5.31.2004

SURFING
"Charlie don't surf!"
well, neither does joel, but I am drawn to the sport
for some reason I have this strange feeling of appreciation for surfing
guess mountainbiking is my surfing
honestly I think I have seen more Surf Movies than mountainbiking films
as far as ownership goes I have looked for Bruce Brown's ENDLESS SUMMER (and his ON ANY SUNDAY) at BEST BUY countless times, tempted online, but never hit the purchase key.
This weekend I caught the HEART OF THE SEA documentary on PBS. I was attracted to it just by the surfing theme and it turned out to be this magical film about life.
Definitely wearing a Hawaiian shirt to work tomorrow to keep the passion and inspiration from Rell Sunn fresh in my mind.


clips from the film
bellow are BLOG postings on this documentary shown on PBS

and of course the film DOGTOWN and z boys ROCKED!

5.30.2004

VELO NEWS ARTICLE BASHES SINGLE SPEEDS
here is the article
and he posted a response

Honestly.....
I did not disagree one bit. A single speed class is fine. All of the subgroups in mountainbike racing are good to spread out the racers. Laptimes tell the final story. I hate getting stuck behing the weaving catepillar, the hole shot should not be that vital. But there is no NEED for a single speed class. The reality...if you are riding a single speed and you are significantly slower that you would be on a geared bike, you are a poser and a fool riding that machine for fashion. I like to race CLYDESDALE, but I race as fast and hard as I can. I feel I am bringing respect to my class and I BELIEVE THAT IT IS A GREATER BARRIER BEING OVER 200 POUNDS THAN BEING 35 OR 30! (and I am over 230)
A few weeks ago I did the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms in Fredericksburg VA. I entered on a three person expert team, but opted to race my rigid single speed, but I brought my geared hardtail in case I felt that I was significantly slower on the single. I had a variety of other self imposed rules.....DO NOT RACE SINGLE SPEED OR DUO IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DO MORE LAPS THAN A RACER ON A 3 PERSON TEAM! On our team each racer did 5 laps, I could have done more, I did not sleep, but I had more in me, sure i hurt afterwards, sure I could feel the effects for a few days afterwards, but I know I had more laps in me, and some more equally fast laps too! But those folks racing duo or solo who did less than 5 laps....please do not be hanging out at a party trying to impress some chic with your tales of racing solo/duo.
Okay, I better slow down...I am not lance armstrong/nor am I ned overend, so I should back off and let people all achieve their personal best. After all, Personal Best is all what I am about. But I still do have all of these rules I have set for myself and feel that all others should adhere to aswell.....

forgive me....
I blame my parents
and I do
I blame my parents
they messed me up
they are good folk
but they messed me up
I am one messed up dude
making all these rules
giving all sorts of people these tickets, imaginary tickets in my head


dammm.....
no one is going to support my ideas of speeding up NATURAL SELECTION! And all those people who applied to be DARWINIANS are going to be out of work!
okay...
it is true, I will post anything, I am all over the place. Forgive me, it is not unlike my life. Here is a comment I posted on Tim Faia's CYCLOCROSS and PASTA Blog

I would like there to be an accelerated NATURAL SELECTION PROGRAM in the united states. The enforcers would be like Canadian Mounties....but we would call them Darwinians. WHen people do some completely idiotic shit and don't get hurt or killed, they get the death penelty. Bad spelling does not count, and if lots of people laugh...that does not qualify.
Now her is an example.....
(keep in mind that I don't eat at McDonalds, cause I liked it too much, been like 6 year....junk food junkie...okay, my point)
so....you are in line at McDonalds for 10 minute....then when you are about to order the guy in front of you gets his turn. He stops, pauses, and then looks at the menu and starts thinking...
Death Penelty for the guy under my system


who do I talk to about getting this started?
RELL SUN
you must check this out
you must check it out
this is something that everyone must see
and most anyone can appreciate
but, you will be inspired

here is a response I posted on the PBS website
or at least I sent it their way
but a year after the release

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/heartofthesea/film.html

The film moved me. I had no prior knowledge of Rell Sunn and her life
story. I was "channel surfing" when I stumbled on the beginning of
this film. I was drawn in by Rell's life philosophies and by the epic
surf footage. Then when the story started to unfold I was so attached
and touched by her. I wept openly, I weep now.
Her life was an inspiration.
Her battle with cancer was an inspiration.
My life carries no great burdens, her life example helps me to
appreciate the wonderful life I have and hopefully will aid me to
live life to its fullest.
I am going to buy this film so that the feeling does not fade and so
that I can share it with others.
Heart of the Sea is a film that can change people. It is going to go
in my DVD collection right next to BARAKA.
After this film I feel as if I lost a friend that I never knew.
.-gwadzilla
www.gwadzilla.blogspot.com

here is the listing for local tonight
go to this site and see when it is playing locally in your area

5.29.2004

RELL SUNN: Another inspirational women athlete...excuse me...another inspirational athlete...correction, just a real inspirational person

Staying up late on a Saturday night, catching this documentary on an amazing women, Rell Sun. An amazing surfer at the early stages of the competitive surf game, a free diver of stunning proportions, simply a beautiful person inside and out. Heart of the Sea, is the film, the segment I am watching is blowing my mind. She is so beautiful, her thoughts, her words, her achievements in life, and yes....her eyes, her hair, her movement doing the Hula, but over all her approach to life, her attitude in life, before and after her battle with cancer. Learn more about Rell Sunn before you call me a creep.


Here is another link.

and this!

I would definitely try to catch this film again
now to try to take the lessons she has taught through her life's example and apply them to my life

Mike says to have a hankie near by, he is correct.

this give Hawaii shirts more meaning....
I will let all of mine be a reminder of her inspirational approach to life

5.28.2004

THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BIKERS
In one of the COMMENTS to one of my rants I managed to anger an efriend and fellow blogger by calling Roadies Pansies. (mark is a skater turned mountainbiker turned road biker)
The in another comment from another friend I got a response that quoted David Chappelle. (rocco is a flat bar roadie)

Seems that I may need to be start sending out some packets of M&Ms, after all, M&Ms make friends.

It is true...Road Bikers and Mountainbiker are BROTHERS! But so were Cain and Able!
PACE LINES AND DRAFTING AND SHARING THE TRAILS

Okay, it may be true that I have enough pet peevs to open a pet store, but the ones pertaining to cycling are close to my heart as many of them effect my health and my future...

Each day after work I take a ride around the city to "lose my day." Most often I get away from the traffic and point to any number of the bike paths that surround Washington DC. It may be the Capital Crescent Trail, The Mt Vernon Trail, or Rock Creek Park. On each day I am forced to contend with the same sets of annoying variables and dangers. But one of the dangers that frustrates me the most is the PACE LINE (when a group of cyclist ride single file, the first rider blocking the wind so that the following riders can maintain the same speed with less work.) Pace Lines bother me primarily because they are dangerous, they often are too fast for the trail, and more so because the riders are more concerned with the invigorating race-like feel rather than the obstacles ahead. Only the first rider can see what is happening ahead, and the following riders are forced to trust their decisions. FIRST AND FOREMOST! This is a bike path, which is more similiar to a road than a race track...with that logic a pace line is not drafting, but rather tailgating (there are two different types of drafting that are distictly different, that latter being more dangerous) People can draft off their friends and training partners or they will latch onto a stranger's back wheel. OOOHHHHHHHH, that pisses me off! Drafting should be left for the road and for the races, and certainly never off the wheel of a stranger.

let this rant move to a story....
I am not proud of it, but it did happen, and I will tell you before hand I am happy that no one got hurt and will never repeat this action

One morning I was going for a prework spin. I was on the Mount Vernon Trail on a mountainbike with 2.1 knobby tires. I passed a cyclist on a roadbike. Soon after passing them I could sense him on my back wheel. I turned back and asked him not to draft, he smiled a geeky grin. I asked again that he did not draft off me, I picked up the pace, made no effort to drop him, but faster just the same. This to him was some sort of "cat and mouse" game, but to me it was a fly swarming around my face game, just wanted to swat him and have him be gone already. After the third request the rider informed me that he was in control, knew what he was doing, and was following with safe following distance. We each turned onto the 14th Street Bridge crossing from Virginia into DC. I am not sure what came over me, but I got tired of this parasite on my rearwheel so I slammed on my brakes. Clearly the rider behind me was not in control and did not have safe following distance, cause he rear ended me and fell over. I never took my feet out of the clips, stayed upright, said..."Ooooops, thought there was a snake in the trail." Took another look to confirm that he was okay and finished my ride back into the city and into to work. Upon arrival to work I rethought my actions, I regretted my behavior. My actions were not going to help things, nothing positive could become of all of this, sure it was a tad funny, but all in all it was the wrong way to handle things. Like a black cloud these actions loomed over me for days, I went out of my way to take the same route to try and find this guy again and make amends. Sure enough a week or two later I ran into him, made my apology and he accepted. It was a funny exchange, he had no idea that he had contribute to the situation. I am sure that he is still drafting off other riders on the trail. But that is the ediqutte of the trail weenie. We both laughed that I was an asshole, I made no effort to debate or discuss as this encounter was to apologise. We each had a laugh and went our separate ways.

After this encounter I moved to the single speed for the bicycle paths, the smaller gearing had a lower maximum speed and did not allow me to get involved in the insecure male competion for the crown of KING OF THE TRAIL or TRAIL KING OF THE DAY. That is not to say that I do not get on the trail and exceed the 15MPH Trail Speed limit, cause I do. But I try to do this courteously. I always give an audible warning, which tends to be offered on the actual pass more as a hello than a get out of my way (and it gets a thank you almost everytime, people deserve the basic respect) I slow for unpredictable trail users, such as dogs and children, and I stop for anyone in need; cyclist with mechanicals, old men having heart attacks, tourists needing directions, and Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders in need of massage.


need to get back to work
do some work and leave early
if I leave early I may be able to go for a quick bike ride
maybe I can be KING OF THE TRAIL today?
Title IX Sports:
Women's sports has been fighting for an equal playing ground for years. In some cases they are fighting for just a playing field or some decent equipment, all of this is understandable. But, the rules are such that implementing such rules has created some pretty bizarre results.

Check out this article in the NY Times on Women's Rowing Scholarships.

I am all for women's sports, but I think that they are going a little overboard with demanding equality. In the case of professional sport we need to realize that this is all about entertainment. The top athletes don't get paid the most because they are the best, they get paid the most because they draw the biggest crowd (and winning/going to the finals, all that brings in more money.) It is all about money. If the viewers do not want to see the women's pro basketball league, women's boxing, or women's soccer, well then money is the final word. It is not about being fair and equal, it is about entertainment. Anna Kornakova?

Now on the college level it is a tad different, but not really, these schools are also businesses....and they want to draw attention to their schools and make whatever money they can. This is a topic that I could drag on about for a while but I do not want to deviate from the original topic of women's sports, but I might as well finish my point. Okay Now, Compare and Contrast Georgetown University and its academic record and its sports programs with University of Notre Dame and it academic record and sports programs..talk amongst yourselves and get back to me.
Okay, where I am going with this?
Now where....
Just ranting along...
VELEDROMES
(no, not Videodrome!)

To continue on the cycling tangent of VELODROMES I have done a couple of quick GOOGLE SEARCHES. It is all at your finger tips with GOOGLE!
This is what I came up with...
List of Velodromes in the US
from that list I went a took an electronic tour of some of those locations on the East Coast, as it turns out the NY Velodrome in Queens has recently been revamped! Check out the Kissena Queens Velodrome here! While the site for the Velodrome near Allentown PA in Trexlertown has a very informative site, Lehigh Valley Velodrome.

That is more than enough links to Velodrome information than you really need to wet you whistle. After all, you can do your own GOOGLE if you really want to.

As for me, don't be fooled I am still a mountainbiker. To me there is nothing more pure than riding a bicycle on a wooded trail. Sure I spend a fair amount of time on the road, logging in a few miles on pavement. But, as fun as that is, the time on the road pales in comparison to the pleasures of the dirt. The road miles are building blocks to being faster and stronger on dirt. The stronger my legs and lungs, the more fun I can have just steering my bike through the woods. That is the greatest feeling, when mountainbiking becomes more like downhill skiing (I actually have never skied, snowboarded for years, but accept the metaphor just the same...skiing in more similar to road riding, and snowboarding is closer to mountainbiking....the cultures overlap, but that is due to what draws the individual to each sport) It is a glorious sensation, not unlike the one I experienced at the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms, when everything is working at its highest level. The mind is taking in all the variables and sending out all of the commands, the conscious mind at the surface is almost a witness to the actions before it. It is completely ZEN.
The flow is phenomenal!

5.27.2004

Cycling; a strange mixture of Solidarity and Competition
As a mountainbiker I am more Yak than Gazzelle, but that is not to say that I can not appreciate the graceful stride of that thin wirey (sometimes frail) creature. There are many aspects of the Roadie culture that intrigue me. Some so much that I dabble in them myself, Cyclocross has become part of my fall routine and I have always been curious about the Velodrome.

The HOUR RECORD in the velodrome has always been an aspect of road cycling that has struck me with great fascination. Eddy Merckx held that record for 12 years, his record was set in a different world on different terms. The equipment had not hit its high tech aerodynamic heights, training had not hit the same scientific heights, and doping was not such a prevelant part of the sport.

The VELODROMS are still out there. Track bikes are not just the tools of the courier trade and the fashion of the college coffee drinking culture, they were designed to be the efficient machines raced on the track (hence the name.) Pursuit is an aspect of the cycling racing culture that goes on with little recognition.

In track cycling Track cycling is a form of bicycle racing usually held on specially-built banked tracks or velodromes (but many events are held at older velodromes where the track banking is relatively shallow).
Track racing is also done on grass tracks marked out on flat sportsfields. Such events are particularly common during the summer in Scotland at Highland Games gatherings, but there are also regular summer events in England.
..... Click the link for more information. , the individual pursuit is an event where two cyclists begin their race from a stationary position (held by gates) on opposite sides of the track. If one cyclist manages to catch the other, the successful persuer is declared the winner, otherwise, the first one to complete the required distance (usually eight laps of the 500-metre track) is declared the winner.

Competitions are decided on a knockout format, with the competitors with the best recent results seeded so that they do not meet each other until later rounds. preview not available. Click the link for more information.


time for me to do some work before I have to start looking for another job!
CHASING RICKSHAWS and CHECKING OUT THE CYCLING CULTURE

take a moment and look at the set of images from this book CHASING RICKSHAWS. Part bicycle courier, part taxi cab, part trackbike, all human powered bicycle; that is the RICKSHAW (or Bechak as they are called in Indonesia)
The bicycle is a work of art. In Denmark this company, Biomega, views the bicycle as art and presents it this way. Here is a beautifully simple custom bike company, Ant Bikes.

and of course some must visit sites for any cyclist who likes to geek out about their bikes....

Rivendell
Sheldon Brown
Sheldon Brown's Daughter Then & Sheldon Brown's Daughter Now

okay....the Tova stuff is headed in a different direction

Here are some good ideas from Keith Bontrager
Here is some history, Gary Fisher

Although I am a mountainbiker and I view much of the roadies as a bunch of pansies, but here is some stuff on LANCE

and of course....Eddy Merckx
please check out EDDY!
the cycling films of his racing are EPIC
pure beauty, almost enough for me to lift the pansy label off the roadies
but I can not do that
More strange conversations in this weird EWorld!
For me reading emails or reading BLOGS is not entirely dissimilar to talking to someone. As the words are read I hear a voice, an image is created, and a relationship is born. Sometimes friendships are made, and just as often enemies are found. The written words can cause pleasure or pain with the same ease as the spoken word. Last night as I scanned some of the links on VELORUTION I stumbled on Ken Kifer's Page. I read some of this and some of that, some thoughts grabbed me others I just left behind. I was drawn in deeper, as I got deeper and closer I thought that I would drop an email Ken's way. When the contact page loaded I read that Ken was dead, not only had he died, but he had died in a bicycle related accident. Poetic injustice. His killer was a drunk driver, who had been given a DUI and was allowed to drive home just hours later. This tragic tale moved me and even scared me. Life is so precious, yet we all take it for granted. We all assume that we will be here tomorrow to raise our kids and to chase our dreams, but clearly that is not always so.

With that said....

Those of us on our bikes may want to look over our shoulder twice, consider slowing down as we encounter unsure variables, and never assume that we can fully anticipate the actions of the car drivers around us.

And for those of us in our cars....
(although I commute to work on bike and seldom drive my car, I do drive, especially when my family is involved)
When in cars we need to watch our speed. Pass pedestrians and cyclists with care, caution, and courtesy. When driving through neighborhoods anticipate that there is a child around each bend. Drive down each road as you would want people to drive down your road. Go around cyclists and pedestrians with the same respect that you want car drivers to grant you.

Enough with this.
It is all so obvious. We all know these things. But sometimes we forget. Let us slow down a moment and think of Ken, Judy, and may others who many have lost their lives due to the recklessness inconsiderate behaviors of others.

Both Ken and Judy may not live today, but their lives were important enough that their visions live on. Judy's daughter created a documentary of her life. And Ken's site is active and maintained by a close friend of his. It is vital that these stories are shared and told so that such incidents are prevented in the future and so that we can appreciate life while we have it.

5.26.2004

City Bikes (former) Team Captain Brian Kemler's Homepage
GUEST BLOG: or more specifically the posting of some emails from some friends whole just got back from a documentary film project in Afghanistan pertaining to the topic of LANDMINES

to keep it cycling relevant here is a link to that topic; Afghan Amputee Bicyclists

the emails were sent to me from my multitalented friend Rob Myers
Rob was my design mentor as he ran his own businesses; Ion Media and PXL Studios
he also played sitar at my wedding; when not working the wedding circuit Rob makes music with Thunderball, Thievery Corp, and Fort Knox Five

along with his artistic and musical pursuits Rob is also a civic minded individual who loves to travel the world and experience life
it would seem that his work on this landmine project is offering both

on with the emails....
Rob is not the author, another friend Mary is the author and leading the project in Afghanistan
I will cut and paste here...


Greetings from Kabul,

We arrived in Afghanistan a few days ago and have been busy filming the activities of the Afghan Campaign to Ban Landmines (ACBL), as it hosts an annual regional meeting of ban campaigners. The ACBL, established 1995, is made up of demining organizations, as well as other civil society groups.

We filmed the opening of the campaign meeting and a subsequent press conference, which saw government representatives speaking about landmines, as well as me on behalf of the international campaign. In the afternoon, we filmed a visit to the OMAR landmines museum, an amazing collection of mines and unexploded ordnance cleared throughout the country. We also visited the Mine Detection Dog Centre (MDC), where we filmed various teams from the country's demining organizations that had set up sample sites for the visiting campaigners. This was a great opportunity to make contacts for the filming we plan to do here on demining.

Yesterday, we filmed the campaigners as they met with the Afghan king, or "Father of the Nation" in his heavily-guarded palace. Earlier, we filmed a rally by hundreds of deminers, mine survivors and campaigners as they walked from a park in the center of Kabul past a row of embassies and ministries.

At the conclusion of the rally the ACBL Chairperson, Sohrab Hakimi of MDC, delivered a petition to the to the United Nations mine action center for them to pass on to the governments that continue to manufacture mines.

The campaign meeting concludes this afternoon with a bicycle race at the national stadium by mine survivors and other Afghans with disabilities. I will be leaving in a couple of days, but the film crew will stay on until 13 April: Brian Liu on camera, Luc Vanheel on audio, and Rob Myers, field producer.

Cheers,

Mary


Afghanistan #2

We are continuing our filming in Kabul for the landmines documentary, covering some interesting events this week...

The crew spent Monday morning (29 March) filming stockpiled landmines in the process of being destroyed at a Kabul factory. We had arrived in Kabul thinking we had missed this filming opportunity, but they found some more mines to destroy. The process involved melting a thousand metallic casings of the Soviet-made POMZ antipersonnel mine (the stake or "pineapple" mine) in an ancient-looking furnace. The factory workers, none of whom wore any significant protective gear, poured the molten iron into molds for manhole covers. They then covered the molds with sand to cool down overnight and placed a kettle on one to boil some tea. The process was fascinating and beautiful. With sparks flying everywhere, we were glad the camera, zeppelin, and crew made it out safely!

We then visited the Kabul rehabilitation clinic run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to interview an engaging Italian, Dr. Alberto Cairo, who has directed the clinic for the past 15 years. Almost all of the clinic's workers are former patients now employed to make artificial limbs and braces for mine victims and others. We were very lucky to get to Cairo before he left for a month of travel. He introduced the crew to a woman patient wearing a burka who agreed to an emotional interview about the mine incident that took her leg.

Finally, in the afternoon we filmed a bicycle race by disabled Afghan men and boys (including mine victims) organized to coincide with the campaign meeting. Girls and women did not compete, but the organizers hope it will soon be possible to include bicycling in their skills training program which has a 4 year waitlist. Competition was fierce for the main prizes of new bicycles and hot water thermoses. We filmed a series of races by competitors entered in various groups such as below-knee (BK) amputee, above-knee (AK) amputee, wheelchair, and youth. The event took place in the national stadium, scene of public executions and other atrocities during the Taliban period.

I'm not sure what footage we got. It was chaotic, but fun to film and definitely an experience to remember. On several occasions I was asked to let people know of their desire to have proper racing bikes and helmets, especially for the athletes entered in the upcoming Paralympic Games that follow directly after the Olympics in Athens this summer.

The next day, we did the rounds of the major demining organizations (HALO, MCPA, MDC, United Nations) interviewing and setting up a schedule to film their various clearance activities in the field. The conference and campaign connections seemed to have helped a lot as all the agencies seem to be keen for us to film their programs; it is difficult to decide which!

On Wednesday morning I left Kabul and the crew (Brian, Luc, and Rob) to travel home to New Zealand for two weeks vacation turned into work. They have a packed schedule to complete by 13 April. I'm quite sad to be missing the experience. Afghanistan is slowly coming back to life. Despite the poverty and daunting challenges, Afghans are keen to reconstruct the country and rebuild their lives. Landmines account for just part of their many problems, but the way in which they have tackled this issue over the past decade is remarkable and rather awe-inspiring. I hope do it justice in the film.

Mary


Ms. Mary Wareham
Executive Producer, Fulfilling the Promise

Next Step Productions, Inc.
2407 15th St NW, #411
Washington, DC 20009, USA
Tel. +1 (202) 352-2968
Email. mary@nspfilms.org
Web. www.nspfilms.org


5.25.2004

I have never made a documentary film...there are great ideas that flow through my brain...but they keep on going, going, going, gone. I feel that oral history/the spoke word is something that needs to be taken advantage of before it is dead and gone. There are a number of individuals that are a huge part of the DC subculture of a DC past, I feel that they need to be remembered and recognized. Someone needs to do it, it is unlikely that I will ever get my shit together to ever approach such a project.

Who is COOL DISCO DAN? One of the most visible/prominant 'tags' to ever grace the walls of DC and the surrounding area....
Who is Cool Disco Dan? and where is he now?
what was he thinking then? and what is he thinking now?

then there is also a local hero Blelvis...
not sure if the powers of the internet or even the City Paper can dredge him up....brb (be right back) let me see what the internet brings up. NOTHING!
more on that later...got to sleep now...
Blelvis or Black Elvis was a street performer...okay he was a panhandler who harassed and annoyed drunk club goers in Adams Morgan Washington DC as they went from club to club, bar to bar, car to club, or bar to car...etc...
He has a wonderful mastery of Elvis' movies and music. His trivia is mind boggling. He can not be stumped. For a buck he will sing any one of his hits. And he has a good time doing such. But where did it take him. Did it make or break his life. Where did it take him? Where is he now?

I have seen him around...always give him a shout and a wave...
traveling via bicycle does have its advantages...
meeting and greeting being one of them
Featherhead
I knew him. Shit, everyone knew him. Never knew him well. Always looked up to him, always questioned why. It seemed like he was taking a risky shortcut. He had the cards to play the straight game and play it well. But he opted to run his business out of the trunk of a car, in a back alley, with a cell phone and a beeper. He was out in the open. He was visible, super visible. I am sure that high school kids all over the suburbs said to each other...if you need a bag head to Dupont Circle and look for the guy on a bicycle with an orange cycling helmet with a a large feather on top.
What was a prop for a New Year's Eve party became his signature.
What was a few dollars on the side became his main gig.
What was his future became his end....or so it seemed.
Last I heard he had MS.
I wish him well. Hope that he alive, healthy and living the life he chooses.
The image of him arriving at a Mount Pleasant group house party with his old school oakley shades and his roller blades is fresh in my eyes. It is hard to see that anything could slow this guy down or tear the smile from his face. Not the law...not MS.....I pray that nothing can break his spirit. For some reason I feel that he is alive and well on a beach somewhere dipping into a secret next egg that no one could find.
Sometimes I feel guilty for how good my life is...other times I take it all for granted.

Mt Pleasant and Featherhead

btw
I knew him from house parties and working on the bike
the internet is a weird place
it is like a strange party where people say something and it echos forever
there is all this strange out dated shit that is still floating around there

here is an article about bicycle commuting
Who is Scrooge?
In the courier world there are a cast of characters who are lifers. Many of them have identities and personalities that I have created in my own mind. For years I have seen these guys pounding the streets. Riding different bikes, wearing different fashions. Existing in different styles. There is one old school lifer that I have never shared so much as a nod or a wave with but I still have great respect for. He goes by the name Scrooge. Now I am not sure if that is his name or a nickname. He has been out there on the streets for one year short of forever. It always surprises me when I see him doing something positive. The first time I saw him volunteer for Bike DC I was a tad shocked. As he had never given me a nod or a wave and after all he does go by Scrooge, then why did he offer his time for free. In recent years I have seen Scrooge and his cargo bike head out to Rock Creek Park. He and a gaggle of his friends meet up there, cook on the grill and run some sort of informal hill climb training or races. It is all pretty cool. He is enjoying like. Living it on a bike and doing it on his own terms. Scrooge's Bike.

then again....
why should he give me a wave? I am just a short range commuter. A desk jockey with a few moments on the bike. I am not part of his tribe. I am wearing a clean pressed shirt and my shoes at work don't make any strange noises when they tough concrete or a tile floor.
jack and coke on ice
keyboard restin in my lap
nothing to do
nothing to say
maybe another jack and coke will give me the gift of gab
there has to be a story in there somewhere


hello...anybody in there?
An article in the WASHINGTON POST about two cyclists being attacked by a runner while they rode their bikes in Rock Creek Park. Yes, it is illegal for them to ride their bikes in Rock Creek Park, but to assault someone with Pepper Spray unprovoked is perhaps more illegal? Well, if something can not be MORE ILLEGAL, than perhaps it is a greater violation.

Check it out!

this author John Briley has written other cycling related articles including on a folding bike that seemed objective and true.

it was an amusing story
glad that he got it out there
and also glad to see that the Park Police did not slap the cuffs on him for riding his bike in the woods of Rock Creek Park!

5.24.2004

no dah?
no doy?
dah hicky!

the other night I was checking out a link on timmyP's BLOG page
funny, he recommended this film and I checked out the basics, guess I was all into the images and blanked out the words (don't read much, hurts my brain)
the images immediately made me think of this artist, Andy Goldsworthy
I did some searches, found was I was looking for, tried to post a comment onto his site
TIMMY YOUR COMMENTS DO NOT WORK
and forgot all about it
then was back there tonight
and what did I notice?
the title of the post was ANDY GOLDSWORTHY

no dah....no doy....dah hickie!
PLASTIC SURGERY
WHY?

these are strange times, very very very strange times
it seems that plastic surgery is the hair dye of the modern age
and not unlike hair dye...it does not always help and sometimes it goes wrong
flipping through the channels tonight and I pause on some show on BRAVO
the basic premise is the history of television
Barbra Eden looked like a monster (Bewitched was always hotter)
but more curious...what about the people who look good, but what looks good because of surgery
wouldn't it be sad to have your best feature not be yours
to get compliments all the time about such things
to have someone fall in love with you because of such things
it becomse more and more common that I look at an older peer and marvel at how good they look, maybe even see a photo of them from 20 years prior and think that it is great that they look better now than they ever did
then someone leans in and mentions "the knife"
it makes me sort of sad, for some reason I feel sorry for them

with this all said
in 20 years someone stop me the day I schedule for a pull and tuck
no biggy
my site changed its name on its own
wonder if it will ever change itself back

technology and its little quirks

this site was previously at the address WWW.GWADZILLA.BLOGSPOT.COM
but for some reason it has moved to GWADZILLA.BLOGSPOT.COM
one would figure that if you are here reading this that you figured it out
but
if you are here for the first time
welcome...you may need to dig deeper to find the meat of the message
the meat here is in the marrow

The eWorld is a funny one
This morning as I reviewed my BLOG to see if anyone had commented on any of my rants I found a comment submission from SPYDER's MOM I reviewed her images on her homepage
The images were effective to help me draw a mental picture of her as I read random selection from her TALES section. The tales were not "tails" of her dog Spyder but rather of her late in life discovery of mountainbiking and mountainbike racing, through her various posts there was a recurring theme of humility in her achievement and satisfaction from her efforts and her attempts.

While reading through her posts I could not help but think of another female athlete who discovered sports and competition late in life, Judy Flannery.
I grew up knowing Judy Flannery as Mrs. Flannery, or Dennis' mom (the star of my select soccer team), and more specifically my soccer coach's wife, but to many people in this area and to women athletes all over the country (and maybe the world) she was known as a world class triathlete. It is a the start of a wonderful story that took a tragic twist. Several years ago she was out on a training ride and was run over and killed by an oncoming car that intentionally swerved into her lane and hit her head on. The specifics of that incident do not qualify for the word accident. Judy's eldest child Erin wrote and produced an award winning documentary on her mother's life. "Judy's Time" is a film that I have yet to see but look forward to seeing it when I get a chance. I hope the theater is dark as I am sure that it will effect me deeply, just thinking of her death upsets me greatly.

back to work
would like to expand on this
but would also like to keep my job
Bush and Kerry....

looks like things have evened out a bit

Bush Falls

5.21.2004

funny thing...
I was on the web looking for an image of Eric Roman in a dress when I found this product on the TIMBUK2 site

pretty cool

these guys are moving forward with the times

hope it pays off for them

my punk sensibilities never had a problem with anyone cashing in
all long as the product is good
why not get paid!
La Luna De Miel con mi Hermano!

This is one of those stories that gets passed around the internet, you know the ones, the one that you tell at a party about your "friend from college" in an effort to make it sound more legitimate...
but in this case it is true
honest
just verified it with "a friend from high school!"
he knows someone who knows someone
(actually he claims to know him, but you know how that goes)

Check it out....
One classic case of lemonade created from a tree full of lemons!

the link says it all-

HONEYMOON WITH MY BROTHER

I will wait for the movie
as I don't read much...hurts my brain.
CHARACTERS
The city is litter with a colorful cast of characters, within this colorful cast of characters there tend to be a grand representation from the bicycle culture. Having lived in the city for well over a decade I have come to see an assortment of these characters over and over and over again. Fore example there are these identical twin sisters that walk and run along Rock Creek Park...they tend to move at an awkwardly slow pace and often work out together, but never within 20 yards of the other. Their body frames are thin and muscular, their equipment is high end, my guess is that their training is for endurance as it is long and slow, perhaps they are triathletes. My paths crossed with one of the ladies, then just a girl, at a party many years ago...it was short and abrupt, my introduction did not come welcomed and I retreated and went my way...that may be how women respond to me or that may just be how women respond to men in DC, that is a sociological study for another day. These twins with their thick and wild red hair are just some of the regulars, as is also a slightly women who rides an old blue ladies frame mountainbike, low end from the early days of the mountainbike. She climbs Calvert Street towards Reno Road all the time, often with a tennis racket in a pack. It is never clear to me if she is crossing town or doing loops for exercise, she too is annorexically thin...over time I just assumed that she is crazy. We met one time as I was stopping in at Big Wheel Bikes in Georgetown saying hey to an old friend who was working as a manager there at the time. She was less crazy than I had expected, while still a tad crazy. Turns out she is a freelance graphic designer...something I can understand. As when I was a freelance graphic designer I spend some free time riding my bike like a crazy person across town only without the annorexically thin body and without a tennis racket.

In addition to the regular cast of people that I see on the city road and the bicycle trails occasionally there are the occassional treats. A kid on a low rider at Logan Circle, a man with hundreds of reflectors on his bike down by Union Station, or the Latino guy on Mount Pleasant Street last night. As I cruised down the main strip in Mount Pleasant heading for home last night I saw in the distance at the corner of Mt Pleasant and Park catty corner to the Argyle market a guy chilling on a small white bike with a strange box attached to the frame no unlike a gas tank on a motorcycle only larger and boxy. As I rolled in closer to him things became more clear, I could hear music coming from that box, he has some very soulful Latin rhythms coming from that box. Not sure if it was folk or electronic, but it was grooving, not the usual latino flavor from a Toyota Fourrunner that I do not care for. I rolled up on the curb along side of him and accessed his custom ride. It was a small white girls bike with pink detail, pink banana seat, and black 20 inch tires with gum walls. The custom box was wooden with large car speakers on each side and a cable leading to a motorcycle battery stored under the seat. It was an impressive little contraption, if for nothing else originality and for the action of actually seeing it through. We exchanged hellos as I complimented his handy work. His age was not clear, maybe 15 maybe 25, more than likely closer to 25. His speech was clear and crisp with no hint of an accent. As we spoke I could see his pride and pleasure, his invention was an attention magnet. People driving by were honking and people walking by were staring he was an exhibitionist in all his glory. Each of my questions were answered with pride and precision, each question had certainly asked before as he did not stumble or slow with any of the answers. In the future I should start carrying my digital camera, such a sight, much like many others should be documented. I suspect that this summer I will be seeing him again....maybe on a different bike with a more professional display of a similar apparatus or on this one, either way I hope to have my camera and hope to have as pleasant of an exchange.

5.20.2004

24 Hours of Snowshoe
With the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms behind me it is now time to set my sights on the 24 Hours of Snowshoe Granny Gear's Grand Daddy of mountainbike races. This is the race that really got me into racing. From the early days of Canaan this race weekend went on my calendar, yet somehow it nearly slipped away. A rainy race weekend two years ago, packed upon a few other rainy 24 hour race events left me and my team a bit despondent. So when the race weekend approached we were not signed up and we felt as if we did not miss a thing....well....it turned out to be a dry fast race weekend. Racers were doing 2 laps back to back before the exchange to give longer rest breaks between laps. Part of me felt left out....another part of me felt like I had chickened out. It is all very hard to explain.
This year I tried my darndest to assemble a fast Clydesdale team to win back the Podium spot that we had slipped off of several years prior but I just could not get anyone to commit. As the race got closer, my once clydesdale brother, now leaner and meaner is assembling a Vet team. When a slot was vacant on his team I more than willingly accepted. For me the race is about the experience and racing with a few people that I am friends with would be more important that assembling a fast Clydesdale team just to take the podium and perhaps a few prizes.
In the end I can always do the math. Average my own times and figure how I would have finished with a TEAM OF GWADZES...more over a team of Joel Gwadzes, against the winning Clydesdale team.

over and out
time to punch the clock
grab my lunch box
get on my horse
and head for home

5.19.2004

The Emotions of the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms
In my previous post on the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms I gave a skeletal description of the evenings onto mornings events. The earlier rants just scratched the surface of the whole event and the struggle of mind and body. In an event like this there is a battle, as the body tries to cave in, it is vital for the strength of the mind overpower the weakness of the body. Testing one's personal limits, questioning the body's limitations, demanding the peak performance from a sleep deprived system are at the core of such an event. The rants posted earlier made mention of one lap that took place a short time after midnight, that in itself is no great feat, but to demand the body to replicate the same level of performance five times over the next twelve hours can tax one's body. It can be a dramatic event. The trauma on the body is great, the will of the mind falls weak, the desire to pack it all up and sleep is over powering, each sore muscles throbbing pain is amplified. In my case I have to constantly remind myself that I will feel better once on the bike. Each time my body responds to that natural experience of the bicycle and quickly forgets the pain and fatigue and concentrates on the activity at hand. Deep into the race during one of my nights lap I was feeling good. My body felt one with the bike, my mind was focused, then I thought about my actions. Almost outside myself watching as I rode up, down, and around on the wooded trail. The whole process started to intrigue me. All the variables, all the demands, and somehow the body takes it all in and answers to the task. The action felt ballistic. My mind was not really active, my body was just responding. There is no way that I could give a play by play of each minimal reaction and action that my body was going through. It was intense. An almost religious experience. I felt incredible, the clarity was beyond explanation, yet I ramble on. What makes it all so odd was that at the campsite between laps I was hypoxic. Like the astronaut tests we all have seen in the movies, where the actors portray oxygen deprived astronauts playing Black Jack or other simple games and can not rationalize the most basic combinations. In one of these breaks between laps I had one of these episodes where I could not manage the basic problems, I was trying to recharge my lights and I was trying to connect the head lamp to the charger rather than the batter to the charger. It did not go on that long, after a minute or so I managed to catch myself, but my behavior was being dictated by my sleep deprived brains. Well, I am no astronaut, I don't even play one on TV. But I was having some similar symptoms or so I thought in my over exhausted, over exerted, sleep deprived body and mind. This is a recurring experience for me in these mountainbike relay races. I have conversations with God, Yoda, and myself. It can all be very amazing, a bit odd but amazing. My body is lose, limber, and strong; while my mind is euphoric in a natural drug state. I try to stay focused and ride fast and hard, but somehow I still manage drift off to this land of HR Puffin Stuff, that is without the magic flute.

too tired to continue
each night I write one of these posts thinking I will edit it at work in the morning
but instead it just remains posted and unchanged
somehow I don't think that this rambling rant will be any different
as mentioned prior I am an unlikely editor
in college it was not uncommon for me to hand in papers with the spelling unchecked and the ink still wet
not something that I am proud of
just the reality that is my past
here is a free tip to those that are involved in Graphic Design....those who like Graphic Design....those that like to page through magazines with flashy ads and nice layouts....and finally for those that like something for free
yes FREE!

GRAPHIC DESIGN USA is a free magazine

Check it out!
I love it!
Lodi Numbers
Big: 5 laps, 48.6 minute average, 45 minute fast lap (two 45 minute laps)
Bald: 5 Laps, 47.8 minute average, 43 minute fast lap
Bossy: 5 laps, 53.6 minute average, 48 minute fast lap

Big, Bald, and Bossy finished 4th in 3 Person Expert and were faster than the fastest 3 Person Sport Team, the last lap finishing at 12:30

The winning 3 Person Sport Team was comprised of some racers from Mt. Nittany Wheel Works a shop in State College PA, Eric and Frank were two of the founding members of the City Bikes Mountainbike team (along with current member, ultra endurance racer Brian Kemler. Eric Roman manage to score the second fastest lap in the race on his Pink IF Single Speed which stole the 'kitty' at our pitt for the 2 dollar gamble for FASTEST LAP (a competition I did not enter after seeing Eric's name on the list, figured I could just toss my 2 dollars into the fire.)

5.18.2004

Big, Bald, and Bossy heads out to 12 HOURS OF LODI FARMS
No, I did not race this 12 hour mountain bike relay race as a soloist. I joined up with two other City Bikes affiliates, the team captain Brian P. and the City Bikes Chevy Chase manager Mike K. As it turns our Mike K. is BOSSY, Brian P. is BALD, and I am BIG (as well as being bald and bossy) The time leading up to the race involved a flurry of excitement and anxiety. Everyone was watching the weather channel in anticipation of rain. Those of us who raced this course last year in the rain and the cold had made the honest declaration that we would not bother to race this course again if rain was part of the equation. But as we got closer to the race date and the teams started to get more established I felt as though I would race either way. The real question was whether or not I was going to do the whole race on my rigid single speed. Each member of our three person team had decided independently that they would start the race on the single speed and see how things felt, each of us had all brought a back up bike just in case the course was too brutal to the body on a single speed (a bike lacking a derailuer, thus having only one gear, my bike lacking a suspension fork as well)

Brian, Mike, and I all traveled to the race independently knowing that gathering at the race site would not be tough as the race is a fairly small event and that Mike was headed up to the race with the City Bikes extra long box truck. Upon arrival to the event I found a space next to Brian, with room for my tent (which was to be set up but not used, not even for a 5 minute breather) Immediately I was greeted by friend and fellow Clydesdale Firedawg Don Watkins. Don was racing duo with a retired fireman, I respected their ambition, personally I felt that a three person team was enough of a challenge for me. More power to the duo riders and PROZAC to the ones who opt for solo. There was a buzz around the campground. Everyone was happy to see old friends, familiar faces, and plenty of competition. The atmosphere was somewhat relaxed considering that the midnight race start was approaching fast, but the need to connect with the other racers was as vital as registering for the race and checking over the equipment. One of the City Bikes newbies decided to bleed his hydraulic brakes 20 minutes before the race...to make a long story short he ended up racing on a loaner bike from our race team captain Mike K.
When midnight arrived we were all very excited to get things rolling. Brian P. waited in the transition area with Mike's bike and I waited with Kemlers. The racers were spread out with a a Lemanns style running start to their bikes. I was shocked to see another friend and Clydesdale come around to the bikes in first (this racer was on a crazy fast team that took first in the single speed class) All the racers were anxious to see how fast the lap times were. I went to my big blue truck and suited up to ride. It was a warm night, and shorts and jersey seemed to be enough. I got ready to race with a tummy full of anxiety not knowing if I was going to be snailing around the course on the single geared bike with its 29 inch wheels. It seemed like seconds, but was a bit more than 50 minutes and Mike was already at the START/FINISHLINE...it was not the most fluid transition...but I was at the gate to greet him which is more than I can say for many of the transitions that I have experienced in my years of mountainbike relay racing. My gloves were off, my helmet was a bit askew, and the button on my helmet light was slow to start up and so was I. As I peddled down the crushed grass I hoped that I was headed the right direction. As the grass met some double track I pointed downhill and approached a stream crossing. It was then that I realized that they were running the course backwards this year, I had no advantage from racing this course the two years prior. I dropped in and SPLASH. It was refreshing. The race had begun!
Getting into a groove is always tough for me. Red Bull helps to warm up my legs and lungs, but my races always start a very heavy Darth Vader breathing style for the first several miles and tend to end with the same. What I felt was the halfway point marked a transition in the trail, less log crossing, less tight winding single track, but significantly more up hill. It was one of those situations where a significant amount of my brain power was wasted on asking myself, "when is this course going to end!?!" Sure enough there was a turn onto some jeep road double track and some tiki style lamps in the not so far distance marked the START/FINISHLINE. My laptime was strong, 45 minutes, equally important my body felt good and I was going to stick with the Karate Monkey. Brian P. aka Pooch aka Bald went out on his first lap on the single, enjoyed the experience, but shifted to his geared full suspension bike, Mike also moved to a geared bike for future laps, but that may have had to do with his loaning out his Phil Wood gearless bike to kid with the hydraulic brake issues.

The race momentum had taken over. I was able to get Mike to agree with my aim on racing single laps rather than doubling up having each racer do two laps back to back, sure that would have given each racer time to sleep in the night, but with all the caffeine pumping through our veins and the party atmosphere around the campground it seemed unlikely that anyone would sleep if they had the option.

I never checked the clock or the results board for my lap times or our team's lap position. Our status or my speed would not effect my intensity. My efforts were at their peak and I was going at it as hard as I felt possible, I felt good, rather good, maybe even real good. With my first lap at 45 minutes I felt that later laps were all faster than the first, I was wrong, but it felt that way. In the end even with my multi-crash last lap in the daylight and the rain that gave me a slow lap of 57 minutes I managed to average about 48 minutes per lap. In the end I walked way feeling very good about my efforts on the Karate Monkey, but larger than that I have the long list of memories and the increased bonds that occurred on the course and in the pits. Our base camp was set up along with a gathering of people from MORE (Midatlantic Off Road enthusiasts) It was an impressive display. I was blown away. Scotty from More and PVC (Potomac Velo Club) was a machine. Racing at age 57 on an open class, running back to back laps with an average of roughly 55 minutes per lap he was on fire at the stove. We had pancakes and bacon in the morning and he deep fried some tastee wings at the finish. The team atmosphere was high! Once familiar faces were immediate friends. THere is an energy that is shared at the multilap events that can not be matched at any single day event. Day races are great, but multiday events ROCK!

I had a blast. Was very glad that the pain that I thought was a broken leg on my last lap just happened to be a painful crash. Was also pleased to learn that the Karate Monkey has some grand race potential at some local short climb courses that I am already familiar with.

this is another race report from the same race
but I am not sure that I hit the mark
will read over this and the prior report over tomorrow am
that is
if I have the time
work has been busy

if you want something
if you want to keep it
hold onto it with both hands
one hand is not enough

5.17.2004

12 Hours of Lodi Farms
This is where the BLOG began for me. In the beginning the purpose of the blog was to post my race reports, reports written as an email to my city bikes mountain bike team mates, while here I am starting a blog that may be copy and pasted into an email message and sent along to the team...then again...maybe not. as my 1,000 word race report on michaux was actually a tale about dean and myself battling the rodavirus (perhaps I will post this tale later, if desired, comment if you want to hear the tale in full) that race report did not get the best reviews, it may have lost some of the city bikes audience on my reports as a whole after that entry.
The 12 Hours of Lodi Farms

The twelve hours of lodi farms is a grass roots down home mountainbike race relay race just outside of Fredericksburg Virginia. I have participated in this race on a three person sport team for the last two years. This year I joined up with the City Bikes Team Manager Mike and the City Bikes Mountain Bike Team Captain Brian and raced expert. Big, Bald, and Bossy was the team name, I was not sure why Brian named the team after me, but before the words left my mouth I learned that I was Big, Brian was bald, and Mike is bossy, well, it took the 12 hour relay race for me to really learn that Mike was bossy. Big, Bald, and Bossy registered for the 3 person expert team. Anxiety flowed around the city bikes team/support area. There was talk about how to approach the race. Mike was adamant about us doing two laps back, "doubling up" We discussed it. Brian backed off without opinion. I wanted to do single laps throughout the race. We had all brought single speeds, although we did not register for the single speed class, I was going to try and run this race on my Karate Monkey. Having not raced a rigid 29 inch single speed before I had the twenty six inch blizzard on location. We discussed our abilities and our strengths and came up with a compromise...we each go out for one lap, then we each double up, and then we re-evaluate our strength and race out the morning, this approach would give each racer more time to sleep in the night, having just under 4 hours between laps rather than a buck thirty or so. I agreed to go second just to get on the bike, the anticipation was great...I wanted to ride...the sky was clear while the weatherman called for scattered thunder storms, I wanted to make sure I got some dry laps in before the dry earth became dinosaur shit and the off camber roots became ice-like in texture and grip.
There was a race meeting, the before I could put the bike in the stand to see if it survived the drive, it was time for the LeManns style start. I was in a pack holding Kemler's bike right along side Brian holding Mike's Phil Wood single speed. The racers came screaming out of the woods and the race had begun. Mike was on his bike and I was off to get dressed and to check over the bike. The bike went into the stand, the wheels spun and I thought outloud...IT IS A SINGLE SPEED! and headed over to the start to wait for mike's lap to end and my lap to begin. Mike pulled a fast first lap, somewhere in the range of 50 minutes. So fast that when he arrived I was gloveless and just back from pissing in the woods. At the handoff of the numbered pink scrunchee functioning as a baton I awkwardly tried to turn on my lights and put on my gloves.....the clock had started for my lap....the race had started for me....I got on my bike and started pedaling. The gloves were on, but the lights had not powered up....before I could get frustrated the beam came on, first dimly, then in all of its blue HID glory. I made the turn down a dirt road and saw a stream crossing in front of me...."oh, they are running the course backwards this year, guess I lack the advantage of knowing the course." cleared the water crossing with ease, zipped up the mud embankment, then over a pipe, then a set of roots, my heart race, then my lights unveiled a short steep climb. I was off my bike and galloping up the hill. my heart felt like it was going to explode. questions came my way, "do I pace myself or do I go for it?"..."how will a 29 inch single speed with no suspension effect me?"...."where is the meat of the message for my blog?" at the top of the first hill I was back on the bike. Red Bull pumped fast through my veins. A smile peeled across my face and I thought to myself....ride the bike, just ride the bike, and have fun.

that was the start of lap one
at the end of lap one I was a mixture of smiles and popping veins. I felt good. my time was fast and my body was not exceptionally sore....the karate monkey had won its roll for lap two, my team mates would retire the single speed after one lap. while I would learn that this was the bike for me, well at least the bike for me on this course.

more on this later
I will post this for now without a proof read
maybe after a reread in the morning I will delete and start over
or I may continue from this point

only joel the unlikely editor will know the fate of the electronically typed text
today after a short ride through traffic to say good bye to a friend moving north I grabbed the dogs to go for a hike.
dean was amped. it seemed clear to me that he could use to burn some of the excess energy in the woods, but I could see that he was not in any mood to go hiking. his head says yes, but his legs say no, which cause his mouth to say, "daddy....put me on your shoulders! daddy....put me on your shoulders! daddy....put me on your shoulders!" until I put him on his shoulders, there can be momentary deals, but ten yards later it is all, "daddy....put me on your shoulders!" until I finally raise him up on my shoulders. after the 12 hours of lodi farms or after just your average day at work I am not in the mood to carry all this excess weight on my back. sure I love that whole "courtship of eddie's father" bonding session stuff, but my knees and back are not always feeling the benefits. so I knew how to out smart him. grab Elijah and see if he wanted to hike. dean bought it hook, line, and sinker. we were not on the sidewalk for two houses before the first, "daddy....put me on your shoulders!" the reminder of elijah got him running. we got to elijah's house, the vortex was strong, dean was pulled right past james to elijah's toys. james searched for elijah's shoes. I waited with the dogs outside. the boys were gathered. the rules were set. we were off to the woods. the basic rule. Listen to Joel or immediately go back. the rules started as we stepped into the woods. no sword play, only one stick, no running with sticks, etc. the boys were off and running, without sticks by my command. every 20 yards it was a gathering of cicadas or banging a tree with a stick, until I distracted them with the idea of running, racing, turbo boost, or putting it in over drive. they ran the whole loop. racing up slippery hill or going to the fort were all great motivators, but calling them each a t-rex and getting them growl as they ran....this got us home....well back to the sidewalk. I had seen all the cicada shells on the leaves and branches and wanted to take some pictures of lisa, dean, and grant. we are going to put together a set of images of the boyz with cicadas; NOT TO BE OPENED FOR 17 YEARS! So that they know that they have experienced this phenomena before, well if the world is still hear or if the current president and his frat boy buddies have not paved over all the green space in the next 17 years...after all Rock Creek is great real estate for a Hoyts Cinema, a Target, and a parking lot.

Never made it back to the house. The sidewalk was a more obvious place for the boys to collect the live adult cicadas. they were scared at first. but soon they were picking up the adults and placing them in a insect container with a magnifying glass lid. they were pumped.

no photos to tell the tale
but I have the memory

more cicadas tomorrow

maybe by the weeks end Dean will be able to explain the life cycle of the Cicada on his own
after all
it is all happening in front of us

5.14.2004

THE SHINING
(in 30 seconds as re-enacted by bunnies)
GRANNY IS BACK!
or so Laird Knight hopes
The history of GRANNY GEAR is told on GRANNYGEAR.com so I will not give you the recap of his contributions to the sport of mountainbiking, but I will tell you that these contributions have been grand. The 24 hour race format in mountainbiking did not exist before Laird presented it in Canaan Valley West Virgina in 1992. Lights were not then what they are now....people were racing on rigid bikes with AA powered handlebar mounted lights, SUICIDE by todays standards! Okay, that is more history than I wanted to present, but I could not contain myself.

This year Laird and his Granny Gear Crew are returning with the TOUR OF CANAAN on top of The 24 Hours of SNOWSHOE (once the 24 Hours of Canaan. This mountainbike stage race looks awesome! I do not think I am going to attend, but I already dread hearing others tell the tales of glory and of woe. Everyone hates to miss the party. Sadly I fear I am going to miss this one, but I am going to try to attend any and every other party that I can this race season. This weekend is the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms, as mentioned in previous BLOGS there is threat of rain....no one wants to race this thing in the rain. I raced it with Rob Leary and Eric Welp (both City Bikes team members) last year, we braved though the rain and mud and managed to take first in SPORT. This year I am joining up with two different City Bikes affiliates, Pooch and Mike, Pooch being the team captain and Mike being the shop manager in Chevy Chase. IT should be a hoot and a hollar! We had set up to wimp out if we were to be under heavy rain, but now that Mike ahs commited himself to bring a support van I think we are set to race RAIN OR SHINE!
I have asked for people to think fast and dry, but that never seems to work.
So I ask that you wish me luck....
Just as I raced several weeks ago and had to fight the off camber slick rocks and roots at Escape de Granogue. My main desire is to move around the course as quickly as I can without getting hurt. Hopefully I can race fast and hard and walk way feeling good about my performance and go home without breaking my body or my bike

5.13.2004

bike repair...
there is something organic about taking time out of your day to work on your bike
for me it just does not happen enough
when it does it feels good
the results are more than immediate
this work needs to be done
tonight after hiking with dean and the dogs; dinner with lisa, grant, dean, and the dogs; then some chasing dean and neighbor elijah down the block on their bikes (no dogs); giving dean a bath and into bed then down to the basement
plugged the iPod into the auxiliary plug of my ten year old boom box and got to work
some very simple projects
some things that need to be done
there are only so many parts on a bicycle
a little tweak can make a world of difference
tonight was spent removing and replacing some cleats on two pairs of shoes
fuck-an-a
that shit was loose, inoperable
I have no idea how I managed to ride my bike down the block with those cleats so lose
could get in and could hardly get out
I did not replace the cleats
they were removed and the put back on
one cleat would not come off
got out the dremel and did some mini grinding
sparks were flying
I felt like a man...a real man
(all I have to do is pull down my pants or take a look at my kids to see that I am a real man....but there are other things that give off a similar effect)
it was a process....
it is done
very rewarding
now it is done
all of this has inspired me to get my basement together
set up my shop
clean up the garage
and have tools on the wall ready for action

oh
got out of work early today to hang with Dean
had big plans to ride him along behind the bike behind the trailer
once home I found him settling in for a nap
so I went and ran some errands in the big blue truck
went to Chevy Chase Maryland chasing a rumor that trash or treasure day was happening now
then to City Bikes for some chatting with this weekend's relay race team mate Mike
bought a few things....some socks and some brake pad (and some screws for the cleats as I knew that they often get stripped in the process.....in this case they got chopped!)
then I went into the garage, loaded the truck up with 4 bikes a stack of tires and a number of wheels
drove down to Chain Reaction and donated that stuff to a bicycle not for profit in the Shaw neighborhood
felt pretty good about it
got rid of some shit
put it into some use
anything is better than having it rot in the garage

saw scotty again today as I was riding home from work
I yelled at him and asked why he was not riding the bike that I gave him
(he actually got a full bike and a frame and all sorts of parts and wheels)
we laughed at the exchange
I have always enjoyed our exchanges
but would love to see him riding one of those bikes
for some reason he thinks it is too nice to work on
(that is to work as a messenger on
which is funny...I gave those bikes to him so that he would be faster and safer on the streets
surprised I did not give him a helmet

5.12.2004

currently monitoring WEATHER.com
this weekend there is the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms
really looking forward to it
this is a great grass roots style relay race event
3 person mountainbike relay race that starts at midnight and ends at noon the next day
(people also race duo and solo)
the team that does the most laps in the 12 hour time span wins the race
it is a great course
tight winding single track
roller coaster ride
no real climbs just a few short grinds
the current plan is to ride the Monkey
the Blizzard will be there for back up
hope my lights body and bike hold up
the rain icon on WEATHER.com causes some hesitation
if it if storming on saturday afternoon into the evening
well
we are not planning on attending
I have done this race
I have done this race in the rain, cold rain
no need to do this race in the rain and cold again
SERENITY NOW!
SERENITY NOW!

I need some anger management techniques
things that should not bother me bother me
and they bother me for far too long
my blood boils
my heart races
and my mind spins
like a fool I dwell on things for far too long
after letting things get to me that should not even be considered
today on the hill (capitol hill)I had to hail a cab to get back to the office
so when I exited the capitol building I could see that there were a number of people looking to catch a cab on the corner
so as I walked towards the intersection I went ahead and moved to the other side of the street and further "up stream"
putting me higher in the queue for the oncoming traffic and oncoming cabs
once on the corner I waited patiently for what was to be my turn
traffic backed up
and vacant cabs were further up the block
as I was next in line I started up the block to get my cab a few cars away
both getting my turn and getting in the cab as it was stopped and allowing myself to catch the next green light...it was approaching 6:30, I usually leave work at 5
as I moved up the block some chic with a perm and a power suit high stepped it passed me
and moved for my cab
I asked her..."are you going up stream to catch my cab"
she did not get it....she thought that her snake like actions were without malice
you can not snake a snake
at least I did not go up stream in front of the patiently waiting pedestrians
I had made my move a block behind them way out of view
our interchange frustrated me
I jokingly said, "if you want that cab you are going to have to share it with me...."
and of course this women in her power suit with her power pumps and her power perm would have nothing to do with sharing a cab with the likes of me
serenity now
serenity now
breathe deeply
relax
meditate

I got in the cab
held my tongue
there was an exchange of funny faces
it took restrain to hold back my tongue and my middle finger
as I sat down still holding eye contact
wondering if I should have given her more ground and tripped her as she gained speed my pager broke free from my hip
then 20 yards forward the driver of my cab pulled over and grabbed another fare
then as he drove he received a phone call
KARMA BABY
the call was short
I allow for a 30 second phone call and then I usually make a pleasant request that the driver not talk on the cell phone while driving
this usually puts me on the curb
but
I figure if I take enough cab rides
the cell phones will always ring
I will get closer to my destination
and be close enough to walk
all of these variables added up to be a near panic attack
until I started to laugh at myself
humor...nature's cure all
and I can be quite a joker
so I laughed
only tipped the driver 50 cents
let him know that he got his tip was the action of the other fare
as that fare caused us to take a very ineffcient route

I paid for going up stream
even if the other people waiting for their cabs did not know that I had intentionally gone upstream
I knew
and that was enough to make me pay

(this occurance was one of several with a women of the modern age...the attitude and the lack of social grace...something about being a women....the things they expect...especially the attractive ones)
this is not the page for the insecure or for the Clydesdale

but

for those curious
here is the BMI Calculator
Body Mass Index

guess I need to go for a long ride
and make less stops at the all you can eat buffet table
to keep on the BUG TIP here is something that I have heard about
but have yet to hear any rear reviews about

BUZZ OFF

this is clothing has a natural insect repelant built in
it is apparently good for 25 washes
(of course you want to was it separate from other clothing, but, if it works then there is no arguement that it could be a good purchase...especially for the DC residents who exist on the land that was once a SWAMP!)
ATTACK OF THE CICADA!
or
THE RETURN OF THE 17 YEAR CICADA!(for those of us old enough to experience this natural phenomena before)

INVASION OF THE CICADA!

okay
no one is going to pay me to name their next Sci Fi feature film

click on the image bellow for more information on our soon to arrive noisy guests



more Cicada fun facts
Ah the carefree days of college....
there was an article in the Washington Post with some images of some St. Mary's College students jumping naked off the dock on the SMC campus

I recall that whole nudity thing...
Carron Kradler, a very cute hippie chic with long blonde hair, streaking across campus with a banner that read "I Brake for Ted Lewis"
(Ted Lewis being the president of the college at the time)
and the graduating class president cruising across campus nude on a bike wearing nothing but a backpack

ah those were the days
that whole senior week was decadent
but then again so were my four and half years in college

5.11.2004

FATHERHOOD/BROTHERHOOD and basic ramblings
Fatherhood is everything that people warned and claimed it would be
all the good/all the bad and more
the good clearly out weighs the bad
Dean can be such a joy
rapidly approaching three
he is such a little man
sometimes I think that I spend too much time just laughing and playing with him
we "wrassle" we giggle we scream til we are hoarse then scream some more
I tickle him til his infectious laugh over takes me
he runs full speed and pounces on me
he does this again, again, and again
til I am tired
then he does it some more
I call him "gator" in some back woods accent and toss him about the room
should I be training and teaching him
where is the 'structured play?'
are these the building blocks of his character?
are we headed down the wrong path?
...such is life
I am who I am and this is the father I shall be
Dean (and his baby brother Grant) is going to be a product of my efforts
my brother commented to his son eric at his 4th birthday party that I am a man of immediate gratification
this is true
there was no effort to argue and no need to take it the wrong way
it is discriptive and it explains the path of my life
as well as the contrast to my brother's
we are very much the same, yet also very different
it is peculuar how similar we are
and intriguing that all of our differences can be traced to that one variable
my being a person of immediate gratification
while my brother searches for the a further goal
perhaps that is why he has a PhD
and I drank my way through college in 4 and a half years
sure I understand the correlation between achievement and sacrifice
weigh the scales
I accept my loses for my immediate gains
it is who I am
it is how my life is going
I respect my brother, his choices, his achievements, and his sacrifices
but I do not wish to trade places with him or anyone else for that matter
the path I have taken is what got me here
I like who I am and I like the life I am living
the direction I am going is pleasing to me
sure so much of my life has been scripted by the wind
but as I have grown older certain roots have caused me to settle
wife and child
before that
dogs and house
all of these things are anchors
these things are all great rewards
none of which would have been achieved with some sacrifice
yet I still fall victim to fulfilling my immediate needs

sure dean and I do other things
we hike with the dogs
lately he has been on my shoulders more than on the trail
but when on the trail he knows to "stay on the trail"
"not to run with sticks in his hands"
and maybe a few other things
give me a minute
I think that I have taught him something somewhere

he is a winning negotiator
I rarely win an arguement with him
he asks to read a book
we read it
we read it 10 times
he asks that we read it again
we agree that this time will be the last
after that Dean says "can we read it one last time again?"
I explain that you can not have another last time
but he is always right
as we read it again
proving that the last last time was not the last

okay
I am blogging to blog
I have just been overtaken by the ability to use my laptop wireless in the other room
best I take a break
as my rants are long and running no where
I want to try to put something entertaining enough so that people come back
or at least enjoy what they are reading while they are here
I know I have enjoyed writing it
and I also enjoy going back and rereading some of this stuff
but this
I may come back and delete
FUNNY STUFF
In addition to wandering the web and reading random BLOGS
I also enjoy stepping back through the electronic pages of my own BLOG
early this evening I commented to one of those RANDOM BLOGGERS and included a link to my page
but felt that the close up view of my nasal hairs and the rants of the days past did not give the best impression of who I am
so I went to a RANDOM ARCHIVE and cut and pasted that to share with them a better sample
with that page loaded front and center I scrolled through and read some
it made me giggle
was it the blog or this vodka drink?
either way
my mouth curled up on its edges and my stomach tingled
life is good
BLOGGING is the personal journal and diary that we all should keep
THANK YOU BLOG
THANKS
The Changing World
The Changing Technology
and
My Changing Life

to think that I ever lived without a computer
now I own several
use them for work
use them to play
ah the technology
wireless connections
iPods
and the technology we love to hate, CELL PHONES
the things that did not exist
the things we never imagined and never knew that we would need
we would be crippled without email
how would we communicate?
how would we interact?

are things ever going to go RETRO with this whole technological age?
in the world of the bicycle there have always been the retro types
those clinging to yesterday's technology claiming it is better
but how about in the world of technology
sure the bicycle has moved to dual suspension with 27 gears
which created the subculture of those who choose the suspensionless frame with a single cog in the back
but how about the world of technology?
are there people out their with rotary dial, licking stamps, writing letters, and communicating with others via their cassette tape answering machine?

and to think...
there was a time when I stayed out all night
had not kids
and lived a life without health insurance
ah
those were the days
better check my watch, can't stay up too late
the kids get up so early
better not fix another drink, don't want to be hung over when Dean jumps on my head in the morning
and the dogs....
I can not remember living a life without dogs
the house was not home without roscoe and brutus

(and no, blogging without caps and punctuation is not an effort to be poetic, it is my lazy/efficient/preferred style)
here is the before
and the big head on your screen is after!

bearded.bmp


that is a funny shot
BIG TOO!
it was taken a few minutes after the finish of Escape De Granogue bu NCVCer Kevin Dillard
he seemed to get a kick out of the beardless state of my face
ended up calling me Grizzley Adam's Yuppie Twin Brother
(or something like that)

5.10.2004

Single Speed Race at State College PA
here are the details that I got in an email this morning from Eric Roman (former courier, one of the founding members of the City Bikes Mountainbike Team, part owner of a shop in State College PA, and single speed demon!)


ECNASSCU Part Deux
The trails are in the best shape in recent years, the
town has emptied out now that school is over, and the
weather is amazing. The East Coast North American
Single Speed Championship of The Universe Part Deux is
is only 3 weeks away. The same deal as last
year...$20, 7 stages, food and beer, Go Carts, amazing
trails. This year has promised to be Larger with more
racers, prizes, and an exciting new offering from a
more than one company. If you miss this one you just
may have to wait and read about it...and who really
wants to read about the fun everyone else had?!? As
last year, make reservations at hotels/motels early.
There will be floor space for as many as need, NEW
this year- I'll have a map of suggested camping spots
in the forest. Register at MtNittanyWheelworks 'til 6
and then later reg. is at Zeno's Bar on the corner of
College and Allen Streets. Yes there is a cover but
it's for the band. Start is about 10am at the Ski Area
again. So, that's it for now. Come one, come
all...spread the word...see you at the end of the month......Eric Roman

5.08.2004

Bike to Work day.
this friday past was Bike to Work Day in Washington DC
as things happened my shift at work that day combined with lisa's new part time work schedule with friday's off created a flexible opportunity to head down to the rally at Freedom Plaza
the mayor spoke
several council members spoke
members of waba spoke
even one of the owners of City Bikes, a sponsor of the event, spoke
it was cool
it was a great gathering
all sorts of bicycle people were there
those that bike for work (couriers) were well represented
there were all sorts of freds; the commuter crowd
and an assortment of other cyclists
many familiar faces
free t-shirts
free water bottles
stickers
mini fanny packs
all sorts of junk that most people do not want and will never use were given away
it was a great event
people enjoyed having their heads counted
had some great conversations with some people from the Nationa Park Service on some cycling related issues
ran into all sorts of old friends and familiar faces
it was a party
an early morning party
glad I attended
glad to be associated with everyone there.....the freds, the racers...whatever and whoever was out there
Washington DC is a great starting or finishing spot for a cross country cycling tour
It is not uncommon for me to meet a mud clad cyclists with a bicycle loaded down with a trailer or panniers headed west on the C&O Canal or coming east down the same path putting the final miles to their cross country journey.
On my daily commutes I tend to growl at the other cyclist, but occassionally there is a pleasant exchange. One winter night I rode up on a man on a road bike, we exchanged pleasantries, pedaled along the same path for a few blocks and split off. Several months later I was stranded on the Capital Crescent Trail with a flat tire, my front and rear tires had gone flat due to the traps left by a Nature Nazi on some of the trails along side of the CCT. I was marching into work late. When this same cyclist offered me a patch. On initial glance we did not recognize each other. It was a warmer season, we were each in significantly less clothing, and were both on different bicycles. But as soon as his Aussie accent peaked out I recalled that we had met before. My mind went through an algorhym and recovered the information of our first meeting. As I patched the holes in my tube we exchanged names, talked gear, and the topic of John's upcoming cross country came to surface.
It is a unique set of cricumstances. John has a job, is married, and has several children who he loves dearly. It seems that they love John well enough to know that this is something that he wants to do. Even his 5 year old son knew that his dad was going to "find an adventure."
and sure enough that is what he is doing
here is his diary
no time for me to highlight it
I have not had time to do much more than view a few of the images from his journey
check it out
John's Cross Country Diary

5.05.2004

. MEAN GIRLS .

honestly I would not know anything about this film if it were not for the fact that a women down the block from me wrote the book that this feature film is loosely based off of

I have yet to see it
but when walking the dogs after dropping Dean off at the Rosemount Daycare Center I ran into James and Luke, the husband and dog of the women who wrote that book
we spoke of the response to the movie
I said that I looked forward to seeing it after reading that it was similar to a personal favorite HEATHERS
he then told me that the writer of heathers is the brother of the director of Mean Girls or something like that
SUPERMAN and well...Jerry.

Check it out
when the page loads
click on the film canister that says UNIFORM
it is amusing
and amusingly long

stole this off another bicycle blogger's page; GUNDOG99
yes that is me in the City BIkes ORANGE AND RED!
not the most glorious place for a "photo op"
makes mountainbike racing look like touring
not that there is anything wrong with touring, just different beasts

speaking of BEASTS....I am so much larger than those other people
guess that is what makes me a CLYDESDALE



then again there were moments in the race where we exited the woods and hit these fire roads or jeep roads
there were glorious views of cows grazing in misty green fields
and openness as far as the eye could see
or as far as I could see for the two seconds that I looked up rather than focusing on the path before my front wheel

a good race
a good time

5.04.2004

SPEED
or more specifically.....Personal Best.
It is always a tough thing to take when there is a change in command or a shift in order. For years I felt that I had a slight edge on the bike over a number of my peers. More than anything this edge was based off of years of experience rather than hours of training. As many of us have stepped into adult lifestyles, which include wives and kids there have been some adjustments. Some riders have adapted with more sophisticated approaches to their sport and there are those of us who have stepped up riding to training, others have sacrificed other sports and activities and concentrated our energies on less broad range of interests (sports that overlap instead of conflict.) There is this one friend of mine, Todd. He has a wife, two kids, a straight job, basically a similar set of variables minus the need to be social and slug down jugs of wine (okay I am starting with the excuses already.) Well, over the years I have compared his times to mine. In the Canaan/Snowshoe 24hour arena our times were similar, I tended to just edge him out by a few minutes on fastest lap and a few minutes on faster average. Then in recent years as his team the Mud Flounders have been boycotting the 24 hour events Todd has put his interests more into Cyclocross. On top of his shift from mountain to cross, he has also become leaner and meaner. He has dropped from his 200+ frame to be a solid 185. He has altered his base weight, his legs are leaner and his body is faster. During the winter months I accepted that he was faster than me in cross, what was a place or two the year prior, became him placing in the top 5 while I was mid pack. I rested confident that cross was my off season and that mountain was my thing. Well, this weekend past Todd finished his sport race several minutes faster than I finished my Clydesdale class. Sure on another day on another course the balance of the scales may fall in my favor. The long and the short of this story is that I will need to train more or else I am going to be left in the dust.
(this same tale of commitment finding speed exists in the same transition between my brother and myself....I was once faster now he holds the crown)
Guess I need to follow suit and start placing more miles as a priority
or
accept that these people are all going to drop me