30 November 2010

This is why you should buy First to the Line

A little while back, I mused on the possibility of a cyclocross video game. I think it's a great idea. I know you do too. Cyclocross video games don't exist simply because no company has made one yet. The market is there; the concept is engaging; it can be done successfully. But it hasn't, because no developer has made cycling a priority. moneynstuff, LLC is making interactive cycling entertainment (off the bike) its top priority.

When you buy a deck of First to the Line, you aren't just buying a great game and ideal rainy/rest/travel/off-season activity, you're supporting the company that wants to put First to the Line on your iPhone or Android device and Tim Johnson Cyclocross 2014 into your Xbox 360 and PS3. Help me get started now, and you'll be rewarded with glittering cycling entertainment options in the future.

moneynstuff, LLC also understands the importance of supporting the cycling community. That's why the company has already signed on to sponsor the GW cycling team for the 2011 season.

If that's not enough, buy a deck because today is my birthday.

Listening to Wet Hair, a Teen Daze cover of the Japandroids. Its on a short list of covers that exceed their originals in awesome value.

29 November 2010

not how i wanted to end my year

at the end of my warmup yesterday (taneytown MABRAcross champs), my legs felt like cannons. like the big fancy ones they have on usns vessels.

i lost maybe 5 spots on my start, which constitutes my best start as a B, and was riding very comfortably in the top 20 through the end of the first lap. at some point in the second lap, i flatted my rear tubular. this was at the bottom of the long false flat concrete section. tried to ride in the grass, but had visions of destroying my new wheels. ran. and ran. then got passed by a small group. kept running. passed by a big group. yelled to my teammate in the pit. kept running. got passed. kept running. changed the rear wheel, and zoom, back on the bike. i passed two dudes who passed me, but wasn't aggressive enough on the twisty bits in the last lap to pass nick.

ready for 2011.

23 November 2010

Famous on the internet with Rich and Nick

Learn to play First to the Line:

Buy a deck.

Come party at Asylum in Adams Morgan. 7pm December 2.

07 November 2010

Turkey cx

Results are improving, but my body is starting to feel like garbage.

I started the Carmichael time-crunch program about 9 weeks ago, and it warned me this would start to happen somewhere between weeks 8 and 12. It's awesome though.

As my fitness starts to wane, things are really starting to pick up on my other project. Check out the First to the Line site to get the scoop on the release party and other goings on.

Listening to the Bloody Beetroots' [expletive deleted] from above 1985.

01 November 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing...

First to the Line Bike Racing Card Game is the product of many many hours of hard work by some incredibly talented people (and me), designed to give you, the discerning bike racer and consumer, something to do when you aren't on your bike or watching other people race bikes on the teevee. Many of you already know FTL under its original working name "Bike Shit." The soul of the old game exists, but as a production-quality game, cards will shine like a brand new Pinarello running a Di2 electronic drivetrain.

Check out first-to-the-line.com to learn more about the game, pre-order a deck of your own, and sign up for the pre-release party!

Oh, and this is totally the announcement I've been talking about.

31 October 2010


Let's be clear. This was originally part of a combo costume. Whether it was part of a double rainbow, a leprechaun/gold/rainbow, or unicorn/rainbow combo is up to you to decide.

One spot out of the points on Saturday for 26th place at All Hallows and 12th place today at Kinder. Both fun courses, both good workouts.

It's also important to note that this has nothing to do with my big announcement.

Listening to Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites by Skrillex.

30 October 2010

Joe D and Michael Cera

This is a Public Service Announcement.

Joe D (Haymarket/Trek U23) may or may not actually be Michael Cera. Decide for yourselves.

Please note that this is not my huge important announcement. That should come Tuesday or Wednesday.

24 October 2010

Some things you just can't prepare for

If you don't get enough sleep the night before a race, it's because you didn't get enough sleep.

If you didn't put quite enough air in your rear tire, it's because you didn't put enough air in it.

If you didn't do your stairclimb workout last week, it's because you didn't do the workout.

If you get stung by a bee while fighting for position in the first chase group during a race, ain't nothin you can do about it.

Keep your eyes open for something appearing soon in this space. You'll know it when you see it.

Listening to The Xx/Deadmau5/Kaskade.

18 October 2010

hot and dangerous

You guys, I love the new Ke$ha song.

Unrelated, I feel strong right now. Anticipating results at DCCX.

04 October 2010

Great success: BCA and Winchester CX

I survived. Top ten in both my C races, and not last in both my B races. I'm most excited about the two hours of extra sleep I get before races.

The 9am race in Ft Ritchie was held on a course composed primarily of chocolate pudding. The 11am race was held on a course composed primarily of wet plaster. I prefer pudding.

The race in Winchester was [expletive deleted] incredible. What a course. Jim Barnett Park has remarkable potential as a cx venue, and the Winchester Wheelmen used every bit of that potential with their course design.

In any case, I've really focused this year on making sure to register within a few minutes of a race's opening on bikereg. The difference being in the first few rows makes is absolutely enormous. I started the day on row two, and was immediately top ten coming into the first set of turns. Over the course of the race, I think I passed one guy (and lapped a few towards the end), and wasn't passed by anybody. Solid race, uneventful, want to race at Winchester every weekend for the rest of the season. I took 7th and immediately spun out my legs to prep for the 3/4 an hour later.

Photos credit LP and Bruce Buckley

Big up to RJ from the Bike Lane and everybody else who pulled double duty this weekend.

Yesterday was also my last 4 race. I'll be racing Bs full time for the remainder of the season.

Listening to a mashup of MGMT, Justice, and the Ramones. Forget Clenbuterol; listing to the Ramones pre-race should be on the banned substances list.

30 September 2010

Double, double, toil, and trouble

Doubling up both days this weekend. After, putting in for my 3 upgrade. Totally unprepared.

Let it rain, let it rain, let's get muddy.

Listening to the Foals album. Going to the show Sunday night, where I'll be sitting on the floor, drinking protein shakes out of PBR cans.

13 September 2010

From Turkey Day to Charm City: Thoughtful transitions

As of yesterday, my road season is officially over. This year's Turkey Day experience played out remarkably similarly to last year's. The field was smallish, and I had the legs to make and cover a handful of attacks. The Stars and Bars were rolling four deep in the men's cat four race, including one W3 rider. The three of us more familiar with the men's scene joked at the beginning of the race that we'd be riding for Monika (killer headline photo, btw). Turns out that's exactly what we did.

I knew coming into the race that the sole DVR and DC Velo guys would be very strong, and that ABRT would at least play a role in the race because of its team size. Early on, some young bloke from Princeton attacked, and I bridged up with two other riders. After we made contact, I barked a few orders and the break was underway. It lasted all of a lap and half. I can only imagine that ABRT had a hand in the chase. I covered another attack or two in the middle bits of the race, and another two by alternating ABRT riders in the closing laps. I felt good about the last ABRT attack, trading pulls as we developed a few second gap on the field. Unfortuntately my breakmate's teammates weren't able to lock down the chasing field. I had neither the gas nor the motivation to push through the last few laps, and watched the scattered and disorganized sprint finish from the back of the bunch. Monika took 8th, and from this day forth, shall be simply known as the Man Eater.

Just for laffs, check out my power file, grabbed from my new iBike power meter. See if you can spot the attacks/covers.

I started yesterday's race with an eye on results. I made the wrong gambles and gave my body more credit than it apparently deserved, but I gave it a go. As cross season approaches, I've got eyes on results just the same, but I'm going to try to play it a little smarter Monday to Friday, so those weekend gambles pay off more often. I've put together a training schedule from now until 28 November, based largely on Chris Carmichael's Time Crunched Cyclist. I tried to be honest with myself as to what my schedule would allow, and the time crunched plan promises results with even fewer hours than I've got. One of the tough parts of the training regiment: rest days. Some weeks have two (or even more, gasp!) built in already. I've got so much energy on rest days I can hardly coax myself to bed before 1am.

So to keep myself occupied on those rest days, I'm focusing on another transition. Finishing my MA program (hire me) doesn't mean I can stop learning about and contributing to the discourse on development and conflict in an African context. I'm working on a paper--no, an article--for submission to the Review of African Political Economy. If you're interested in that sort of thing (or aren't, whatever), you can find much more, slightly biased, information by checking this out.

Listening to the Limousine remix of Kites by Geographer. It's got a nice Yeasayer feel to it.

07 September 2010

Video games? RFK crit? DC champs? Matt & Kim?

First, why is there no cyclocross video game on any platform? I asked this over some manner of "web deuce" application, and was retwittered by one of my favorite cyclocrossists. Maybe we're one step closer to tapping R1 to sprint, if you get my drift. For those of you not in the know, Pro Cycling Manager is an ideal rest day activity.

Second, what happened to the RFK crit? I love love love being able to ride to races, and add love x 1 for riding to races inside the district.

Third, why aren't there any DC district championship races? The RFK crit would be a great DC crit championship, and DCCX would be perfect to earn the CX stars 'n bars.

Fourth, what do you think about Matt & Kim's new aesthetic? I was taken aback at first, but I'm encouraged by their choice to stick to tried and true lyrical themes.

11 August 2010

Required viewing

If you haven't seen these yet....

You're welcome. Oh, and you should watch the 9 ball diaries, now streaming on netflix. Holla at my boy TJ.

28 July 2010

Like all good things

As if on cue, I managed to destroy my only pair of this year's team bibs just before my planned final race of the season, the Lost River Classic. The team did a great job hosting the race, and I won't pretend to take any of the credit for its success. Also, big up to "sig." for a well-earned top ten.

My first impulse is to call this season a disappointment. I felt my form improving coming out of the collegiate season, and I anticipated at least a few strong results over the summer. In the end, the only results I'll even happily claim are 10th, 15th, and 20th place finishes at Poolesville, Washington County RR, and Reston, respectively. This season wasn't a disappointment; it was an important learning experience. And for those who don't understand, and ask, "did you have fun?" Short answer, yes, long answer, of course not.

I've got good sensations about my medium-term future in bike racing, especially when it comes to being a part of a team, rather than simply wearing a team's kit when I ride and race. DoJ doesn't just mean Department of Justice.

In the meantime, I've got other things to finish off. In four weeks, I'll be finished with my last requirement in my MA program. Somehow, I totally lucked out, and my last course is War & Conflict in Africa. Being in class is like rubbing my face in a bowl of candy while intravenously consuming pistachio pudding. Absolutely euphoric. If you work for an organization that has even as much as a finger in this field, please, please hire me.

Listening to Neon Bible. Praying the road rash goes away before my one week off-season is over.

01 July 2010

Sen. Byrd

This morning, I found myself in the gallery of the United States Senate. On any other day, this would be an uneventful experience. The old adage goes, "if you see two Representatives on the floor of the House, that's one more than usual; if you see two Senators on the floor of the Senate, that's two more than usual." Not today. From ten to four, the Senate held its first lying in repose ceremony in over fifty years.

Robert Byrd was a man of many--often changing--hats. He was a damn good fiddle player, dedicated historian, passionate friend, and reformed racist. This morning, the late Senator was also the reason the old adage was broken. As I sat in the gallery, I saw Senators new, old, retired, and voted out of office, waiting in a receiving line to greet the Byrd family. I'm thankful that my experience with funerals is very limited, but in that experience, I've never seen such a joyous bunch commemorate the passing of a friend, colleague, and family patriarch. The Senators in line were patiently joking around with one another, no doubt sharing their own stories about the Dean of the Senate. The prevailing emotion for the Byrd clan was also joy; they seemed to be there to celebrate their fallen patriarch, having completed the mourning process during the Senator's last days, weeks, and months. It was a beautiful and surreal moment, and I'm confident I'll never experience anything like it again.

Go out and do things--even if you find out they're the wrong things down the road--that bring people to celebrate your life once it's over. Bike racing is wonderful and rewarding, and might give us a few minutes or hours of purpose every day, but it's important to find the things that hold meaning and give purpose to those around and after you. Find those things. Do them.

09 June 2010

I'm really good at craigslist

fromTommy xxxx
dateWed, Jun 9, 2010 at 9:01 PM
subjectWire CD racks (Mt Vernon Sq)

** Avoid: wiring money, cross-border deals, work-at-home
** Beware: cashier checks, money orders, escrow, shipping
** More Info: http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams.html

I dont want anything you are giving away, but i really enjoyed reading
your ads. Thanks for making the best craigslist ads ever.



05 June 2010

Playing catch up

School's been done for a few weeks now, but I've been busy. Playing catch up on fitness after being dropped at Kelly Cup, unpacking after the move, applying for jobs, and working more at the new part-time job.

Also, and more importantly, please let this post serve as a reminder that I will be riding for an NCVC or MABRA-composite team at the Tour of the Bahamas next January. You want to be on that team too.

Listening to Drunk Girls on the new LCD album. Drunk girls know that love is an astronaut; it comes back but it's never the same.

17 May 2010

Poolesville RR: just like grad school

"Survival mode." It sounded like Nick had to burn a match just to say it.

"Yeh," I barked. "Just like grad school," gasping, tongue out, searching for oxygen. "All you can do is survive."

We both did a little more than survive Poolesville; Nick took 24th and I took 10th of 74 registered riders. It was a tough course, but the final kms proved something that I already knew too well--I've got the legs to earn results, but I still lack the nerves. The field shattered slowly in the last 3-4k. "Disintegrated" may even be a better word. I had to move up about 20 wheels in those final stretches to earn my first top ten in an NCVC kit. Sam H. of Carytown Bike Co/VCU took a hard-fought and smart win. The warmest of congratulations to him. I hope to put that '3' sticker on my USAC license before he applies his '2' decal.

Had I been in better position before the gaps started forming, I would have certainly finished higher, and not in no man's land between two groups of five. These are the lessons. I look forward to the ToWC TT for that very reason. It's a chance to show off my legs (and guts) without my frail nerves to get in the way.

And just as I did Poolesville, it looks like I've survived grad school. I was among five thousand over-educated (and likely still unemployed or under-employed) kids to sit on the Mall yesterday while Dave Brubeck and Michelle Obama told us how to change the world. And dammit if they didn't convince me to apply for about six do-gooder jobs this morning. Aside, hire me.

Packing up my apartment, enjoying a dirty mojito recovery shake, and listening to Cudi and Vampire Weekend.

05 May 2010

and now for something completely different

My brain has been wholly occupied by school for the last 3 weeks. No longer. I submitted my last final an hour ago, and now I'm ready to focus on a whole host of other things: moving, getting a "real" job (hire me), and figuring out how to get results in these damn bike races. I don't want to be a four any longer than I have to be. Too sketchy.

I've had my head buried in my laptop for the last three weeks, so I don't really know what's going on in pro bike racing or anything else in the world. Thus, no poignant social commentary. Check back next week.

For now, I'm listening to Congratulations by MGMT. The new album is cool--kinda like heady beach music. More importantly, I'm graduating in two weeks.

19 April 2010


VT Crit championship yesterday. Nick gave me a perfect leadout. As I pulled off of his wheel to make my move, my cleat came out of my left pedal. I pedaled with one foot for four strokes before clipping back in to cross the line in 7th. Nick won.

Nick is a horse driving a Ferrari that's running on rocket fuel.

10 April 2010

Bridge fail

Day 1 of WVU race weekend. Nick won the Cs, Dan won the Bs, and Mona took a podium spot in the women's Cs. Big day for g-dub. I played the role of helpful teammate for three laps after Nick got into a 4-man break, countering App State moves while the break put time into the field. As the gap grew to 20-25 seconds, I decided to try a Joe D. and bridge up to the break. Three grueling laps of slow progress, and as the gap hit about five seconds, my legs no longer heeded my request to shut up.

The launch (pre-scrubbing)

Listening to Ambling Alp by Yeasayer. Stuck in my head for over a month, and I just figured out the artist/song title.

08 April 2010

Hardmen: wood rope & nails

I was exchanging stories with a classmate last night about friends who've beaten up or otherwise foiled their attempted muggers. He told me a story of someone, who we'll call Sparticus, who was attacked hours after moving to Austin, Tehas. He was walking home from a convenience store when some crazy dude jumped him with a 2x4. Sparticus, unfazed and seething from having his glasses broken, dropped his groceries and proceeded to beat his assailant "to a bloody pulp." After retrieving his convenient booty and walking a few short paces, he decided his rage was unsatiated. He dropped the groceries again, and continued to teach his new neighbor a lesson in fisticuffs, only stopping when he took his mugger's wallet. John went on to tell me that Sparticus, "a semi-pro BMX racer," was made of "wood, rope, and nails." Now that's a hardman, and that's something I aspire to be.

Going to WV this weekend for some racin. Mullet is in full effect.

Ray, take me home.

04 April 2010

Hey, Battley Harley

Why don't you have this on the backs of your bibs? I don't understand.

77 miles with some of the GW boys this morning. Lying completely still and listening to Stuntin like Mufasa, some sort of mashed potato something or other by El Ten Eleven and Li'l Wayne. El Ten Eleven is playing Tuesday night in Arlington(wtf? come to h st).

20 March 2010

I just need a hug

Today was the first time I was in an actual break. We had nearly thirty seconds on the field, with my teammate and two slightly weaker competitors, before we were reeled back in. I'm not going to say whose fault it was. I'm not.

I got prime points, I scored, and I lost no skin. Those are all moral victories. Tomorrow, we'll work on real victories.

Listening to K'NAAN, a Somali rapper, tell me about Western Union. Track is called 15 Minutes Away.

19 March 2010

Be my roommate

My roommate is skipping out on the April-June part of our lease, so I have to find a subletter. I'd make him do it, but I trust his judgment... less than I trust mine.

It's a 2br English basement on the Hill. It's awesome, and you get to be my roommate. If you're interested or know anyone who might be, let me know. My email is richard (at) gwu.edu.

Listen to this, and tell me that YACHT isn't ready to start a world-domination cult. The track is called We Have All We've Ever Wanted.

28 February 2010

rocknrollas puke when they party

I love time trials. Nothing switches on the hunting instinct in me like catching sight of my minute man (or my two- or three- or four-minute man).

Good times. Most of my race report will find its way onto the team blog, but suffice it to say that I puked all over myself during the Navy TT today on my way to a fourth place finish (with the fastest time of anyone in the buff and blue, any category). Also puked most of the half hour after I finished. Yes, I am a rocknrolla.

Had Cutdown by Matt & Kim in my head during the TT.

23 February 2010

Wreckage and a clarification

Skin is starting to grow back in my pulpy parts, and I got back on the bike this morning for my morning commute. Hard training coming this week to get me ready for Navy weekend. I also finally tended to my bike last night after the wreck. Check out pictures below. I didn't take a picture of the back wheel, but the valve stem apparently broke off during the crash. Pretty gnarly.

I was advised by two of my most loyal readers (code names "Mom" and "Dad") that I might want to think about what I say about competitors in a public venue. So here are a pair of clarifications: first, it's my obligation to protect my front wheel, always, no excuses. Second, when strong riders on deep teams pull cheap shots like attacking the group from the other side of the yellow line, I get offended. Sure, your safety is the most immediately endangered, but the entire group could end up being plowed by an oncoming car for your stupid, illegal attack. Enjoy the damage to my shiny new bike.

This isn't where my helmet cracked, but it's bloody, so that's cool.

Poor, poor bartape.

Torqued stem from trying to correct after the wheel touch.

Listening to VCR by The Xx. Really makes the skin grow back.

20 February 2010

Rant and carnage - WFU race day 1

TT this morning. Went fine. RR this afternoon. Crashed. Notes: Marshall's one C racer is squirrely as a family of drunk squirrels. Navy has strong riders, but those guys race like rotten jackasses. Duke: quality guys and strong riders, the lot of them. If my sisters weren't married, I'd introduce any of those guys to either of my sisters (again, if they weren't married). Also, a shoutout to the VCU guy (bib 301?) who told me he reads my blog while we waited in line for the porta-stinkbombs.

And to my wonderful girlfriend, I'm sorry. It was wrong of me to make out with the pavement in front of all those people. I'm sorry to the public, and most of all to my fans. Thanks to Tiger Woods for the inspiration.

Now for the reason you're reading this at all...

Kisses. Listening to Cannibal Resource by the Dirty Projectors, 'cuz duh, the pavement tried to eat me.

10 February 2010

Igloo building festival, 12pm Wednesday

* No longer interested in being cooped up in your house.
* Very (or mildly, or not really at all) interested in building an igloo.
* Able to reach Union Station or Eastern Market Metro round lunch tomorrow.

* Building igloos.
* Building effing igloos.

Come to Stanton Park Wednesday at Noon to build an igloo city. Just think of it. A city of igloos. Then you should really get back home and hit the trainer or head to the gym. This should be a training camp week (after you build your igloo).

Learning how to build an igloo.

**Update: we're holding off until Thursday because of the wind and "life-threatening conditions." Stay tuned.**

07 February 2010

The finest snowman I've ever sculpted

Here he is... he's on the south side of the Mall between 2nd and 4th Streets. If you take/took a picture with him, leave a link in the comments.

Listening to Always like This by Bombay Bicycle Club.

29 January 2010

CX Porn

These pictures are beautiful. Many thanks to the small hipster in my life who stumbled upon them.

Did you see that the CX Worlds are coming to Lousville in 2013? Pretty effing exciting.

No song this time. Just go see of Montreal the next time you're within 100 miles of a show. They were good ol' fashioned awesome at 930 last night. Who needs a hype man when you've got a HYPE TIGER?

21 January 2010

Mourning the death of democracy

If this were any other day, I would post something quippy about my early season training (it's going well), or about joining a new team (NCVC), and then probably link to a song that you should listen to. That's not what this post is about.

Today, the United States Supreme Court voted in a 5-4 decision to protect corporations' first amendment rights to freedom of speech. Sounds ok, right? Remember T. Boone Pickens' bizarre alternative energy ads in the run up to the 2008 elections? He paid for those with money from his wallet. He's a rich dude, so he can buy airtime on your teevee and say pretty much whatever he wants to say. If he wanted to buy one minute of airtime during the 2009 Super Bowl to say "hey America, good job voting for Obama. Please mail him a used Tickle Me Elmo to welcome him to the White House," he could have. Just that one little statement, then stare at the camera for 56 seconds. He could do that because he, a private citizen with all of the rights and privileges afforded by the United States Constitution and its Amendments, can say whatever he wants. I want my rights protected, and I want all other Americans' rights protected. Keep putting up commercials, T. Boone, and don't be afraid to get creative with it.

Today's decision, Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, extended our rights of free speech, political or otherwise, to corporations. Now any corporation can buy any amount of advertising, bankroll any movie, or donate any amount of money towards advocacy of any cause or campaign (there are still presumably limits to the amount that corporations can donate to an individual electoral campaign). Because of today's decision, when political candidates run for office, there is no limit to how much a corporation can spend to help motivate the public to vote for the now-purchased political campaign. Forget about Joe Congressman (R-TX), and say hello to Jack Representative (I-Exxon). We, the people, have all but lost our collective voice in the political process in our United States.

Fuck that. I need to get out of the US if this is how politics is going to proceed. Unacceptable. Let me know where and when the protest is. See all of you there.

10 January 2010

School starts tomorrow.

That means 4 months of 52 hours/week where I can't be on my bike, sleeping, or drinking. But, I need to be eligible somehow to win the conference championship.

I can't stop listening to the Kid Cudi album. Rocking Up Up & Away now.

07 January 2010

MTV's Real World: DC (Velo)

So MTV invaded DC over the summer, remember? The DC season of the Real World started airing sometime last week, and I watched every painful second of the first episode last night, in the hopes of catching a glimpse of myself in my Descente kit or bright red work jacket. I wasn't so lucky, this week. BUT, I did see a couple folks in dc velo kits. First you get on local Fox news, now this? You folks are racking up the brand value dollars.

Listening to Seu Jorge's cover of Rebel, Rebel by David Bowie. The original plays over the trailer of the new Michael Cera talkie, and it's a real pleasure to the ear.