Blacknell.net

Archive for the DC category

December 28th, 2013

Thank You, Scott Scudamore

Posted in Cycling, DC, Personal, Society, Virginia by MB

Reading through Scott Scudamore‘s Facebook wall right now is an exercise in deep swings of emotion. Until you’ve experienced Scud in person, it’s not only hard to grasp just how outgoing and friendly he was, but to truly understand  how genuine his connections with other people were. The evidence, though, is in each and every one of those posts.

The first time I met Scott (2004?), I think he started off with a “Hey, I don’t mean to be a busybody, but . . . ” (and he totally did). It was at Wakefield, and he was coming over to dissuade me from riding the muddy trails. Since I’d actually just loaded my bike on the car because I’d *seen* the muddy trails, I was a little irritated at first. But Scott was waving me off of riding in such a friendly and positive way, I couldn’t help but finishing the encounter liking him.

Fast forward from there. Over the years the friendship developed, from chatting with him at MORE work days, to riding with him in Stokesville most Memorial Days, and – in the last couple of years – enjoying much longer conversations about community, aging, and making the time for important things.

While I (very much) regret not seeing him since his crash, I couldn’t ask for a better last conversation than the one we had over (many) beers at Stokesville this year. We talked about giving back instead of trying to take it with you, providing for those close to you, and the importance of making the best connections we can with other people while we’re alive.

Scud managed all of that in ways we should all aspire to, and he inspires me to live up to that.

He did that for me and many many many other people.  Well done, Scud.  Well done.

~

More about Scott Scudamore here.  Scott’s influence ranged well beyond his home in Virginia.  Since his injury I’ve seen heartfelt testimony about and appreciation of the man from the East Coast to Hawai’i.  From lifelong friends to people who he really connected with in the span of a race.

July 1st, 2012

Washington, DC

Posted in Cycling, DC, Travel by MB

Rolling past the Lincoln Memorial at 4:30am in the summer.

June 28th, 2012

Clarendon Cycles: Investing in Better Communities

Posted in Cycling, DC, Policy, Virginia by MB

In which I express my frustration with the House GOP turning non-motorized transportation into some silly symbolic part of their culture war.  Sure, go on about art funding, or abortion, or imaginary people coming to take your guns away.  But really, making streets safe for all users is now for liberals only?  Christ.

June 21st, 2012

2012 Crystal Ride Photos

Posted in Cycling, DC, Virginia by MB

Army of One crosses the start on a penny farthing at the 2012 Crystal Ride.

So it turns out there was no official photographer for the 2012 Air Force Cycling Classic Crystal Ride this year. I wasn’t out shooting it, but I did end up with hundreds of photos as I was out there looking at locations for shooting the pro races later in the day. So, in case you know anyone who was looking for photos, here’s more than a few. Simple copies from the site?  Free.  Something that requires more work from me?  Not free (but not expensive).

(I got a great interview with the fellow pictured above.  It’ll run as one on my Clarendon Cycles columns, soon.)

June 10th, 2012

Arlington, Virginia

Posted in Cycling, DC, Virginia by MB

At the Air Force Cycling Classic.  UnitedHealthcare’s Jake Keough (far right) wins, and Team Type 1’s Alexi Schmitt . . . doesn’t:

Team Type 1's Alexi Schmitt slides through the sprint finish of the Air Force Cycling Classic.

Want the whole story?  Check out this gallery (and be sure to scroll for the full captions).

April 19th, 2012

Electric Bikes & Arlington Cycling

Posted in Cycling, DC, Personal, Virginia by MB

My latest Clarendon Cycles piece is about e-bikes, prompted in part by my meeting with the Trans-America Electric Bike Tour crew.   I’m being quite honest when I’m describing it as a *click* moment, where I finally move from e-bike skeptic to e-bike appreciator (if still not quite an outright embrace).

Boris and Anna’s tour covers all sorts of interesting things.  Check ‘em out.

April 18th, 2012

Space Shuttle Discovery in DC

Posted in DC, Society, Tech by MB

Space Shuttle Discovery Flies Over DC

Took the morning off to shoot the DC fly-by of the Space Shuttle Discovery on its way to Dulles.  I’d originally planned to head to DUlles, but changed my mind at the last minute, deciding that the Air Force Memorial would be the perfect spot.  Here’s a slideshow of the results.

Shot it with a 70-200 f/4, which gave me some nice pictures like the above.  Still, if I’d really wanted to manage some better context to the photos, I should have gone with something wider right under the Air Force Memorial, and perhaps rented a 400 prime to get it as it passed the Washington Monument & Capitol.  In the end, my favorite shot of the day from others?  Is a silly little Instagram photo.

March 29th, 2012

Getting to National Airport Via Bike

Posted in Cycling, DC, Travel, Virginia by MB

Plane lands at Washington National Airport (DCA)
New Clarendon Cycles piece up at the Clarendon Patch about getting to National airport on your bike.  It really is a fantastic way to get there for weekend/quick trips.  And so long as your return flight doesn’t drop you back at DCA in the middle of rush hour, you can always punk out and return via Metro if you find yourself not really feeling like riding home.

March 23rd, 2012

Love Living Here

Posted in Cycling, DC, Virginia by MB

Started the week like this:

Climbing up Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Mountains

Finished it like this:

View over DC from Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington

March 12th, 2012

Crystal City Diamond Derby

Posted in Cycling, DC, Virginia by MB

Capital Bikeshare bikes at the Diamond Derby

DC’s Dandies & Quaintrelles, in partnership with the Crystal City BID, held the Diamond Derby over the weekend.  All I knew before I showed up was that it involved bikes, a parking garage, and a course set up by this guy.  So this is what I learned on the first lap (motion starts at :40):

That was fun. The idea was to earn a point for every lap completed and collect points along the way. The part I obviously didn’t get was how to collect points along the way, so I finished way down in the standings. I did, however, figure out that we got points for dismounting and carrying the bike through a VéloCity minivan. Hope we didn’t do too much damage to it.

There were several other races in the evening, ranging from a kid’s event to a real race with qualifying heats and everything.  In between there was great food and drinks and people.

In any event, it was a great use of a parking garage that usually sits empty on a weekend.  Lots of credit to D&Q and the forward-thinking folks at the Crystal City BID for making this happen.

(I’ve put up an unedited set of photos here, if you were there and looking for photos of you.  I’ll get an edited slideshow up later this week.  Sorry, I missed the kids’ race, so no photos of that.)