1.28.2015

Chris Scott... who is this Chris Scott you speak of?

\
Chris Scott is in the News
SKETCH: Double or Nothing

Chris Scott is on the Gwadzilla Blog

maybe even better... Shenandoah


Lance.... a Lemming among men!


Lance and the Naked Truth... if given a time machine... he would do it all over again the same way...
Lance and Armstrong on the Gwadzilla Page
there is a shot of me in the '80's that will make you crack up here



which is honest... but not how a father should guide his children
"if everyone were jumping off a bridge... would you jump too?"
I guess Lance's answer would be, "yes... and I would be the best Lemming there ever was!"

1.27.2015

RACE REPORT: Sister City Cat 2015 DC X Budapest


Spoiler Alert!
MICHAEL PEARCE WAS KING FOR A DAY!
(again)


SPOILER ALERT NUMBER DOS!
I won a 25 dollar gift card to District Taco!

YEAH BABY! DISTRICT TACOS ROCK!

then also...
a number of photos in this post were not taken by me
the tell tale sign that I did not take a certain photo... if it is not a selfie of me and I am in the photo... someone else took it
the majority of these photos are by my buddy Paul Lagoy
THANKS PAUL!
and to anyone else (maybe Dave?) thanks for the photos sorry I failed to give you credit


where to start... where to start...

I should have started this wordy rant days ago
I should have started this whole blog post the night of the event
or
the morning after

but alas no...
it is Tuesday...and then Wednesday... and now it is Thursday
 more than just a few days since Saturday
yet the events of that day are a blur
I ask myself the question... Is this post still relevant?
Is this post even interesting enough to share


things are almost forgotten
yes... things are almost no longer relevant
it is almost time to start looking to the next weekend
instead of stalling and dreaming about the weekend past
yet I maintain the course

hopefully it is more than a blur
maybe I can resurrect some imagery before all the memories fade

no matter...  I will try to sketch something out just the same
read more if you choose... or at least enjoy the photos 

RACE REPORT: Sister City Cat 2015 DC X Budapest
last Saturday Chris Rabadi and Dave Confer joined forces to host the Sister City Cat 2015 DCxBUDAPEST
this is an event where the winner is awarded a chance to represent Washington DC in the Messenger World Championships in Australia

CMWC Melbourne
http://cmwc2015.com/

the Sister City Cat 2015 was on my mental calendar long before the date arrived
although I had scheduled things I had not prepared
in fact... I was less than prepared
even less prepared than usual

okay... ill prepared is my default setting

the winter season has had me "off the bike"
sure I have been commuting
but it seems to rain on every weekend day that I want to go mountain biking


or it will be wonderfully frozen... then it will thaw such that trail riding is not an option

which brings up my key excuse...
yes... I am pre-loading my excuses...
I am out of shape
out of shape and carrying some winter weight

winter weight has settled in along with winter fitness
that triple threat of Halloween Candy-Thanksgiving Turkey-and Christmas Goodness has me looking like Santa - not just the beard but also the belly
weight is not just issue with bikes
weight is an issue with the person on the bike
less weight equals more speed
more weight equals more drag and the need to put out more wattage

yet my fitness or my form was not going to keep me from racing


racing was the plan
so as the Saturday race date approached I watched the weather and looked at my bikes

and when I say "looked at my bikes"
I was actually looking at them and not tinkering with them as I should
and watching the weather had me thinking
well... do I really need to fix my bike
cause I am not going to race my bike in a blizzard!
even wintry mix would have had me shelve the whole race concept

sure it was wintery... but maybe only winteresque

so... on the eve of the race I broke that rule that local east Coast mountain bike\cyclocross hero Katie Compton was quoted as saying... "do not do anything major to your bike before a race..."
well... Friday arrived with wind, cold, and precipitation
before midnight it was a nasty winter mix
and things were starting to stick

so... I had my Specialized Tri-cross with its flat bars and two finger levers in the bicycle repair stand
I swapped out the skinny Richey SpeedMax tires for something with more cush
I had these WTB tires that are good gravel grinders... 40s instead of 32s
although I was hesitant... I felt that a little more tire would be nice if things got sloppy

once I had these beefy cyclocross tires on the bike I took my attention to the brakes
these brakes have never worked quite as they should
there is the issue that I went to flat bars and mountain bike levers
which has the levers not pulling the same amount of cable as the drop bar levers that come standard on a cross bike
then there is the pads... either they are worn or they are for a ceramic surface
no matter the issue... at least the pads need to be replaced

although I pulled out some more modern Deore levers to replace the two finger levers that date back the earliest days of Deore I decided to focus on the brakes and the brake pads
sure enough... early into my repair I hit a speed bump




the simple design... somewhat flawed design of these Spooky\Empella cyclocross canti style brakes with their single bolt adjustment had somehow gone askew

removing the bolt to put it on straight stripped the entire barrel 
frustration started to build
frustration... anxiety... regret...
AHHHH!!!!!!

it did not please me that this bolt was stripped
but rather than let my heart rate rise I went ahead and grabbed my old steel Jamis Nova crossbike that is set up as a single speed and figured I could "pirate" the parts off that bike
although I hate bastardizing a working bike to fix another bike
under the less than 24 hour deadline it seemed like my most logical resolve

things were starting to come together

but so much time had passed that it was time for my to pick up my older son Dean from his Friday Night Ski Trip


the bus was late
I walked the dog at in the falling wet wintry mix at Fort Reno Park while waiting for the Caleva bus to arrive at the Alice Deal parking lot
which had me feeling lazy when I got home 
so I figured I would finish the bicycle repairs in the morning

morning came as it usually does
a little unexpected and a little sooner than I liked
but I got out of bed just the same
out of bed and slow out of the gate I let the dog out back, grabbed some coffee, and went upstairs to wake in front of the computer before I went ahead and walked the dog
all along being aware of my need for bicycle repairs and the 2 PM race start time

back from walking the dog and back to the basement to work on the bike
when I walked the dog I got a better feeling for the day
the wintry mix had little effect on the city streets
things were pretty clear
things were entirely clear

whatever fell the night prior was gone by the time I was out and about

so I modified my plans...
no cyclocross bike... it would be the road bike
skinny tires for less resistance and more speed
but... my Trek road bike would need tire replacement
the current tires were well worn and not to be trusted

so...I dug through the garage and pulled out an assortment of road tires
I have a nice set of Vitrolas but they are skinny 23s
in the winter... in the city... in this type of situation I want a little more tire
looked but could not find any 28s in my horn of not so plenty
but I found a 25 and a 26 that would work well enough


the Trek has its issues... but I did not want to get into things
I accepted that my I have yet to resolve the shifting in the front

it has been over a year that I have been accepting the use of my foot to drop the chain into the small ring
having the shifter only shift up and then allow me to kick the chain down when need be


SLACKER!
yes... slacker
SINGLE SPEEDER!
SINGLE SPEED SLACKER AT THAT!
so... my geared bikes are often not fully operational

I do have a full plate with all the responsibilities of adult life
in not much time I had somewhat fresher tires on the bike
then lube on the chain and a slight adjustment to the brakes

wham bam thank you mam
I was ready to roll... and just about ready to race
well... just about ready
it was still not determined what I would "need" to wear

that difficult balance
do not under dress
do not over dress
which really begs the question... what to wear

foolishly I did not use the science of the smart phone
I just guessed that it would get more cold as the day played on
I went for cycling tights and thick winter cycling jersey with a standard DCMTB jersey over that
the tights were also DCMTB but those tights just like the jersey would be covered by rain gear
shell covering to block the wind
Gortex that had long since lost its Gortex magic, but still blocked the wind and slight precipitation while heavy rain would go straight through the fabric

then while trying to resolve the riddle of what to wear I hand to think of fuel and post ride clothing
I would have to eat food then also bring food
knowing I will be riding hard enough to be drenched in sweat I packed clean dry socks, clean dry underwear, clean dry t-shirt, and some Addidas sweat pants
all packed into a dry bag along with some flip flops for the feet

I brought the bag knowing the the start point was not only the starting point, but also the home base for each check point, then also the finish-line, and finally the place where there would be the gold sprints and post race awards and recovery drink... yes I am trying to be clever when I refer to beer as recovery drink
knowing that I would be going to the finish at the start I was pleased that I would not need to carry my dry clothing for the duration of the race
I would just leave it at the home-base 

with the bike as good as it was going to get and a bag full of clothing I worked to sort the rest of my gear out
the camera battery was on the charger and the SD card was in the computer
my lunch was some of the frozen pizza I made for my boys
then two water bottles of powder Gatorade
and my requisite can of Red Bull

to help me warm up a little more quickly I like to drink half a can of Red Bull and then pour the remainder of the can into my water bottle with Gatorade... I like to call it GATOR RAGE!

so...
the kids were fed and off in different corners of the house involved in some sort of game on some sort of device with a screen
I yelled goodbye upstairs
the boys responded good bye in the good son chorus
then I asked them to wish me good luck
they wished me good luck in tandem

one last check of the bike
really nothing more than spinning the wheels and tapping the brakes
one last look at my Ergon pack; water bottles, ham and cheese sandwich, kids Cliff bar, bag of Skittles, Red Bull, Alien multi-tool, tube and patch kit, pump, bag of dry clothing, and then camera and lock
and of course phone, wallet and keys

out the door and onto the sidewalk
it is a short distance from my Mount Pleasant home to the race start a the Science Club just south of Dupont Circle 


there was a bite to the air
but no precipitation
 my head gear was nothing more than a helmet and a lycra cycling cap
that seemed to be enough

I had two other hats in my pack
it was decided then that I would wear a different cap or two combined if it were this cold at the race start

I rolled up to the Science Club to be greeted by a cluster of cyclists and a flurry of activity
there were all sorts of familiar faces
familiar faces from around town
familiar faces of some out of towners

Richmond messenger Morgan Hafer was not in attendance... perhaps this race not being on a three day weekend made it difficult to attend.. bummer... I always have a good time catching up with Morgan
then John Dinn was back in the game... first alleycat since John dropped out of an alleycat early due to some chest pain and not feeling 100%
to only have a heart attack on his ride towards home
great to see John back on the bike and back in the game

yes... lots of familiar faces young and old

the night prior with all of its wintry mix had an alleycat hosted by Andy Vickery
a number of people who had raced the night prior were in attendance but did not look dressed to race... which is hard to say... as so many of the messenger types ride\race in their day to day skinny jeans

I had not given the Friday night event much consideration
responsibilities of life... kids and such... walking the dog... you name it
the excuses are all valid
but truth be told... I knew I did not have the legs for back to back alleycats
especially in the middle of winter

knowing that I would not be able to race and play photographer simultaneously
I pulled the camera from the bag
and now I am going to pull some photos off the camera
that may help me to remember how the day unfolded




there was some mixing and some mingling
people were trying to piece together how the race was going to be run
there was a message on the event page that listed 5 or so locations
it was stated that there would be three manifests
Science Club would be base
but really... it was all Greek to me
packed right between two Greek delis on 19th Street

I mixed mixing and mingling with taking photos
people are accustom to my pointing the camera in their face
so it is a pretty comfortable exchange
words are shared as I snap a few digital frames


yes... when I arrived there was a decent number of people and bikes
and more and more people kept rolling in


Old Schoolers and the New Breed
as said...
messengers and messenger chic
all sorts of heads new and old

one kid on a bmx bike and other kid on a track bike did their bmx\track bike thing
those backwards circles
jumps and hops
no handed this and no handed that

all very cool... none of which exist in my cycling vocabulary
as a mountain biker I am a land dweller
heck... even as a snowboarder I am a land dweller
rubber side down thank you


it was getting closer and closer to 2PM
but... the irony remains consistent
the culture of people who make their living off getting things to arrive on time
always start their race that emulates their day-to-day work day late

at quarter of 2 I thought to myself
oh... no Michael Pearce
hmmm... no Bruce
guess Bruce's legs were tired from winning Andy Vickery's alleycat the night prior
then Bruce rolled up

minutes later Michael Pearce rolled
up...
that accounted for two slots in the Top Ten
two more faster more city savoy cyclists than myself
two elite messengers
with not only impressive hours logged on the bike as messengers
but also seasoned alleycat racers

I caught up with Pearce and I caught up with Bruce
I chuckled
as I had seen Mike Pearce with his arrive at the start time
able to make the start
but not having to stand around for an hour
unless the alleycat starts an hour late... which is of course possible



 then almost out of nowhere there was some commotion
a line formed and registration was taken
there was some talk about the format
a little question and answer
oh... I get it.. that makes sense

then the set up for the Lemanns start
this is a where the bikes are set up and each racer gathers a a short distance for a hundred yards dash in cycling shoes to their bikes
modeled after the French motor car race that starts in that fashion... the LeManns start

still all sorts of chatter about how the manifest worked
I was late to write down the addresses in A-B-C bullet point format
Mike Pearce was good enough to text me a photo of the information
then give me a printed manifest

LOADED DOWN MESSENGER LLC  printed at the top of the page
excellent... I needed this manifest to take down signatures

yes... I am a rookie... a little old to be a rookie... but a rookie just the same
there is more needed than just a bike and a backpack
a pen.. a lock... then the standard pump\spare tube\multi-tool combo... and I am not sure what else... I am sure I am missing something else

I am always learning
who better to learn the tricks of the trade from other than long time seasoned messenger Michael Pearce?

everyone was anxious and ready to race
bikes were lined up and racers gathered down the alley for the start
there was a mass false start then everyone collected back at the line then there was some chaos
it was not clear if it Chris or Dave had said go
but there were people going
I followed that moment and rushed for my bike

out the alley and down 19th Street
on the road I looked for Mike Pearce and Bruce
it was not place to build allegiances
but I did not think they would mind if I tagged along

it was not an original pair to follow
there was a pretty big pack buzzing in their shadow
it was starting pretty intense right from the line
Bruce and Pearce are seasoned veterans that can pick a safe clean line

moving through traffic in a pack of bicycles
well... it does not always work so well when splitting lanes and rushing red lights
threading the needle is a skill
the cars are big and easy to see
the cyclists weaving around come from no where

I was nervous of getting cut off by another cyclists or me cutting off another cyclist
it is an adrenalin filled moment
chaos all around

the basic notion is to move through like water... moving with the flow.... not altering the flow... not asking or expecting anyone to have to slow or stop
not putting yourself into a situation where you NEED that car or truck to stop
this is hard to do when focused forward fast
but it is vital

flow... 
it is all about flow
finding the line
the fast line
the efficient line
and of course the safe line
safe is the bottom line

SAFETY IS KEY!

cutting it close can be sketchy
it did not seem like there were any close calls
I did not hear any car wheels skidding or the sound of breaking glass
yet I am sure there was potential

since I did not have the strength-skill-or speed to ride along side Bruce and Pearce... I trailed a bit behind
it was madness trying to stay close
more bikes meant more variables
everyone making their own sense out of the chaos

the first manifest had three stops
the order of the stops was up to each rider
after going to all three stops it was all about returning to base
the top 20 racers to finish the first manifest would earn themselves the chance at a second manifest
where the top 15 finishers would get to race the last and final manifest

first person to finish all three manifest wins. WINNER TAKES ALL!

not categories or subcategories!
whoever he or she is that comes in first... wins a trip to the messenger worlds in Australia

WOW! SENT TO REPRESENT WASHINGTON DC AT THE MESSENGER WORLDS!


we were on the road
the first manifest had three locations
B-C-D
BCD? What?
I still did not get it... oh... I got it!

the list
Check Points A through E
we would have to go to BCD
it was our choice what order we would go to BCD and then return to the home base at the Science Club on the 1100 block of 19th Street in NW Washington DC
our pack was headed to C first

C is the Bridge Spot
there is no address for "the bridge spot"
but it is a well enough known place for subculture
it is a basketball court and underground skate park under Interstate 295\395

also a popular Alleycat Check Point and a Bike Party mid ride chill out spot

funny... although I know this space for its skateboard culture
I am more familiar with this location because of its children's playground
Garfield Park
when my boys were younger I would take them here so they could climb that rope pyramid 
not just once... but on through the years we went to Garfield Park
swings-teetertotters-climbing things spinning things slides and much more

lunch picked up at the Eastern Market or lunch somewhere on "the Hill" after that
I definitely had no issue with picking my route 

so... although I was following the pack
I was also familiar with where they were going
the leaders were a block and a half ahead
lights and such had us starting to spread out
it intrigued me if they would take the same approach I would
sure enough they did

but when we were along the park on higher ground I tried to cyclocross it down the stairs to gain ground
unfortunately the earth was soft and the sidewalks were indirect to the check point at the bridge spot

I was a handful of seconds later but I was arriving with the group
we had to stay at this check point for ten minutes
this was sort of confusing
I guess Edgar wanted company before he moves back to San Francisco
not sure... but we waited

we waited... I think I drank something and maybe snacked on something and then took a piss
oh... of course I pulled out the camera
but I did not get too into the camera
I was too busy catching my breath
while also being interested in the route to the next check point

this Manifest included three stops
BCD
we already knocked out "C-the bridge spot"
so now we had two stops left
it was obvious that our next stop would or NE check point instead of our NW check point
so it would be "B-656 L St NE" 
then finally "D-Westmorland Circle"

WESTMORLAND CIRCLE?
that is the DC-MARYLAND LINE
WHAT?

I had seen this on the manifest as it was posted on the event page on Facebook
I did not like it
I felt it favored the road cyclist in the racer more than the messenger
there would be only one route from most any approach
MASS AVE
yes... the long slowly undulating leg breaker and lung buster of a road that is Massachusetts Avenue from Dupont to the Maryland DC line

this long hilly out and back would clearly play to a few of my most obvious weaknesses
fitness and then size
even when fit I have a hard time matching the smaller riders on the climbs
it is basic math
it takes more energy to get more mass up a hill

at 230 pounds I have plenty of mass to lug up Mass. Ave.

but that was not my worry... I was not going to Westmorland Circle
I had to go to 656 L Street in NE
under the bridge I chatted with some of the other racers
picked their brains
tried to get an idea of what cross street they thought they would be taking

Bruce and Pearce both sounded like they would avoid 8th for a list of reasons and then avoid something else for some other reasons
all of which made sense
any of which would work for me
I knew basically where I wanted to go and would be fine with playing chase

then finally after an anxious ten minute wait time we were released
several of us took to the sidewalk and ran up the stairs
Pearce was on the bike hopping the curb and muscling up the short five step length hill which was soft from the rain of the days prior

Pearce was B-Lining for his stretch of road straight across the grass
knowing that my size and soft earth do not match up well
I avoided the quick sand and stayed straight on the sidewalk
there was a pack around me heading straight
a few blocks with them and I stayed straight as they all arched right

straight was fine... I knew I would have to head right number streets counting up
but I was in SE and did not have to worry about that until NE
I thought about some of the diagonal state named streets
I tried to think what would suit me best to start getting over up and across
but the flow of traffic headed straight was good
so I kept momentum

as I rode I looked one block south on the next number street up
it was not clear who it was
but I was pacing well with the others in my pack
I was crossing through the intersection before them
but a block north of them

it amused me
my mind played with the imagery
more of an interesting film opportunity rather than the still photographer that I am
it is not clear... but I think I played it pretty straight
may have gone all the way over and then up and then a half block back
no matter... I was at the front door in line with the other riders in the pack
Brian Clark and Andy Vickery were just ahead of me
not a bad pace to be chasing

as I walked up the front stoop I got the word that we had to go around back and get a brick
then bring the brick back around front
then Spencer would sign your manifest
on the bike I went up the block and took the logical route to the back of the house
I grabbed a brick practically in the alley while other went all the way to the back of the hosue
when I was going in to get signed by Spencer in the front... Michael Pearce was headed to has bike and in a flash on the road and then pedaling on to the next check point

I nearly left without my brick.. unclear that it was needed after Spencer's signature
but when I saw someone else packing away their brick I asked if we needed to bring the brick back to home base... we did
then I was glad I did not race bare back
my over sized Ergon pack would carry my brick without issue
as it already felt like I had a bag of bricks on my back
what would be the worry about the weight of one more brick

it looked like there was an issue with a slow leak on someone's bike
they had it covered
I had not formed any allegiances 
I was riding and racing pretty much alone


Mass Ave from Union Station To Dupont was a slog.... a slow steady slog
lots of lane splitting
pedestrians and taxi cabs moving in every direction around the convention center
under the circle through the tunnel my timing was such that there were not many cars around me which made it nice... yet I rode in the center of the lane just the same

was moving pretty okay... but was not feeling particularly spry
the legs felt flat at the start of the race and there had not been much change
hard to tell if the legs had ever warmed up
maybe my slow slog was my best pace for my winter fitness

not so lucky with the timing of the lights
a cluster of racers just ahead of me were making every light
I was missing every light
I was working harder to go slower

the leaders were pulling ahead
yet I mashed on
past Dupont Circle
up Embassy Row
past the Rodane sculpture still in the road
then onto the sidewalk as I past the Islamic center

the sidewalk was where I belonged... not fast enough to lay claim to the right lane
sure enough
here is where I started to lose ground
all sort of people passed
before Wisconsin Ave and the National Cathedral I was passed by four or five people
when Neil Irving passed me I laughed
as I thought I would see him roll past me

then approaching American University a few others passed
most people passed and then settled in
but then pulled away
I did not contest any of the people passing


the traffic circle at American University was a relief
I felt like I was half way to halfway there
maybe the worst of the climbing was behind me
more people passed
somewhere in there THC Chris and Alex the Map passed

most of these people are faster and more fit
but it is still no pleasure to get passed
still not yet to Westmorland Circle and I see Michael Pearce hammering uphill headed back to close out manifest one
I cheer him on as he spins his way fast and furious up the hill in the opposite direction

I start to wonder... where am I in the mix?
am I top twenty?
do I want to be top twenty?
will I qualify for manifest two?
do i want to qualify for manifest two?


I was passed by a good number of people
but I do not think any more the 7 or 8 people passed me
not too much time was spent trying to sort this out
because there were others that ran the same loop in reverse
which means that there very well may be others who will finish manifest one faster in the opposite direction than I am completing manifest one
at Westmorland circle the check point volunteers instructed me to take a lap
too bad they did not offer up a timed lap
it would have been curious to have people putting in to compare fastest lap at westmorland circle
but not on this day
just take a lap and then get your manifest signed before heading back to base
base being the Science Club
a straight shot down Mass Ave to Dupont
peel off Dupont at 19th
then just a few blocks down on the right
the return to downtown I got to play the advantage of gears to the fixies in front of me
they did all climb faster than me
but I got to rest and coast
then I had a little more gas in the tank for the flats on Embassy Row


managed to steal back a few spots that were taken from me on the way up to the DC Maryland Border

at the Science Club I stood in the queue
I could have been taking photos
I could have been refueling
but instead I just stood in the queue
it was warmer than I had anticipated
I changed the hat I had under my helmet and I changed my gloves
then it was my turn to have my manifest checked by Chris Rabadi
then I was given my assignment

ACE

A- 512 Edgewood Road NE
C- The Bridge Spot (again... yes Edgar is looking for some company)
E-2600 O Street NW THE PARK
on the bike I thought left and then right
here or there
what the heck
lets get the closest one out of the way first
2600 O Street
I knew where it was... right on the edge of that park
that cut through is so familiar to me
that park... teen memories from that park
amusing teen memories

but how to approach?
it is on the other side of the valley
P Street?
or
M Street?

I selected M Street... got confused... for a second regretted my selection
almost in Georgetown I got really confused
oxygen deprivation is my top excuse
my recurring excuse on this day
definitely felt like I was brain dead

got my shit straight and stayed on the road
arrived to the park to be greeted by Paul Lagoy and Joseph Sage Raindancer
these guys have the corner on the ride marshall\check point circuit
love riding and hanging with these guys
they are always up for a ride!
they are always in support or a ride or a race

it may not have been the most direct route... but I found the spot of park near by 2600 O Street
there was a little playground obstacle course
I said hey to Paul barely noticed Joseph
got my instructions to stay off the lava

then started my way through
6'4" tall in cycling shoes wearing a backpack the size of Gandhi 
it was awkward
I was feeling a grumpy parent vibe as I finished up and Kevin Hayes was starting up
then I was back on the bike and pointing to the check points east


I had not mentioned
to my credit I had searched each destination on my iPhone earlier in the day
I had each destination stored
but instead of using my phone
I thought I could recall what I had found
in the end... sort of confused myself


I had tried to memorize that one address was off Florida in NW and then another was off Rhode Island
well.. I got confused
 I went to the wrong location... went too far... I was headed back to 656 L Street
it was on that block that I realized this
it was then that I reached for the smart phone
I tried to use the phone as I rolled
the GPS was slow to get a connection
the map was slow to draw
I was slow to pedal

it was not far... but more than a mile far... I most certainly lost more spaces
I can not count on other people to get lost as much as I get lost
really... I need to get lost less to have greater success with these alleycats
my real hope is for faster people to get lost
while I tortoise it along with good choices and secret short cuts

but this race was not about secret spots or unknown short cuts
this race was quick and to the point
or better yet
long fast spin and to the point
lots of miles covered in this alleycat

I think some racer's Strava results measured somewhere between 35-40 miles for the day


finally found Edgewood and the backalley entrance
it was a party back there
bonfire... drinks... music
but I was not there for party
my duty was to get a selfie with the cat

well.. I am not a cat person... my effort with the cat was sad
my connection with dogs does not transfer to cats
ontop of that
did I mention that I was oxygen deprived

I was clumsy in my o2 deprived state


on the bike in the alley... then off the bike
I return to the party
not to grab a beer and a seat to warm up by the camp fire
but to apologize to Lindsey for being clumsy with the cat
I felt like I had fumbled my way through that check point

Lindsay had not noticed or gave me a pass
I was back on the bike and headed to the Bridge Spot
on the road I consulted with Alex the Map on The Metro Branch Trail
he agreed it was my best route to take the Metro Branch Trail to the bridge spot
and it was dodgey... but he seemed to agree that I would catch it if I stayed straight

I figured Alex was headed to the O Street Park and then Base
he was closer to home than I was

it was a relief to get onto the Metro Branch Trail
it is unfamilair to me
it is just not part of my normal routine
it seems that Alleycats are my only Metro Branch Trail opportunities

it is hard to remember any details
but I must have pedaled from check point to check point
at the Bridge Spot I had another 10 minutes of wait time
this gave me time to crack open a PBR and take a bite of my ham sandwich
Kevin Hayes showed up a few minutes later and snacked on a banana

I coached Edgar to watch Kevin Hayes... he can be sly
at the last bridge spot departure a guy in a green Kelly Benefit Strategies kit snuck out with the release prior to his own slated release
this played to his advantage
time is money and he won time
eventually landing in 2nd place
had he waited... he may have landed in 3rd or 4th place

I did not want Kevin Hayes playing that same advantage
more over... I did not want Kevin Hayes to beat me to home base

there was some playful back and forth
but really
Kevin is more than likely faster than me
I have not been racing... Kevin was killing it on the cyclocross bike this season


so I needed that edge of being released before him

on the bike and a straight shot for the Science Club
my trajectory was dictated by the flow
I found myself back on Massacusetts Avenue 
early on... NE maybe Union Station early
but it was how the flow was carrying me

the body was feeling it
it had been a long day on the bike
it was a nice surprise how the weather had turn
but the weather was only nice in contrast to how nasty it had been

my body was tired and my gear was wet and cold
I was ready to be done
which had me less than disappointed when Chris Rabadi did not send me out for the last checkpoint
to return the brick to the NE location where it came from and then back to Science Club

I was not top ten.. I was just outside the top ten
I was not a contender
the winners were already coming in
I think First Place Pearce was already there
and then maybe second and third as well
the specifics are lost in the haze of the day


the party had already started
I was stoked to have raced
I was stoked to be done
beer sounded like a good option at that moment

but first I would slip into something more comfortable
anxious to end chamois time I got out of my riding gear
I could have rung out my clothes they were so wet
I should have rung out my clothes.... they would have weighted less on the ride home

in the basement of the Science Club the party had already started
people who had bowed out of racing were already at the bar
racers who did not start the second manifest were at the bar
people from the closing check points were showing up at the bar
it was a party
everyone exchanging tales of the day

bikes bikes bikes
bikes bikes bikes
bikes bikes bikes
bikes bikes bikes
bikes bikes bikes
bikes bikes bikes


bikes bikes bikes bikes bikes bikes

bikes bikes bikes bikes bikes bikes

bikes bikes bikes bikes bikes bikes


bike people talking
I bet some of them were talking about bikes


there were awards
there were beers
there were gold sprints
there were more beers

there were even more beers
when Michael Pearce was headed up the road I closed up shop and pointed north along side of him
we shared some tales from the race
I was stoked for my buddy Mike and his effort on the bike
Mike smiled and spoke humbly how he was never sure how he would feel as it had been a while since he had ridden with such an effort for so long
but I guess pulling a trailer five days a week and some hectic bike polo keeps his fitness up well enough

Austraila?
super cool
also cool that a DC messenger won and gets to represent DC
and who better all around but Michael Pearce
super sick and super stylie on the bike
also a stand up guy who makes a great ambassador for the city of washington dc and the united states as a whole at the messenger worlds in australia 



 thank you Chris Rabadi and Dave Confer for hosting this awesome event
it was a punisher of an alleycat
I loved\hated ever minute of it
yes... thank you for this

thanks for your contribution to the DC Messenger Community and to the cycling community as a whole

what a fantastic race...  a great gathering of wonderful people


sorry for the long play by play
hopefully you at least enjoyed the photos
more photos to be dropped on the Gwadzilla Facebook Page
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