffic I have come to understand one thing

in a situation where there is some wrong doing by some idiot or asshole that beckons the honking of the horn from another
there is often a switch in the designation of who is the asshole
the person who may be asleep at the wheel or whatever loses the attention of being the asshole
while the person leaning on the horn becomes the asshole
the noise pollution that spread from the horn does not just alert the sleeping driver
but infects the placid good time of everyone all around
which includes the residents of the neighborhood
and the people on the street

the horn is vital
it is so often misused

it amuses me as a cyclist to see how many people drive with their hand poised over the horn
ready to honk
if only they were so quick with the brake

darn brown stars

az pauses for a picture

az pauses for a picture
we share a few words

there is not enough time for me to hear much of what happened in sydney

from the looks of the results on the link by the flyer posted below it looks like az had a splendid time in the southern hemisphere at the messenger worlds

from our talking I learned that az's bags are enjoying the alternate season in south america
guess the trip to australia gave his bag a bit of the travel bug

somewhere in Chilie an ox cart has swapped out the old wagon wheels for something a little more light weight
maybe the wheels that were traveling in his bags

learning and then changing behavior... that is our current evolution

learning then changing behavior
that is our current form of evolution
not everyone is evolving

as much as we may need an additional set of thumbs for our Blackberry or alternate text messaging device
I just do not think that we will experience that sort of evolution

we will not grow a third arm
so that we can always have an upper appendage in the right angle position holding a phone to our ear

we must suffer with two arms
forfeiting one of those arms for phone usage because were are too cheap to buy a cable at Radio Shack for 6.95
hands free technology is there...
but it goes unused... except for the Trekies with their Blue Tooth devices

I am evolving
I am growing
I am changing
all the changes are happening inside

yesterday as I left from work I waited for the light to change so that I could cross the street in the crosswalk
in an impatient manner I did little circles
trying to time things such that when my Icon of the Walking Man started blink in white I could roll across the street and head my way home
on one of my final turns I saw that it was soon to be my turn
never taking my turn without waiting for things to be clear I watched for cars speeding down the block
always anticipating that there will be three or four cars pushing through that Red Light
with no concern of car or pedestrian traffic
just the need to progress forward at any or all costs

I can not tell you if the light had turned yellow, red, or was still in the last second of green
but I did notice that there was an irrate driver behind the wheel leaning on the horn
cell phone in hand this driver honked impatiently at the car in front of him
I was not so focused on the behavior in front of me
as such behavior is so everyday that it hardly catches my attention
so I did not notice if the car in the lead had slowed for pedestrian traffic, had a stalled engine, or was unsure if they wanted to proceed left or straight
all I knew was that this person behind them was in a rush and letting the world know this by honking their horn

so when my little circle on my cycle brought me facing the direction of traffic I caught a glance of the man in the little blue car with the honking horn and cell phone in hand
I recognized him...
I had experienced his rushed behavior before
it is a story for another day...
but I will tell some basics

months before I was getting married I was out walking the dogs with my then girlfriend now wife
we were going on an unusual out of the ordinary path
not the usual woods loop
but a more urban bike path trajectory on foot with the dogs at our side
the day was rainy and cold
we were a tad stressed as the property we lived in was being shown to be sold

when in a crosswalk in Rock Creek Park going across Calvert Street we moved briskly across the road when there was space between the obnoxiously fast cars

the uphill traffic was speeding down towards me
there was a car going well faster than the recommended 25 MPH limit
as they got closer they leaned on their horn
as I stepped off the crosswalk onto the side of the street they swerved towards me
in an impluse reaction I gave the car a little kick
until this point in my life I had never kicked a car before

in short
the car pulled over
the car was dented
the man was irrate
there was a large dent that looked like a motorcycle had t-bone the vehicle at high speed
to my dismay
there was an officer 20 yards away who saw.... not the whole thing
but the kick

I was arrested and put in jail for the day for processing

the ugliness continued
there were fines/penalties/court dates/more court dates/and community service
it was a humbling experience
it was a learning experience
I evolved from that experience
I learned that my behavior was wrong

while society...
society never saw my side of things
society never told this driver that his speeding or his aggression was inappropriate or wrong
I grew from that experience
I am humbled by that experience
I am nothing short of embarressed by that experience
if I had a time machine would I go back in time and alter that experience from my history?
no... i would use that time machine for a greater good
like buying AOL or Windows Stock early on
but... I have altered my behavior
I have controled my behavior
I have tried to be more an animal of thought rather than an animal of reaction

while this driver...
I am not sure if his hand is glued to the steering wheel with no other function other than honking the horn
in the two situations I have seen him behind the wheel he has proven to be an very tense driver with no concern for anyone but himself
no... it is not fair to generalize about his driving behavior across the board from this experience
I delt with this man in the courts and since then
and well....
he never said anything about his understanding that pedestrians have rights
and that
cars need to slow down
it is all about him

the story is long
and well
the story is painful
to really tell the story would force me to relive the emotions
I lack the energy to relive those emotions
that reactive action was a black cloud over my head
the outcome was not tradgic
but the outcome could have been tradgic
I could have been run down by the irrate driver
before or after the kick
the driver could have been a gun totting psycho-path
seeking justice after the kick

things could have played out differently across the board

things could have been different
the officer could have not been there 20 yards away issueing a ticket
not there to see the kick and the dent
and well
I could have gone on my way
that is not the way it happened

the way things happened is part of my education
part of my understanding of traffic and human interaction on the road
I am a better person for my failures
as for this guy...
I do not think he ever saw that he was in the wrong
even if he charged me and my two dogs with no concern for the wet roads and his reaction time
he was just in a rush to get where he was going
and the sucker outside on the street was in his way

that is a problematic stretch of road
each and every day there are runners, walkers, and cyclists at risk
at risk because of the over inflated sense of importance that people get behind the wheel

scotty and az

ran into az
then scotty rolled up

although they are both messengers
they run in different circles
they exist in different tribes

not sure if their paths have crossed before
not sure if they had ever met before

az is as bewildered by scotty's style as I am

train wreck

I do not follow the day to day action
but I look forward to seeing the complete story when all is final

she lives quite a roller coaster
I fear a marlyn monroe sort of exit
then again
I would not have anticipated her thin return

scotty and his unique on the bars style

scotty has been doing this for years
and well
his style is his own
personally.... the box on the handlebars would seem like a drag to me
but it is everyday for Scotty

speed kills... don't mess around

watching a National Geographic Explorer piece on CRYSTAL METH
The World's Most Dangerous Drug

this is some pretty messed up stuff

I am so out of touch
the need for people to have to sign out the cold medicine at the CVS by my work seemed like such a joke

apparently this is all very real
I am not so sure that preventing the production at that level will effect things
somehow I would not thing that people would find their way around the need for cold medicine

there is an anti-Meth effort in Montana that seems very powerful

some drugs are a metaphor for addiction
and crystal meth
addiction to alcohol or cigarettes may be powerful
but these other drugs are in another league

World Messenger Championships

World Messenger Championships in Sydney
the results are up

people are back at work
saw AZ today
saw AZ's name all over the results

cross races this weekend

Squadro Coppi's Tacchino Cross
on saturday

chips' midatlantic cross info
about sunday's event
other events
and many things cross

my brother made a good point
racing is a great way to get some exercise
even if I am tired and not focused
I could use some exercise

South Carolina Bike Law... and Peters' new bike

South Carolina Bike Law
legal advocates/legal representation by cyclists for cyclists

here is my old friend Peters' wife Cappi with their two boys in their new bike from Christiania Bikes in Denmark (also in Denmark)
Heidi Klum... not from Denmark

DC once had a legal representative for cyclists and cyclists related legal needs
I had the misfortune of needing his representation some years back
which gave me the pleasure of meeing Ed Kearny
Ed has since passed away
I wonder if anyone has taken Ed Kearny's place in Washington DC?

slowing down

things are really starting to slow down...

the shorter days and the lack of races on my radar are combining to rob me of my cycling ambition

which is fine
my legs are tired and so am I
it is not like going straight home from work adds an hour of rest
instead of pushing the pedals I get to wrestle my kids

tonight we played with some of the Rocket Balloons
well, we actually played with the cars and the helicopter that came with the rocket balloons
after a little time the strobe light came out
the boys ran around the room
a mixture of dancing and wrestling

it all wore me out fast
had to surrender to a viewing of Curious George
had grant taken a break from jumping on my head I would have most certainly taken a nap

there have still been rides after work on the bike
but the duration has not pushed past an hour
and there are more rides straight home then away from home

the winter weight is starting to settle in
Halloween candy is helping me get their
I am weak to my sugar fix
gotta have my sugar fix

Dual Drive?

my friend andy sent me this...

dual drive?
explain please...

I can understand having the chain rings on both sides for an easy flip flop sort of conversion
yet I am not sure if swapping the chain would be faster or easier than flipping the wheel

this appeared on the SLIPPERY PIG site
it may be yesterday's technology
trying to just get our attention

on a similar yet different sort of dual drive on the bicycle sort of tip...

front and rear wheel drive on a full suspension mountain bike from Christini
official site
all wheel drive motorcycles
all wheel drive bicycles
not sure if this ever caught on in the bicycle world
it could be the best thing ever
but I have only seen one demo bike
and that was several years ago at a Snowshoe event

another couple of shots of that pink bike

some fall fun

some fall fun from halloween month

little pink bike


Partyline Video on YOUTUBE

Partyline Video on YOUTUBE

ran into Allison and her crew during the filming of this
was in the parking lot on a skateboard with my two boys
headed to the closed section of Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park


Allison was the emcee at the halloween costume party the other night on lamont street
a good time was shared by all

I am surprised I have not passed Allison on that bike around town
she used to be a pretty faithful commuter

930... a place in time

a place in time

I need to see this film
was out scanning for some information on Lucy Brown
a name came up that had me thinking of Gene Hawkins
guess Gene's life was pre-Internet
did not find much mention
did not find much documentation

but there is 930 F Street
sounds like a film worth seeing
which contains some Lucy Brown footage

grantman as batman

grantman makes a great batman
but for halloween night he went as a knight
but during halloween month there were many events and many costumes


dust galaxy

life outside of the blog...

believe it or not
I have a life outside of the blog

as much as I love to blog
as much as I love to take pictures
I really just enjoy living

sometimes there is no time or perhaps no desire to stand behind the camera
last night turned out to be camera free
which means there are no Halloween pictures of the kids
well... no pictures of the kids on Halloween in their costumes
we have pictures of the boys in the costumes on other days
just not on Halloween

Halloween was a blast!
Halloween lasts about two months for my sons
there is build up
lots of questions
lots of anticipation
and amazingly enough
no let down

in a fun family with kids sort of way

dean was a store bought darth vader
grant was a non-halloween specific store bought knight
lisa was a store bought pirate
I was a tusken raider otherwise known as a sand person from star wars
star wars one which is actually star wars four
or something to that effect
my costume was a burlap monk costume from a few years ago combined with an actual gas mask

we meandered about the neighborhood
the boys more excited about the energy around town and the various haunted porch displays than making a big candy score
there were a few haunted porches and all sorts of excitement on Lamont Street
two city blocks closed off to traffic were filled with Halloween energy
costume contests
pumpkin carving contests
lots of kids and lots of candy

it was wonderful
it was exhausting

late in the night lisa and I got separated in our man to man situations
I moved at a five year old dean pace
lisa moved about at a 2 year old grant pace
grant and mom evacuated a tad earlier than dean and myself
while it was still pretty late
the streets cleared up pretty quickly
guess the streets cleared as the candy was gone

our walk home was like a page from family circus
dean wandered up various porches
not seeking more candy
curious of lights, carved pumpkins, smoke machines, flashing lights, and people

a few minues of lilo and stitch as the boys dressed for bed
once the boys were in bed but not yet asleep I went up the block for some adult trick or treating
or at least an adult costume party
meredith was marge simpson and hosting a house party
it was a good gathering with some great costumes
my costume lacked the gas mask after the initial introductions as I needed the passage clear to my mouth for food and drink

got home before midnight before I turned into a pumpkin

I may light the pumpkins one last night
and slowly we will gather all things halloween to be tucked away for another year
many of the costumes remain accessible
as costumes are not just for halloween in our house
darth vader
power rangers
buzz light year
all make appearances along with all sorts of cowboys and such

I am wrecked

the kids are not yet asleep
and the glow in the dark bat is not glowing
time to remedy that

momentum... it seems that I have lost momentum

cross season came on full speed in September
managed to race the cross bike twice by mid-October
my full speed momentum came and made a full stop

now it is November and there is a double header this weekend
racing options for Saturday and Sunday
each race roughly an hour away from home
yet my body and mind may not be up to it

my legs feel fried
and well
not sure if my head is right

can I roll up on the line and get my head right for race day?


Raleigh Sprite....


another notion of the bicycle messenger is freedom


I think that the most successful/highest earning bicycle messengers will tell you that they are not living the free lifestyle that so many assume
they have a job with responsibilities just like any other job

there is a set in time
there are demands that they be there every day of the week
vacations need to be planned and accounted for
sure there are those that float in late, leave early, ghost in the middle of the day
they may make some money here and there
but certainly not the consistent big bucks or the grand hook ups
not showing up may put someone at the bottom of the totem pole
have them used to pick up the slack
hanging out on a list
waiting for the next run
while the dependable and regulars are being hooked up, riding the gravy train, and keeping up a solid average

professional cyclists?

it is a moderately complicated topic that I may not have anything more than a blog that offers me the right to approach this topic...

are bicycle messengers professional cyclists?

I ran into a few messengers the other day out getting a drink
we spoke about this and that
one of the messengers was wearing an NCVC hat
I asked if he raced
that question brought up the notion of messengers being professional cyclists within his answer
which is sort of something different...
as racing and professional cyclists are sort of like rectangles and squares
but... I entertained the thought
or at least I listened to the diatribe without rebutal

I often wonder how the day of the bicycle messenger breaks down...
could we get an assortment of messengers to work their day with stop watches
breaking their day down into categories
a cycling computer would aid in the fun of the statistical analysis

time on the bike
time in elevators
time in the park

those could be the three primary areas to be measured

I understand that the bicycle messengers do ride their bikes for work
but... it is the task of delivery that they are being paid for
not the task of riding their bicycle
sort of like I am a computer professional
but... I walk to the various buildings or cubes
which does not make me a professional walker
no... it is the computer task that I am being paid for

maybe someone other than me has insight into this line of thought

it is a curious sociological ethnography
I wonder if anyone has taken it down to the measure of statistics

there have been other interesting converstations that would lead to intersting studies
like the wages earned by the average messenger
I think there are an elite few that make some serious coin
while the majority only make a pocket full of coins
when I hear the hours that some of these messengers are logging
it does not seem like such a glorious task
especially when it is rainy and cold

every cyclist wants to be a messenger on a moderately warm/moderately cool day when the parks are filled with beautiful people
but that is not the story every day

Raleigh Sprite 10 Speed

a classic
I did not check to see if this bike dated back to when Ralieghs were made in England

I had this same bike in this same color as a child
wanted a BMX bike
my dad did not approve
so he got me the Raliegh Sprite
5 Speed... not even the 10 Speed

guess I may do the same if my son wants a road bike
I will force the mountain bike on him
maybe not
as I am a different man and a different dad
although I do catch myself sounding like him as I scould my children

lots of great memories from the 70's on that Raleigh Sprite
had a milk crate bungeed to the back
delivered the Washington Star on that bike
as the mountain bike had not yet been born
I did a good amount of mountain style biking on that bike

raleigh bikes
raleigh sprite
(on sheldon brown's page)
Washington Star

I am not a dentist

I am not a dentist
did not look into his mouth
but I seem to recall 62 teeth...

that is a whole lot of teeth!

okay... maybe that is a bicycle riddle
solve it

how many teeth are in the average adult's mouth anyway?
I never bothered to count

a unique frankenbike

a piece from this century
a piece from that century

conn ave.

more Malcom BMX

another additon to the saga MALCOM BMX

read through the archives
some of the tales are more captivating than others

from the mind of meredith

some things from this weekend

no bikes...
lots of wind
but no bikes

there was the wishful thinking of racing this weekend
there was a mountain option and a cross option
yet for me there seemed to be no option

saturday we did a repeat of the saturday prior
we hosted a halloween gathering for kids and their parents
it was basic madness of four bales of hay being tossed at the children in the clubhouse and on the slide
it was madness I tell you
darkness brought out glow sticks and strobe lights
for the kids!
this is not some Thanksgiving Turkey Fever for the club kids of Baltimore

the two flashing strobe lights made the kids more insane
it was wild
nothing short of wild

sure the race could have happened
but that would have had my wife trying to watch the boys and prep for the party alone
lisa tends to handle the lion's share of all house and home responsibilities
it just would not have been fair for me to race and show up like another guest at her party
we each did a yoga class at the Ashtanga Yoga Center at Tenleytown
then preped the house and yard for the attack of small kids in costume

the next day followed by some more Halloween activities
Halloween Month is coming to a close
Sunday morning involved carving pumpkins
I sketched out outlines of ghosts, bats, spiders, and yes... pumpkins
had dean and grant draw faces for me to use for inspiration for the pumpkin carving
the boys are too young to use the knife to cut the pumpkin
heck... the boys are too young to scribble the outline of what they would like to carve on the pumpkin
so having them tell me what sort of face they wanted carved made the pumpkin more their project
this of course
after they cleaned out the pumpkin guts

both dean and grant were very well occupied with the drawings and the cleaning
although after the first pumpkin's guts were emptied grant bowed out
dean lasted for three pumpkin cleanings
and he cleaned out each and every seed
and scraped out all the guts

the afternoon involved two young boys dressed as knights
we pointed the car to Cabin John Regional Park for a train ride and some fun on the slides
but Grant melted down then passed out before we got five minutes from home
so I turned around and passed Grant off to Lisa and grabbed a neighbor's eldest son
it worked our wonderfully
except for me having to be a fire breathing dragon
already exhausted from the monster hay activity from the day prior
a good time was shared by all

the night we met at my dad's for dinner
t-shirts for the boys
chinese food for the adults

we returned home
the boys fought the bedtime routine
once in bed I toasted/roasted the pumpkin seeds
salt/butter/olive oil on one cookie sheet of pumpkin seeds
the other with Old Bay
Old Bay.... it is great on pumpkin seeds