Happy Birthday Blog - What's Next?

December marks the fourth year I've been messing with this little ol' blog, first post being thrown out into Internet Land back in 2008.  For a fluffy personal blog, would consider heading into year number five a pretty long run, no?

Depending on what metrics to believe, I get a few thousand page views per month, not that I'm really counting.  It does crack me up when certain Google searches place my blog on the first search page. That's kind of cool.

Even though my main focus is still bicycles, I toss in other posts - vintage motocross, music, vintage cars - anything that interests me.  The posts that get the most hits, by far, are the vintage motocross posts.  Apparently lots more folks into old dirt motorcycles, then bicycles.  And that's okay. Two wheels is two wheels, pedal or moto powered.

My interest in photography as ramped up over the last year or two.  I get a big kick out of shooting races, especially cyclocross.  Later race oriented posts have morphed into picture albums and not much words, matching the change.  I really do enjoy shooting anything that matches my interest, and continue to learn and get better at it.

I've been riding bikes my whole life, and as the (alleged) adult since '84 or so.  Being a cyclist that long, at times motivation and interest, ebbs and flows.  A few years ago, was riding close to 200 miles a week - hard core bike commuter, plus mountain bike rides on weekends.  The last two years, not so.  I haven't bike commuted to work since last June, a major slump - new job and other factors being the excuse.  I still squeeze in some mountain bike rides and suffer on the trainer in the garage occasionally.  I only raced once last season, but a memorable event - my first 24 hour mountain bike race.  Big fun, made extra so, since shared with my son.

Speaking of my son, Racer Boy Ian, his biking interest slowed down this year also.  Still interested, but not as gung ho as before.  He competed in a few cyclocross races this year, skipping some towards the end of the season.  Sick a few times, homework projects, and a bit of burn out contributing to the early end of the season.  This is all supposed to be fun, no need to push it - especially at 13 years old.  His race team, Northwest Velo/JL Velo also folded up (or scheduled to this month), which seemed to bum him out a bit, along with the jump to junior high school.  Life changes and plows ahead.

A good aspect about ebbs and flows, is the recharge when things ramp back up.  And on the bike front, we're headed for the upswing and some cool changes.  Ian, along with most of the junior racers on his old team, were invited to new team - Team Slalom Consulting.  Ian being more dirt oriented with mountain bikes and cyclocross, and the new team being more track and road oriented, we'll see how it goes.  Ian is open to trying the track gig out, and so many people (now) on the team race 'cross, that will still be there.  Should be interesting.

On the mountain bike front, I've gotten involved with local high school mountain bike race league, now open to junior high kids.  Things are just starting and yours truly - that be me - signed on to run a junior high team.  Ian included as racer.  Coaching conference and details to follow. Getting more kids riding bikes is right up my alley, should be a great experience.

I will return to my bike commuting ways towards spring, since new job has calmed down a bit.  And I really, really miss bike commuting.  I'm itchy to experience the twice daily dose of two wheeled goodness once again.

So there you have it.  Kind of blog birthday, year review, and what's coming up - all rolled into one rambling post.  To anyone who actually reads this blog, I'm flattered and thanks for the time spent doing so.  I should have some fun things to post about in the coming year.  

Thanks for sharing the ride.

Junkyard Cross 2012

Came across this online, too cool not to repost.  Awesome crazy cyclocross fun in a junkyard. Yeah, a junkyard.  May wanna get a tetanus booster shot before entering.

I don't know the full story behind this race, appears to have something to do with Bilenky Cycle Works, the makers of some very nice bikes back on the east coast.

Gotta love 'cross in all its wacky forms - serious or not.

The Night Before Christmas 12

Photo by Kingston

Here Comes Santa Claus

 Thrilled to be waiting in a long line to see Santa Claus.

If I could draw your attention to Coltrane's socks... :-)

Ah, yes.  Getting into the Christmas spirit here.  Coltrane asked to have a taste of Kingston's candy cane and he said sure.  Kingston then asked to have a taste of Coltrane's candy cane and he said no way.  Hence the little smirk on Coltrane's face and Kingston's unhappiness. 

Luckily their attitudes turned around once we got to Gina and Brigsy's.  We had a yummy Italian feast, the boys played football, we opened some presents and then looked at some Christmas lights.

Dogtown and Z-Boys - Birth of Modern Skateboarding

While doing some Christmas shopping today, scored a copy of Dogtown and Z-Boys for $9.  Merry Christmas to me.  I've only seen this documentary once, a few years ago, so popped it into the DVD player tonight for another look.  As remembered, a fantastic film, even if you're not a skateboarder.

I wouldn't call myself an actual skateboarder, but did dabble with skating back in the '70s as a teenager.  Neighborhood cruising and general goofing around, including one broken wrist as proof.  I also read Skateboarder magazine at the time, so knew a bit about the Dogtown crew and influence on the scene.  That scene being Southern California, my scene a universe away in suburban New Jersey.

Those Skateboarder magazine articles and photos - especially the photos - made an impression on me.  Some of those images of Tony Alva, Jay Adams and others, burned into my teenaged brain.  I recognized many shots in the film, as it shows plenty of photo and video archive from that era.  Seeing the archived video was especially cool, since all my memories revolved around still shots.  Watching how they skated, you can really see how it formed modern skateboarding, pushing it from the stand up tricks from the '60s, into vertical moves that changed the entire sport.  Modern day interviews though out the documentary puts it all in perspective.  

Being a kid from the '70s, the look of the archive footage - long hair, tube socks, t-shirts - and the soundtrack, pushes all my memory lane buttons.  The look and feel of the old film and still shots, combined with the very stylish skating - fantastic to witness.  There's also a bit of surfing history and footage laced into the film, since early skateboarding was very tied to the surfing scene.

If you've never skateboarded in your life, still an interesting documentary.  Especially if you ski, mountain bike, surf, snowboard, BMX, motocross - anything involving movement, style and flow - you'll get it.  Highly recommended.

Ann Hamilton Jumping!

Josef jumps for Ann Hamilton: the event of a thread at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, NY. Thanks, Josef!

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas...

The sky on our drive to dinner was remarkable.  It reminded me of what the sky looks like back in MD on a cold winters morning over the Bay.  The sun was blinding as it was starting its descent to mark the day before the shortest day of the year.  As it sunk over the hills of the driving range at The Quarry Golf Course, the clouds cast feathery wisps on the road ahead. 

It's been in the 80s the past couple of days but the sky tonight brought a new chill in the air and with temperatures supposed to drop to 27, you couldn't help but finally get into the Christmas spirit and wrap your scarf a little tighter around your neck.  After a long day of Christmas shopping we had a lovely dinner at Urban Taco and I am still so stuffed I don't know what to do with myself.  Coltrane fell asleep at the restaurant as he's started to randomly take naps again (and they are much welcomed from my end and needed from his).

After dinner we headed over to Starbucks so that we all could get some hot chocolate before we drove around our neighborhood looking at all the Christmas lights.

And then this guy farted.

We then drove around our little hood and listened to Christmas music and enjoyed seeing all the lights.

And home to hang their school ornaments and off to bed because we have a school Christmas partay to attend in the mornin.

Mountain Cedar


My poor sweet Little Bitty is mountain cedar sick and has been for the past couple days :-(  Bless his little heart.  Remedies anyone?  To help with his cough, I've been using a teaspoon of honey with a shake of cinnamon. Just a little natural remedy, but we are in need a bigger one if anyone out there has any helpful ideas?!

Did catch smile when he was getting brave with Charlie :-)



"Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened.  Happiness never decreases from being shared."  Buddha

*This quote has appeared to me in different media outlets for the past 2 days...

Kyle's 35th Birthday

After living in the outskirts of New Orleans during his senior year of high school, Kyle was instilled with a little bit of that "laissez les bons temps roules" attitude, which he still carries today.  He also still carries a love for cajun food.  Since we never really indulge in that type of cuisine, I thought that he would like that for his birthday.

Crawfish Etoufee:

Purple Haze:  Here's a little tidbit of info, at our respective bachelor/bachelorette parties the first beers we each had to start off our trips was a Purple Haze.  We are so meant to be ;)

Kyle's only request was to see some live music.  How lucky we were that on his birthday weekend, Lincoln Durham and James McMurty were playing down at Sam's Burger Joint.  We first headed to the Bombay Bicycle Club for some drinks.

And then made our way to Sam's.

Here's a couple youtube videos of Lincoln Durham's music.  He's awesome.  And some of James McMurtry, he's awesome too.  So is Kyle :)  Happy Birthday Papi. XO


Melted Crayons on Hot Rocks

Baby face.

That's supposed to be Santa Claus...these would be my rocks...

Baby hands and feet (sigh).

Being boys and putting rolly polly's on the melted wax. 

One last baby foot.


Place rocks on foil lined baking sheet and "cook" for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.  

Use tongs to transfer rocks to wherever you are going to do the project.  The rocks are HOT so make sure to tell your kids not to touch them. 

Coltrane had the most fun using the tongs to transfer the rocks (there were smaller ones not shown above) back and forth from the pan to the sidewalk etc :)