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Festus Fatuorum  //   Friday - April 1, 2005

Washington DC, April 1, 2005

Senator Jack Nuthouse introduced legislation today to ban bicycles from all roadways in an effort to promote better traffic flow in highly congested areas. With Baltimore/Washington area commuters having some of the longest commute times in the nation, Nuthouse said it's time something must be done. "People need to wake up and move into the twenty-first century. Bicycles are great for kids, but adults need to realize they are just causing problems when they are on the road." The legislation he introduced would allow bicycles to continue to be used on recreational bike paths and areas where motor vehicle traffic is prohibited. However, even this use may be in danger down the road judging from the Senator's comments when he stated "I just don't get why people need to bicycle on these paths but we are going to allow it for now. They are a danger to mothers pushing strollers and their small children who are running around. If you want to exercise, that's what the gym is for."

When asked about the fuel savings benefits of using bicycles for transportation Nuthouse responded, "Now that we have Iraq under control and we are going to start drilling ANWR, people need to stop worrying about this imaginary oil crisis. We do understand that some of our poorer constituents may have trouble affording autos but that's why they make mopeds. That's an idea I can get behind. We may also amend the legislation to allow bicycles that have a motorized assist to operate on some limited roadways but that hasn't been decided yet".

Critics of Senator Nuthouse have accused him, among other things, of being "uptight and unable to have fun". When asked how he likes to spend his leisure time and unwind he told us he makes weekly trips to the local quarter mile track and races his vintage Mustang. "The roar of the engines and the smell of burning fuel and rubber in the air. Now that's what I call a good time", the Senator said.

The full story and links to the bill's text can be found here

- riderx

So backed up I need some ExLax  //   Wednesday - March 30, 2005

Unless it's spam I tried to answer all email that comes in here to SSO. I am real backedup though, haven't gotten to things that were sent to me when I was on vacation. Rest assured I'm not snubbing you, I will get to it, just trying to play catch up.

- riderx

Misery loves company  //   Wednesday - March 30, 2005

Last week, just when it looked like there would be a break in the weather, the weatherman changes the forecast for precip Friday night/Saturday morning. It's no use, I am in need of a trail ride and there's no stopping me. Regardless of the new rain in the forecast, all of the local stuff would be too wet to ride so that hadn't even been in the picture. Marky Mark and Jay were already on board to ride the rocks of Frederick, the amazing trails that can been ridden even in the rain since they are comprised of the rocks of the Catoctin mountain range and barely a lick of dirt.

When Jay and I arrive in the parking lot at 9am it's cold, gray and misty. Mark is already there and not looking very motivated. The cold, damp air tries to cut through my own motivation but it's not working. It is making me wish I had ignored the weatherman's warmer temperature predictions and brought some warmer gear but I suck it up and deal with what I've got. Our route will take us from the lower Gambrill Parking lot to Hamburg Road in the Frederick Watershed and back. Overnight that had actually gotten a dusting of snow on top of the mountain. The trails were nothing but wet but the surrounding ground trees and shrubs were covered. Probably the last time we'll see this for the year.

The new 2.3 x 29er Exiwolf performed nicely up front, a little extra cush on those bomber, rock-infested downhills. Marky Mark decided to see if his formerly dislocated shoulder was healed up properly by hitting the eject button in one of these extended rock garden descents. Luckily it stayed in place this time. It was a beauty of a downhill too. No idea how long it was but it seemed to go on forever and never smoothed out. Taken on a whim, we completely lucked out. Steep, steep stuff and highly technical, you needed the skills to pay the bills for this one. Dropped us into a nice stream valley between two big ridges. Of course we then had to pay by climbing back out for a few miles. Tough going in the wet rocks but we managed to ride most of it, then took the extended route back to the car. Two flats (Jay), 3.5 hours of riding and I'm guessing about 25 miles of trail. Made for a great day despite the weather. My grips that decided to break free and go moto style only added to the challenges of the day.

Even more rain the other night brought the total for a one week period to over 5 inches and the month of March has made it past 10 inches. That means the local trails are out of the picture for a while. Looks like April showers are arriving early. I am hoping this is not the beginning of another ultra-wet spring like last year. This seals the deal for the Wednesday ride sending us back to the pavement like last week.

Any locals who want to learn the art of trail building by IMBA, there's a few slots left for trail building school this weekend. It's a one day class offered this Friday and Saturday, see this for details. Good timing since most trails are soaked right now.

Don't forget, next week is the 24 Hours of Washington DC. Who's going?

- riderx


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