10.23.2012

Dallas Jones... Pearl Harbor Survivor!

this weekend past DCMTB hosted DCCX... 

what is DCCX?
a quick translation 
follow the logic of DCMTB
DC MTB is a Washington DC based mountain bike club\team
hence DC Mountain Bike

so what is DCCX? 
ah... the same logic
DC= Washington DC and CX= Cyclocross
DCCX is a cyclocross race hosted in Washington DC at the AFRH

what? you need me to back up and define cyclocross?
google it yourself

huh?
what is the AFRH?
AFRH is The Armed Forces Retirement Home
ah yes... yes... The Old Soldier's Home
https://www.afrh.gov/afrh/ 

The Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington DC is an amazing piece of land nestled in the city just a few miles from the White House and all that other Federal activity that is classically known as DC
the AFRH is surrounded by various neighborhoods 

The AFRH is a bit of its own little island
an island that is unknown to so many people
sure... so people pass the fences when driving down Irving Street over by Washington Hospital Center
but really... who knows what is inside?

some people wondering what is on the other side of the fence
some people seeing the golf activity
others oblivious to the grounds as they speed by looking at nothing by their cell phone as they drive
either way... seen or unseen the grounds are entrenched with history and life

I existed on the outside for many years
never knowing... never knowing anything more than the name of the property and the presence of the golf course
but over the years... over the many years I have been a part of DCMTB squad that hosts the event that is DCCX

I have come to have a better understanding of what exists inside this fence
there is talk of the Lincoln Cottage
and well... maybe information on this is best found elsewhere
https://www.afrh.gov/afrh/wash/whistory.htm

now...  I am just a tiny cog in the small machine that is DCCX 
which is the team that puts on the somewhat major production that is DCCX
I have my duties and I have my tasks
over the years I have had my contributions to my pieces of the puzzle

years ago I unearthed the bricks that is now a memorable feature of the very identifiable DCCX course
my brother is one of the race directors... which is a major contribution
yet... small as they are... I have my contributions
my greatest contribution is that I am the head of the lil belgian's race
that is the little kid "just for fun race"

may I put on my resume that I am the "Race Director of the DCCX Lil Belgian's Event?"

while juniors\young kids can race on the main course
there is a tradition of cyclocross events fostering the love of the sport and fun for the family by having these Lil' Belgian small kid races
this is for the smaller kids... maybe 9 or 10 and under

the diminutive course has its limitations
there comes a time when the kids are capable of more
that said... the 9-10-11 year olds can have fun taking laps on the lil belgian course

but there comes a point where the kids get to transition to the real deal

my older son Dean is 11 and is in his second year of riding his bike in a cyclocross race with kids of race ages 10-14
Dean is wearing all cotton and on a mountain bike

then younger Grant is now 8 and is on a 24 inch geared mountain bike
years previously he had a loaner skinny tire bmx bike that was light and single speed
faster for race day
but impractical for every day riding
maybe perfect for a bmx track or a pump track
but not geared to ride home from school or in Rock Creek Park on the weekends
so... we returned it as we felt we outgrew it
yet... I yearn for it as I know that this is a short course and the bike's lightness would give a serious advantage

but that is not my point
that is far from the meat of the message
as a cycling father I was self conscious about my kids' each yearning for the lighter cyclocross bikes and the official cyclocross gear
so many kids on fancy little bikes with skinny tires and their skin tight "kits"

I was self conscious about my parenting
was I being cheap?
was I not nurturing my kids' interests?
was it okay that my kids were in all cotton on mountain bikes at a cyclocross event
WITHOUT A PIT BIKE!

my point...
I have already started to wander

really wanted to throw something down before it was all forgotten
may be too late for that












 Dallas Jones a resident at the Armed Forces Retirement Home was in attendance at DCCX the only cyclocross race in The District

Dallas Jones helped out with the Lil' Belgians by giving a motivational speech at the start of the race and then by handing out the medals at the end of each race

it saddens me that Dallas Jones did not have a microphone at the time of this speech... I had no idea that he would have such choice words... I had no idea that his words would fall on deaf ears... the wind was blowing... his voice got lost in the wind... I was the only person within ear shot
what he said was beautiful and profound

yet I have forgotten exactly what he said

it really amazed me to read this piece about Mr. Jones and his career in the US military
www.afrh.gov

it was really great to have a chance to rub elbows with a real American Hero!

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