Friday, March 27, 2009


The new season begins in two days for me with the Jeff. cup race. I have seen this race change courses so often but the last few years have remained unchanging. The old routes were more difficult. I remember racing against Eric Saunders and Jon Hamblen years ago before they went pro. Jon went to the navigators and Eric went to Europe for a while and came back to join Kodak/Sierra nevada. Both guys are cool dudes and jon is now with Time and Saunders is the team organizer i believe and jason Snow has hung it up for the most part I believe and is managing the Time crew. I gotta call Mark Light and get the scoop sussed out. Anywho...this post is more intended to highlight the new kit and plug in the new team.
The last few days have been real busy for me with all the new contracts getting honored and the completion of another shed project and powerwashing, pruning, mulching, Not any riding but I will ride Friday at the point and do some tomorrow to get ready some for sundays intro race.
Soo yeah,...I am stoked to be with THE BIKE RACK WASH. DC ...the owners are very cool. The new kit is gonna be sweet with the BEAR DOG LANDSCAPING LLC logo on it and also the changes in the design will be tight. The guys on the team are amped to get under way with racing this year and that is good motivation for me. I have lately been in a sort of slump as far as various problems and hurdles but persevere I will. Like the little choo choo going up that mountain...I know I can I know I can...sort of thing. Right ...out with the Bike Lane ( though I was appreciative of their support..Adam especially thx) In with the new though.. The Bike rack. Mercenary Schmidty. In the photo it shows me getting swallowed by the field in the ING 123 race. I had just finished the masters race in which I was solo for maybe 12 laps and the field in that one was about ten feet behind me as I crossed the teammate nima came through me and got third I got fourth and Ramone one with the help of mark Warno. ( who was also my teammate till mid season when he went to Immediate mortgage. So in the last lap a route one guy went to the front and i was on his wheel the whole last lap. He spilled in the last turn and there I was suddenly on the front with way too far to hold off the fresh field behind me..I gave it the old school effort and got pretty far till the sprinters came through me and I lost seven spots in about thirty feet. Bo lee got me by a bike throw for the last guy to go by me. damn...but at least I was still in the money.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Can he do that..can he say that ? Yeah he can do that.. You might wonder what the hell...where the hell is chris going ? I am referring to the amazing and glorious results of a simple ride. The effects that a simple display of fitness can have, on an otherwise sorta mediocre level of talent, that engenders super arrogance. I have always wondered about what it is that enamours me to this sport ?
I do not think it is the jock mentality or the clean cut personna that many illustrate or the silver spoon class that seems to fill many categories. I think the thing I can relate to is the tuff man wins thing. I was born and raised on this sort of thinking. Not by mom and not by any other adult but by my brothers and our friends and enemys. We got in fights, we all scrapped and we all survived ..for the most part. Most of my friends were scrappers and we all knew each others abilities. So among us we knew who not to tangle with..or who you could test the waters with.
Enough about the fun of high school and onto the current life concerning bicycles and racing with them. The fitness aspect of racing crits is important. The fitness aspect also takes a back seat if you have no nuts, or if your female, than you are a cautious rider. The logic being that if your fast; then what does it matter if your also fast to hit the brakes: and fast to create explanations about other guys that got in the way... See the problem well in advance and dont be part of it. Experience also pays in dividends in that you can see where you best let the knuckleheads spar around you and stay away and ease the throttle. The speed thing gets muted if your on the pavement or relegated to the back because of fear. Fear has a great place though and the term is replaced with common sense and talent...talent to stay upright and get to the last lap. In a fight this applies also because it has similarities. If you hold back and get hit first the catchup game is on...if you go first too early then maybe you could have avoided having to break away too early and the whole thing maybe could have been finessed better...all about reading the game and the other players...
The intended purpose of training is that your supposed to pull your punches yet still get a workout in, and this fine line can be hard to achieve. Sparring with new guys can be frustrating, in that to them they have too much to prove, and thus can be dangerous to be around. Maybe taking it too seriously. Racing is more like a gang fight where training is like a sparring match. In sparring you want to similate the real thing but not to the point of serious injury or jeapordizing ones capability to perform for the real deal.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Back in the early days of my introduction into cycling I was doing university educating in South Carolina. I was a bored guy with a girlfriend all the way across the state. She was at the main campus and I was still in the satellite campus in Beaufort South Carolina. This was a drag and it eventually led to my first big 140 mile solo run out of the lowcountry and into the agricultural land of cotton and kudzu. She was worth every stroke...of the go there. I was on a mission.
Her name was Josephine Iacavidou..she was from the birthplace of Aphrodite and the also the stoic Zenon..I believe. ( to enlarge the piture above just click on it n drop down..shoulda been put in better ) The island in the middle of the meditteranean known as Cyprus. ( greek ) Her father went to war against the invading Turks in 74' and has not been seen since. The policy of the Turkish army was to keep the captured Cypriot men prisoner and reintegrate them eventually into their society and make them marry a Turkish women. The island was split into two and the division is known as the green line. Josephine was given a scholarship for two reasons from the govt. of her homeland. First she had a father who fought for their freedom....secondly she was a straight A student. I benefited from getting to know her in that she was a great tutor for my lame algebra skills. Plus she was awesome as a person and great to look at.
Soo I went on the road and travelled past yamasee ( the name of a marshland indian tribe ) and past many big plantations. I never rode that far before and I was carefull to go easy to not fry myself. I eventually passed many towns and small country hamlets until I finally got into the suburbs that mark Columbia S.C.. I was a nuisance for the dorm because I slept in the dorms lounge on the sofa and the girls in their pajamas probably felt awkward with a guy there. Oh was worth the trip and after the weekend I rode back. I did the trip a couple more times and grew more confident. With that confidence came mistakes. I got caught with 40 miles to go still, once, and it was too dark to continue. I stopped at a remote country store where some hunters were gathered. I asked how far I had to go and told them why I was soo stupid to be stranded this far away from anywhere . They passed the bottle some more, joked some, and one of them gave me a ride to where there were at least city lights. These guys were real southern and they showed me some southern hospitality. Gave me a camouflauge jacket and all. That could have been a real bad situation. Not sure if its better to be stranded in the middle of nowhere or in a magalopolis. At least in the woods you can make a fire but no money in the city, and cold, means you have to break a law for room and board. A new teammate said I should put this story up...thx for the suggestion Grayson.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another Lost River write up...

I have heard the phrase "stay the course" but this weekend I was not applying that phrase. I was pretty motivated to go out and ride with the new team to get to know them better and also log some miles. I was also aware of the weather forecast but I did not phisically respond well to the, at least ten degree temperature difference. The first day, Friday, we did a pretty short 35 miles and it worked out fine except for many mechanicals. The next day there was a slight rain that was picking up very slowly and combined with the cold made things uncomfortable. Our team was going to do two rides that day : one for everyone and one for the stronger portion of the group. I was not feeling well by the end of the first ride and felt more drained then usual so I opted to not do the second ride. I slept and read a book and the precipitation got a little worst. My sleep was sorta a mix of some solid sleep and some waking to cold sweats. I must have overworked this week and been unaware of some bug that was not fully worked out or sumpin.
Soo ultimately I was somewhat humbled by looking out the window and not participating as much as I wanted but oh well. The last day it was drizzling even more and I was not stoked at all to do more then one lap of the proposed race course that willl be the Lost River Classic course.
The hills on this ten mile loop are tough. The race will be excellent for climbers and for the not soo great climbers it will be painfull, but a good workout and an opportunity to lose some weight. If you know the Page valley race then it will be found to be comparable but, in my opinion, somewhat more difficult. The Page course gradually winds up the first climb as opposed to the WVA climbs which dont have as much mercy in the respect that they have a more consistent pitch. Granted the page valley second climb is brutally steep but it is shorter and the top is visible which always helps as opposed to climbs which you think might be done and then you see another leg to do. The Lost River race will become an instant classic and it will be viewed as epic. This area is in need of more diversity as far as races and this one will certainly provide that. Tired of industrial parks and the sitting in of the ever present crits we have ? This is what you have been waiting for then. The area alone makes for a great weekend and an excellent way to escape the urban/suburban sprawl. It is amazing how fast one escapes the commercial mess we live in and finds themselves able to relax in the Lost River area. It is my recommendation to not rush out and back but to enjoy the weekend there or maybe even make it a three day vacation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stranger in a Strange Land

I went to California around 2003 after a bad couple of years in the district. I was dumped by the girlfriend Kristy and started to live somewhat wild staying in the car and on couches.
Working as a messenger. The next thing that happened was getting hit by a car and being put in the hospital. The injury involved being hit from the back by a cabbie. He lied about what happened and he got another cabbie to lie about what happened also, to be a witness. I remember this fucking asshole, towelhead, getting out of his car angry with me because I was enraged enough, and in hindsight stupid enough, to kick his sacred crown vic. This was after he hit me driving away from the gas pump at twenty third and M st. and looking out of only his right hand passenger window as he floored it to the sidewalk and myself, as I was entering the crossing. I went down the ramp and attempted to evade this complete dick as he was completely not looking and going way to fast. I was hit while I was going down the ramp off the sidewalk and onto the road. The angle of the ramp meant that when he hit me from behind I was sent for big hang time. I remember, post adrenaline, The sound of my leg breaking and it was like when you intentionally snap a good size limb for firewood.
The cabbie was able to create his LIE right in front of me and talk arabic to his other unsympathetic coherts and when I was carted off to the hospital the female black cop came up to my bed and presented me with a District of Columbia traffic violation. ( foolish lazy DC cop and no chance for a lawsuit for a broke bastard like me..ok I met dad once.. :) The foreigner told the ambivilant policewoman that I kicked his cab as he was waiting at the sidewalk for me to pass. My leg was broken into "cornflakes" ( doctors proffessional assessment of the severity ) and required an orthopaedist thirteen screws and a rod the length of my calf to gather the result of my ...inability to control my "social disorder". ( BS )
Soo that was a bitter incident which rendered me pretty helpless. The surgery itself was set for two weeks post incident. This meant having a cast to allow swelling to reduce. This also meant every time I moved that leg the bits and pieces would grind and protest and I could feel the movement of the various pieces shifting. I was living on my brothers couch for a couple weeks and I was and I am gratefull for his help. ( though he never visits..)
Anyway, lets move forward and away from that fun. I was always blind to the lies and deceit of Kristy and I was back and forth with her and her BS until she left for good around 2003. It was the epic year when lance was crashing and still winning,..and I was crashing and losing. ( or at least thats the year I think ) I left for California to never come back. I went to Laguna Beach. It is a fancy Southern part of the west coast with many tourists and also quite a mix of locals too. The soul of the town industry is art and tourism. ( a pair of twins named Samara and Gabby moved there from Great falls, Va. who r old friends ) I found a few places to camp including a cave of sandstone in a canyon. I got a job as a construction laborer by just walking onto the site and getting sympathy from a nice foreman. I was not doing well though, even in paradise. people seemed distant and distracted. Insincere and preoccupied. Maybe those adjectives were really my own but I did ride my bike. I was not fully recovered but I was determined to not let the naysayers win. There were some including my own mother who told me I would probably have to forget about racing. I was maybe like Forrest Gump...confused, angry and needed time to think.
Soo the job at Monarch bay was wrapping up and I was not prospering there anyway so I packed up and headed off to LA in search of better pay and more importantly someone to maybe call a friend or to hang out with. The twins were involved with their own lives and the art people were not my sort. I was broke and the messenger bag was really loaded. I mean a set of Ksyrium wheels and much camping stuff. I slept under a beach in a really industrial part of long beach and a kind homeless guy, as opposed to me, lent me a blanket because I was sorta short. I felt for him BC he was whooping and coughing all night in his tent and I could hear his pain all night from a dozen yards away.
I rolled into the worst slums of any town I have ever seen. Made the worst parts of Baltimore look like a nice scenic getaway. I think it was Compton...not sure. I am sure I was interested in moving along quickly and worried for the first time ever about being jumped in broad daylight. Trust me, I have been plenty of places and this was the most bum infested, hood crowded, used car parking lot of an area I have seen.
I eventually, after literally hundreds of blocks of slums, started to see high rises and suits. I was never happier to see suits. I had spent my last dollar on a double cheese and I wanted to barter my wheels for some food money. I asked a commuter about where the messengers were to be found. He said "fourth and Flower". I was off. It turns out that it was like mecca. Weed wafting and guys who bought some of the stupid cycling shit I had and suddenly I had fifteen dollars and a route to Venice beach where I could crash. I slept on the beach under a lifeguard station for a couple weeks and evantually got a messenger job at 1st Legal. Like a Quick messenger service in DC. LIL lower rates but more work. I crashed some( slept ) at Jonas'es in Venice also and it worked out ok for a while but things were real tough there and I would never suggest going out there as ill prepared as I was...and as fucked up as I was mentally either. I am all growned up now. :) ( some of the stuff I got into I wont talk of here but not swift, lucky to be around stuff )

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


The german wheels Lightweight brand seem very nice. These deep sectional wheels have been in the market the longest and are preferred by the pros ...or so it seems but the cost I don't know...I am sure it is real high. I just bought a pair of Easton EC90 aeros which are deep section carbon rims and for me that is sufficiant for that dream . Good times ..ciao oh and yeah tubulars of course.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Be Yourself thats all you can do...the lyrics go that way... and of course its true.. but music brings to power, and willingness to deal with pain. Desire results in Motivation. When you see an attack ( or hear it more ).. and you realize it seems strong.. so whats the choice ? wait for someone to choose to be themself or you grab your testes?/ So is that your goal to hope to be dragged around... to the last lap...? ( if so it might pan out in the local fray but no way in the honest bigger class..)
Drafting another riders wheel is really what I am focusing on here. We all know the power in the local field and our own power to a degree also. It is important to feel your oats and test your drive. Say to yourself fuck the end game lets do the my game...maybe play the Audioslave tune in your head as you roll..( sometimes the end is the biggest problem as far as gettin the end game result ? )
So onto my next thought ...once you have the Audioslave mentallity on point ...lets go beyond the local little league and onto NRC where theres some speed consistently throughout. No 26 to 29 pace variation just plain frickin fast and no need to record what happened..just did you stay on ? So what are you listening to in your head ?....your heart ? Barry Mannilow ? or are you rockin like Dokken ( just a phrase ..hate Dokken) Like Audioslave ?) the real core of this article is the ability to really grab a draft and get in the tuck . Get it like its yours and dont say hey here you go to yourself.

Friday, March 6, 2009


About ten years ago I was telling my teammate Zach Browne that we needed to do some weekly time trialing in order to maintain some idea of our fitness and to record the data. I made a flyer with some cutouts and creativity ( thanx Eddy for your permission )Zach was sorta reluctant because he is the kinda guy who is always busy... He agreed though, thankfully, and actually showed up most of the time, at least initially. I figured the weekly training regimen did not need to be real long but that the hills would substitute nicely. ( MR. Browne was the guy I got to the front so he could do his amazing sprint ...unless a break got away and I would cover it ) the Ross Dr. loop came to mind because of its proximity and its available BBQ pits.
The burden of carrying chicken parts, water gallons, and beer was a minor drawback to bring about spectators and participants. ( friends make it memorable and provide so it can go on with a sense of it got fun..) The realization of how to actually get to know ones ability and to realize affective ways to overcome parts of the course through post conversation and/or simply doing it stronger became apparent. ( sorta like dude you have to use the big ring, on certain points and sections..)
It was just a training thing I never thought that it would still be around to this day and I am really happy that it draws people to the awesome outdoors that the Rock Creek provides. I remember one year where the messenger world championships came to DC and the crowd there filled a big field and I was soo stoked...I wanted to ride the course but instead showed out of towners the was awesome and I believe it was the largest presence that field has ever seen... Another excellent reason to leave the Dupont circle scene and venture into the woods. Right now there is a low no. of people who actually do the time trial though I believe the party, barBQ essence of it is still going strong and on any given( every other ) wednesday there will be someone to record your time on the RUFF NEWS loop. Instructions can be gotten on the loop which is about 5 miles. We had two loops back in the day for variety one was 5 miles another was 3.9 miles.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I got out for some night riding yesterday and it was a good time. The trails are clearly visible as a dark line in the otherwise pure white lit by the moon. It was nice to get out the cross bike for some snow riding. I went along the river and up and down some hills which were pretty steep so I walked a section or two but it was worth it. I got another chance to remind myself why I bought a cross bike. I am glad we got some snow.