Cycling the C&O and GAP Trails (Reloaded): Day 1 DC – Brunswick Family Campground

Today’s Distance – 55.7 miles
Total Distance 55.7 miles

Day 1 – No butt stuff. That is, I forgot to pack my chamois cream. For those who are uninitiated in the ways of cyclists who ride their bicycles for long periods of time at once, the cream helps to prevent saddle sores and abrasions in general down in the nether regions. As you can imagine it’s NOT GOOD to forget this piece of gear. I’m pretty stunned that I forgot it if I’m honest as I had 3 dang lists to keep me straight. I was planning to call ahead to a bike shop near my camp site to find a replacement but at lunch, I ran into a couple cycle tourists who were finishing their tour today and they offered to give me theirs after hearing my tale of woe and need to find a bicycle shop. Yay kindness of strangers!!

Photos from Day 1 of my 2016 bike trip.

The trail was as muddy as I was expecting honestly and the conditions were close to what they were last year. I knew fully what to expect though so having the appropriate expectations set helps.

Photos from Day 1 of my 2016 bike trip.

Really, the only other notable thing that happened today was that I finished the ride 1.5 hours faster than last years. Part of it was that I wasn’t stopping as often to look at things (been there, done that last year). I feel like most of it was that I’m in better shape this year than last – the ride certainly felt easier today than I remember from last year.

The plan for tomorrow is 70 miles – it’ll be the longest ride of this trip.

The camp site tonight is near a train transfer area so there’s lots of train noises and stuff happening. I brought ear plugs.


Photos from Day 1 of my 2016 bike trip.

Photos from Day 1 of my 2016 bike trip.

Photos from Day 1 of my 2016 bike trip.

Cycling the C&O and GAP Trails (Reloaded): Day 0 – DC

Editors Note: This post was written on Saturday Oct 1st but post Sunday Oct 2nd.

Day 0. I’m sitting in my room in Washington DC. I’ve shipped my traveling bags ahead, secured Tank Bicycle and I’m about ready to get things packed up.

I used a Lyft to get over to BicycleSPACE to pick up Tank Bicycle then I just rode the short ride back to the hotel. The route takes you right through a lot of the big sites in DC like the Washington monument and the Whitehouse etc… it’s pretty nice.

Rode right by this on my way back to the hotel after picking up Tank Bicycle!

After that my brother and his wife came to take me to lunch and shuttle me around to Target and Dicks to pick up a few odds and ends that I needed. It was super nice being able to visit with them for a bit.

Flying is much better than riding the bus and the plane ticket was only $113 to get myself here 1 way. That’s a solid win in my book. The North Face basecamp duffle held all my camping and biking gear just fine. I checked it and everything showed up on the other side in perfect condition.

I gave myself a whole day of being in DC, to get things gathered up and ready and it’s been real nice not having to rush around.

I think I’ll be using this basic template for all future bicycle trips. Fly, use my duffle to carry my stuff, ship the bike ahead and give myself plenty of time in the starting city to not feel rushed.

It’s been raining the last 3-4 days in DC so I’m expecting the C&O Trail to be muddy again this year. Such is life but I’m ready for it.

Cycling the C&O and GAP Trails (Reloaded): Pre-trip anxiety

As I type this, I leave out on my trip tomorrow night. I’ve heard from BicycleSPACE in DC that my bike has arrived and is ready for me to pick it up on Saturday. I have plane ticket in hand. I have a motel reservation in DC. I’ve test packed my new duffle like 5 times. I have 3 lists I’m using to try to keep myself straight: Pre-Trip To-DO, Important things not to forget and DC To-Do. The lists help my brain be at ease.


At this point I’m re-reading my own journal entries from my previous trips, especially last years entries so I can be better prepared. I think I’ve done everything I can do to be prepared and to feel prepared.

Maybe I should just test pack my bag one more time and go over my lists again to make sure I’m not forgetting anything though….

Re: Here’s what Donald Trump promised in his economic speech – Business Insider

Trump said that lifting restrictions on energy production, which are in place for environmental protection, would increase GDP “by more than $100 billion per year” and add 500,000 jobs.

Source: Here’s what Donald Trump promised in his economic speech – Business Insider

This is where capitalism fails. The quest for profits at the expense of having a habitable earth seems stupid and short sighted.

Re: N.C.A.A. Moves Championship Events From North Carolina, Citing Anti-Gay-Rights Law – The New York Times

But a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Republican Party, Kami Mueller, described the decision as “so absurd it’s almost comical.”

“I wish the N.C.A.A. was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor,” Ms. Mueller said in a statement, referring to a recent scandal involving Baylor University’s football program. “Perhaps the N.C.A.A. should stop with their political peacocking — and instead focus their energies on making sure our nation’s collegiate athletes are safe, both on and off the field.”

Source: N.C.A.A. Moves Championship Events From North Carolina, Citing Anti-Gay-Rights Law – The New York Times

What a stupid, backwards ass thing to say. It’s a bad comparison because Texas doesn’t have laws making it harder to prosecute rapists you stupid fucking fucks. Do better Republicans.

My ideas on Star Trek

Anybody who knows me, knows that I’m a huge Star Trek fan. I watched most of TNG when it aired and re-watched all seven seasons last summer. I then watched all the TNG movies. This summer, I watched all seven seasons of Voyager and enjoyed it immensely.  Currently, I’m watching DS9 and am in season 3.

I love Star Trek but as a nerd I believe the Federation should immediately start implementing these changes to their SOP.

Implement Drones


Holy fuck you guys, the idea that a ship would send down THE ENTIRE SENIOR STAFF on an away mission is just completely and utterly ridiculous. I know it makes for good TV but why not send down some advanced drones? All the people do is stand around with stupid tricorders anyway. Build tricorders right into the drones and beam the drones down. Beam 10 drones down! Have different types of drones and do different types of things! Once the drones have done their thing, send down the red shirts in power armor!

Implement Power Armor


I know the Federation is peaceful and has a mission of exploration and cooperation but there’s lots of races in space that are not. They want to fight you and take your shit. I’ve seen many episodes across all three series of Star Trek where red shirts are fighting against alien invaders or fighting on a planet or fighting on an alien ship with their basic little uniforms and phase rifles. Imagine being able to have those encounters in tactical power armor, all interfaced and connected with it’s own AI built in, aka Halo. You could do all sorts of interesting stuff too, like implement site to site transporters directly into the suits. Fighting against Borg drones while wearing tactical power armor would make a big difference!

Improve Ship AI

2a7e7a4043bbd72202b3cf4a9fada71cThere are several episodes in both TNG and Voyager where the biologicals were completely incapacitated for some reason or another. If it weren’t for characters like Data or the Holo Doctor, the ships would have been lost or destroyed completely. Imagine if the ship’s computer had an upgraded AI so that the ship could act in place of Data or the Holo Doctor to save itself and the crew from annihilation.

Develop Actual War Ships

USS_Defiant_firing_phaser_cannonsAgain, I know that the Federations mission is one of exploration and peace but many races are war like. The Federation made some progress by the Defiant class ships but it had some flaws. Finish development and mass produce the things. Call them “escort” ships if you must but I’m sure the Federation could create some great combat ships.

I sincerely believe that if the Federation implemented these changes, it would help with successfully completing their missions and make the Federation more formidable.

Jen Harley – I love you… let’s continue being weird together

We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.

This quote by Robert Fulghum is really great. It fits us and I love that we’re weird in the same ways. I always want to be weird with you. Happy 7th Anniversary!

These photos perfectly represent our life together.

Our life together

Fun at Lipstick

Jen unamused

Jen like's margaritas

Jen being jen

I crush you rock!

Cycling the C&O and GAP Trails (Reloaded): Planning

Last year I attempted to ride the C&O and GAP trails from DC to Pittsburgh. I ended up straining/pulling a quad muscle on day 3 and had to abandon my ride. I’ve decided to attempt the ride again this fall because I’m not going out like no punk.

You can read about the trip last year here. I’ll be making these changes.

  • Instead of doing the Greyhound thing, I’m going to fly up. I’ve been looking at tickets already and they’re $233; so worth it.
  • Instead of shipping my gear up ahead, I’m going to purchase a packable duffle. I’ll use the duffle to carry all my gear up on the plane with me. Once I’ve arrived in DC, I’ll then ship the duffle ahead to where I’m staying in Pittsburgh.
  • I’ll still have Green Fleet Bicycles ship my bike up to BicycleSPACE in DC.

I’m really looking forward to the trip. I’m confident that I’ll be much better prepared than I was last year.

Happy Birthday Jen Harley!

Dorky travel pillow, headphones, sunglasses engaged. Home James.On your special day, I wanted you to know that you’re my favorite person. I’m glad you allow me to do life with you.

Here are a few things that come to mind when I think about our life together.

  • We fit together like puzzle pieces. It’s ok that you put things in random places. I think I saw your name tag on the bathroom counter.
  • We sleep all tangled up. I really really love that we sleep the same way and we like it all tangled up.
  • Our personalities compliment each other. You being you allows me to be me without me being self conscience about being a bit of an introvert, especially with new people and in large groups.

Happy Birthday Jen Harley! I love you!


Jen Harley: You are perfect for me

You're perfect for me.On this valentine, I want you to know that you are perfect for me. Forgive me if I quote Rebecca Wolff’s poem, You are perfect for me:

because you’re psychic
no one else could understand me
the way you

do and

I say
Drink Me

I say it to you silently
but it calls forth in me

the water for you
the water you asked for