Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Daddy, when is it my turn?

This year, Sagada got the coolest Christmas gift ever. It's like chess, but WITH LASERS!! Each player has a laser that they fire after every turn and the pieces are mirrors that get moved around on a board. The object is to position your pieces so that the laser beam gets deflected into the opponent's "Pharaoh".

Here's a pic showing the silver Pharaoh getting hit (look for the red dot). The laser starts from the green spot where my finger is (see, Sagada lets me play too) and goes through 8 reflections. I'll let you have the fun of tracing out the laser path!

My God, why didn't they have this when I was 6?!?!

One Less Burley

Last night ended my noble but failed attempt to put gears on my trusty Surly. With no more cross racing on my calendar, I just didn't see the point. I spent an hour stripping away the deraileurs and rear brake, putting back on the Nitto mustache bars, the fixed cog-- just coddling my bike, whispering how sorry I was for ever subjecting it to the humiliation of being ridden around the neighborhood with that ugly LX derailuer, and Shimano integrated shifter.

The next day brought more warm December weather and Christmas holiday leave... a perfect time for another one of those DC rides with Gina and Sagada. This time we let Sagada do all her own pedaling. We started with a picnic at DC National airport and rode to the Jefferson Memorial to snap some pics:

Then it was off to downtown to visit the Air & Space Museum. We did a lot of the demos in the "How Things Fly" section and then headed over to the "American Treasures" exhibit where we saw Coltrane's musical sketch of "A Love Supreme" and Prince's "cloud" guitar, complete with "When Doves Cry" soundtrack. Brought a tear to my eye (sniff). Sagada's an old pro when it comes to museum stuff like this. She'd seen all this stuff before from her days at Smithonian pre-school and kindergarten. Before we knew it, the sun was going down and it was time to pedal over the 14th St. bridge and back to the cars.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tour de Wakostank

I overslept and missed the Salamander ride today. So instead I hit the Wakefield/Accotink circuit to try to ride off the rest of my head cold. I thought I would be riding at Fountainhead more since we moved closer, but lately I've found myself gravitating towards my old neighborhood park, Accotink. The terrain at Fhead is more challenging and should make for a better ride, but the fact that you have to ride it in one direction all the time, and the lack of options makes it feel, well, like a train ride. You leave your freewill at the trailhead and go where the tracks take you. Lately, I've been longing for the rat-in-a-maze feeling of Accotink, where you're completely boxed in but you have an almost infinite number of ways to get from point A to B. Every fork in the trail is a chance to engage the brain in a pretend life-or-death decision, like a kid running across a tiled floor trying to avoid the "lava". Yeah, I talk to myself when I ride.

Ran into Bike Lane teamie Laura and Tom early in the ride, but they were nearly done. So I only rode with them for a little while before I peeled off and pointed my bike towards the Wakefield side of the park. I rode for about two hours and hit every trail in both parks. It was a nice 50deg December day with the rest of the week looking to be the same. Thank you, global warming.

Friday, December 08, 2006


My racing season is officially over. I was going to do one more cross race this weekend, but I've been sick all week and it doesn't look like I'll be in any shape to race by Sunday. So now I'm looking forward to a bunch of riding just for the hell of it. I hit the MORE Thursday ride to see if that would shake off this cold. I rode with BrotherL's moderate group so as not to tax myself too much, and for a while it worked. I was feeling great. The next morning was a different story, and tonight is a bit worse. I'm hoping I can shake it off in time for some of the rides this weekend.
Saturday is Gina's turn with "Ride Like a Girl" at Gambrill. She's been riding a lot lately, and not just Wakefield either. She's developed a taste for things rocky and remote. Last week she hit Gambrill with Mrs. Outlaw, Scooter, and CathieM. A couple of weeks before that she was at my stomping ground, Elizabeth Furnace. All on her trusty little rigid green singlespeed. Yup, that's a keeper.

Sunday is my turn to ride. I was thinking of heading out to Catherine Furnace to join Scud's ride, but I think I'll stay local and try to slay the evil Salamander of the Fredrock Watershed with Rickyd and the gang. Hopefully I don't make myself sicker in the process.

On another note, I ran over a dog this evening driving home from work. I didn't even know I hit him until the guy in front of me stops his car and walks over to me, "Hey, did you know you're dragging a small dog under your car?" Oops. I look under the car and, yep, there he is looking back at me. I back the car up, the dog gets dislodged from whatever was pinning him there, and runs away. Probably pretty beat up, but still lucky to have survived. I hope he made it home.