almost all of us are passionate about cycling, but often for entirely different reasons. some people feel that cycling provides a healthy and convenient outlet for exercise. others use it to channel stress from busy lives into more useful exertion. some use it to simplify their lives, accomplishing on a bike what many use a car for. and some just like pedaling as fast as their little legs will take them; trying to go a little faster or a little longer.
it’s interesting to read about sporting heroes, but at a certain point, it can be difficult to really identify with their accomplishments. they are impressive in a herculean way, but their feats can seem distant and unattainable. on the other hand, there are a lot of ordinary people capable of extraordinary things. they may be friends or neighbors or co-workers, and doing something new or offering a fresh perspective on something old.
amateur sports can offer the chance for people to produce stunning and transformative results. their feats may not be as impressive as a 52 minute 40k TT in an absolute sense. however, for those people, the struggle to achieve a particular goal, or balance a passion for cycling with work, family and other obligations can be equally heroic.
so here begins some examples. Sim Green will be our first contributor. in a subsequent post, you’ll find out more about Sim and how he is attempting to balance work and family and school and cycling. Sim is a very good choice as he used to live and race in our district. he was a mountain bike and road racer who lived in Warrenton, Virginia for a few years. he raced with Whole Wheel Velo Club and Evolution, and through hard wark and perseverence, he has slowly ascended into competition at the national level in France. oh, and he is one of the nicer guys you’ll run into over a bike. Sim is living in the south of France and will be racing in 2006 with the Castelsarasin Bouygues Telecom Team. we’ll try to get updates periodically and will post them.
We’re actively looking for more voices. If you’re interested in contributing through blogging or maintaining a diary, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
not much text today but lots to see. please post any positive thoughts in the comments. i brought my neighbor scott coakley (the yellow jacket) out. he commutes occasionally and made a very good showing. he’s got a sweet cross rig with disc brakes. nice. you can see more over at the rockville harley blog site.
from the vienna stop:
from the rosslyn stop:
from DC and the mall…
and now some shout outs. not exactly name checks, but almost as good.
smoothest ride: the paint job on that tandem was tight. you had to see it.
the ambassador: bringing people to cycling, and also recipient of the union’s sincerest apologies. we wish to restore his name to good standing. we called him out to make sure he rode. and he rode. pete is a hero of the people.
the finally, an event which could, singlehandedly, cause me to abandon my support for bike to work day…
i have a video of this as well but the people’s server won’t host it. i need to cut it down a bit from it’s current 15 seconds but will email it to anyone who is interested. if you can watch all 15 seconds and still believe that waba is in the business of bicycle advocacy, i will buy you a bagel with nutella at greenbelt.
with tomorrow being bike to work day (which is still mandatory, so no questions at this point please) all good citizens collectively let their minds drift towards alternative transportation. i decided to get in some early practice last night, as you can never be too prepared. i had corresponded with robb hampton about hooking up with him to ride out to the greenbelt race from dc. when i had not heard from him at 17:00h, i went ahead and made my own arrangements. the rough plan was to ride to greenbelt, race and then rode to the metro and take the metro home. i apologize in advance for the lack of pictures for this post. I had the camera but the threat fo rain made me lock it away in several ziploc bags.
i left the office and headed out through capitol hill and north-east washington. interestingly, i ran into dana from coppis who yelled my name. i stopped and we chatted for a few moments. he pointed out some pretty ominous looking clouds on the horizon, and said he was bagging his plans to head to hains point. i asked if he wanted to accompany me to greenbelt and he declined graciously, but suggested to me that i might get caught in the downpour. being pigheaded, i decided to prove him, the empirical evidence produced by nexrad, radar and satellite, and all the idiot weathermen wrong.
the ride out rhode island avenue to riverdale is actually pretty nice. without working too hard, i was clearly moving faster than traffic. josh and i lived in riverdale so i was tempted along the way to ride past some of our old haunts but was pressed for time and passed. for those who are interested, travel time is about 45 minutes. and speaking of alternative transportation, i was very happy ot see the traffic circle between mt.ranier and hyattsville. a little taste of europe. just lookout for the monster pothole on the north-east side. it’s a wheel eater and invisible to you if there are cars in front.
instead of going up kenilworth to university, i elected to enter the park on the south side and follow the road that goes by the campground. it was a nice ride but just began to sprinkle lightly as i entered the park. the friendly road guards said the race was still on so i rolled up to registration. it was working smoothly. they still had bagels and peanut butter and nutella. right on.
it’s important to note that your powers of observation are what will help you improve as a cyclist. we can all only train to a certain point, and after that it’s making good choices and psychological toughness. i have to hand it to the rockville harley guys; they had their game going early. sean barrie tried to distract me with talk about our recent crashes while mark johnson swooped in and took the other half of the bagel i was planning on fueling up with. at least he opted for peanut butter and didn’t take the last of the nutella. incidentally, nutella is the fuel. we dont’ really do sponsorship, but i do believe i am allowed to sing the praises of products i like. so here goes: noooooo….teeeellll…..aaaahhhh……is the bomb.
i’m sure it won’t be nearly as good as what servio will deliver tomorrow at freedom plaza, but we do what we can. the greenbelt race was uneventful up until a bad crash in the b race took down two of dc velo’s finest. the latest updates on their condition can be found here. i think i speak for all of us when we wish both of them and marjan a quick recovery. while it was hard to see them all in obvious states of significant discomfort, it was heartening to see the racers generally just stop racing and a lot of people stop to see if there was anything they could do to help.
it’s been a while since i habitated in that area so i want to also send out a very quick thanks to the whole route 1 velo team for providing a volunteer to lead me to the metro station since i was clearly dis-combob-ulated and incorrectly thought i knew the route. thats a nice series, and they are nice peoples. as if the nutella was not enough. i remember pete lindeman saying to me a year or two ago that he’d be satisfied doing nothing but racing greenbelt all summer. i agree, if only i could find a way to move to greenbelt from where i am now and drop the interminable post race commute.
on a totally separate note, i want pictures tomorrow from bike to work day. email them to me and i’ll be sure they get up. that means you. yeah, the picture part, that’s mandatory as well.
you mention to people that you’re planning a little bar-b-q and the flying monkeys start screeching about class warfare. what the hell is going on out there??!! from the comments:
5/16/2006 7:42:21 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00) Chicken and chorizo?? That seems awfully bourgeois to me. Seems like a steady diet of potatoes and cabbage is just fine for the masses.
we cannot allow this sort of accusation to stand. if we become complacent, these ideas appear unchallenged, and possibly even earn merit in the eyes of those who are less critical in evaluating information. throwing hurtful words like that around cannot provide us with any traction on the real problem.
i will freely admit the revolution took a bit of a pause last night. those who were lucky enough to receive a solid, state-provided education will undoubtedly recognize it as a caesura. the union forces took a well-earned break to consolidate their gains in the gardens just outside of the plaza de la revolucion. food was enjoyed in moderation, but people were truly indulgent in giving thanks to our brothers and sisters who work the land to provide the bulghar wheat for our tabouli, the root vegetables for our plates, and the teamsters who work tirelessly to bring this bounty to our state-provided housing.
but what to make of the implication that the vanguard of the party receives perks or has a higher standard of living than others? this is the divisive rhetoric that we have become accustomed to from the self-important western media enterprises that this “pete” works for. this claim was intended to tar us with the accusation of hypocrisy; asking others to sacrifice while we indulge ourselves in the best of everything. rubbish! true patriots would not need proof of our modest celebration, but for those who are more cynical, I present the following. as one can clearly see, the grill offers a modest feast. but look more closely…
yes, the true feast is to be found in the wisdom of the manifesto. I asked my son, a young pioneer, and anxious to become a party member in his own right, to run into our house and get the essential stuff we needed for a bar-b-q. and this is what he returned with:
salvadorean chorizo, bar-b-q sauce and a book of the sayings of the racing union elders. though i am generally not sentimental, i will admit i became a bit misty; so proud that my son has internalized the valuable lessons we teach. and though he appears to be eyeing the snausages, i can assure you we spent many fine moments discussing the manifesto.
I’ve got to get home so my wife can get out and do the tuesday reston ride so no post today. my son (second from the right in the picture below) and i will be making little copies of the manifesto to hand out in our neighborhood on bike to work day and helping our neighbors to better understand the philosophy of collectivism. oh yeah, and we’ll be bar-b-q-ing some chicken and chorizo. right on.
feel free to post thoughts in the comments.
Bunny Hop, 30+
This was a fun and educational race for me. First of all, it was fast. Fast and smooth. There was really only one corner of any significance in this race and my goal on each lap was to just keep my speed, stay in my line and be cool. It was a 60 minute race. I thought coming in that I would see how it would go in the regular 30+ field and try to stay in for 30 minutes (mistake #1). Well, we got to 30 minutes and I started looking at the laps-to-go instead of just concentrating on efficient riding (mistake #2). So after one particularly hard lap, I just kinda sat up and stopped (super mistake #3).
Baker Park, 30+ Cat 4/5
This crit was 20 laps of a long skinny rectangle with three 90 degree turns and one gentle curve coming into a slight uphill finish. The pace seemed to be faster and more race-like than Carl Dolan and I could see good attempts to break away and good team efforts to catch various riders. PoWER put four or five in the race and seemed to dominate from the gun. I started out perhaps a bit too cautiously and ended up towards the back of the 75 starters. There were a number of primes, so that kept the pace pretty high throughout. The best place to move up was on the uphill straight, so after about five laps I made a good effort to get up to about half way back. At about six laps to go I went hard on the inside of the uphill and popped right up to the front of the group–somewhere in the top three or four. I settled in and held a good position in the top ten for another three or so laps. Half way through three to go, I either picked a bad line coming into turn two, or someone attempted to “Gibbons” me and I had to break hard to avoid this, skidded a bit, and lost all my speed. I found myself instantly dangling off the back of the group at just the wrong time. I had to give it a strong effort to regain my speed and tried to move up again, but the pace at the front didn’t abate and I was just a too gassed to pick up any spots. I rolled in at the back of the group for 32nd. Overall, not a bad outing.
that’s right campers, free swim at the pool! the baker park cat 5 felt like a good race, for all the shennanigans. someone can correct me, but i believe it was 20 laps, or thereabouts, with a whopping 7 primes to keep all of us neophytes pedalling hard. there was rain, but it held off for most of the race. i dont need to add to mike’s course description, and i’d just note that up at the front, at least, things stayed fairly civilized going through the turns. there was a crash on the back side with 2-3 laps to go which took out 2 riders, one of whom is rumored to have suffered a broken ankle. if so, the union sends its sympathies. my performance was somewhat restrained-i am now on vacation in boston and didn’t want to miss my flight due to hospitalization. however, i hung out in the front group, chased a break or two, and jumped for 2 primes when it looked like everyone else was taking it easy. I did not contest the final sprint, but came in right behind it, in 9th place. baker is a really sweet course. ride on, brothers!
petition: “I work at home. So should I simply sit on my bike for a little while, then commence my daily labor?”
resulting determiniation by the people’s committee for the monitoring and assessment of proposed transportation efficiency measures.
determination number: det-ru-05122006-038-5342-ru-75hs7654-uth0003
case details: petitioner notes that location of work and location of domicile are identical. petitioner tacitly expresses support for the goals of the revolution and accedes to the mandatory nature of the event by proposing to mount bicycle within structure which functions as both domicile and place of work. petitioner is credited with patriotism towards the cause and creativity in coming up with solution to previously unanticpated situation.
determination: petition is denied. the people’s committee for the monitoring and assessment of proposed transportation efficiency measures draws attention to the lack of visibility that the proposed solution would receive, being contained with domicile/workplace building. further, the committee notes that the central thesis advanced in it’s previous communcations was the benefit of outreach: introducing non-cycling citizens to the joys and benefits of this necessary mode of alternative transportation. petition is denied on the grounds that the principle anticipated benefits to the cycling proletariat will not be realized to a sufficient degree. the committee proposes that the petitioner follow the suggested guidance, find a fellow citizen and escort them to their place of work via bicycle.
concurrence with comment from the central ministry for planning;
received 05112006 :: 19:15:51
approved 05112006 :: 20:23:16
comment: central ministry for planning accedes to the wise recommendations offered by the people’s committee for the monitoring and assessment of proposed transportation efficiency measures. however, we take issue with their failure to note the egregious use of capitalization in their submitted petition. the use of arbitrary distinctions, whereby some letters are made larger or more important than others is a clear sign of a mind that has a proclivity towards class distinctions. our customary recommendation is such a situation would be the opportunity for this citizen to attend a 10-12 day re-education camp where the true benefits of sharing the wealth generated by all citizens could be made ever-more apparent to this individual. however, we acknowledge the patriotism and bravery embodied in the initial petition and recommend instead that they be offered the opportunity to demonstrate good will towards the cause by distributing copies of the manifesto to friends and neighbors. this corrective action is proposed as an addition to the determination made by the people’s committee for the monitoring and assessment of proposed transportation efficiency measures.
authorized and approved for general release to the collective of cyclists by the supreme revolutionary directorate for movement.
received 05122006 :: 03:35:07
approved 05122006 :: 08:11:26