Dennis on the Road

Sunday, August 28, 2005

jason in the news

my friend/sponsor/bike guru, jason, is featured in this article.

"After you get done with a four- or five-hour ride, it gives you the gift of an empty mind. You can enjoy things as they are. To me, that's powerful medicine."

happy birthday mom

Today would have been my mother’s 61st birthday and is about a month and a half since the fifth anniversary of her death.

I miss my mom a lot. Those who knew her will understand why. Those of you who know me, know a part of her that is alive in me and my brother and sister.

I spent a couple days this week with my dear friend Skeeter, who also became close friends with my mom. One of the things that saddens me about not having my mom around is that new friends won’t get the chance to know her in that way.

I woke up this morning at 5 AM in Pacific Grove. Preparing a pre-race breakfast, I felt the strong presence of mom. In the foggy coastal pre-dawn, I was reminded of how much she supported my racing (or at least eventually did… I had to run away from home for the day to compete in my first race.) On the drive to Santa Cruz, we crossed some roads that I cycled with my mom when I joined a group of her friends during a tour in this area.

Generally on significant mom-anniversaries, I’ve had some of my best races. I won my last Cat. 3 race a few years ago on Mothers’ Day and this year in the same race took 7th in the pro field. This summer, on the anniversary of her death, I took fourth in the last masters’ race at Superweek and sewed up my 2nd place overall for the series. Today, however, the hills of Santa Cruz were even too much for mom. But I sure appreciate you cheering me on, mom. I miss you and I love you!

R.I.P.: Barbara Jean Herrema-Guikema: August 28, 1944 - July 16, 2005.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

big up to scott & tommy...

A quick congrats and kuddos to two friends who are releasing disks this month:

Give them a listen...

My friend Tommy's band run return is putting out a disk later in the month.

Scott's band The Lovemakers has been gettting a ton of radio play and just put their first major lable disk out on Interscope.

my kick ass hapa hommie

Most of you know, whether you’ve met her or not, that I’ve got an amazing housemate. Sachi and I both been traveling so much that we’ve only seen each other a few times this summer. (Somehow we manage to still get our rent paid on time.) We shared breakfast this morning and caught up on gossip and travel tales. In the year & 1/2 that she’s lived here she’s been to China, Afghanistan, Puerto Rico, Phillie, NYC, and LA. In two weeks she’s off to Finland. She makes even me look sedentary.

I’ve been privileged in the time that we’ve lived together to see the evolution of a couple documentaries that she is creating. One has just been published on PBS’ Frontline World website. It is a 14-minute video that I’m assigning all of you to watch! It is beautiful, interesting, and inspirational. David kicks Goliath’s ass in this one. (Leave a comment on this weblog… I’d be curious to know your thoughts.)

The story is currently on the front page of Frontline World. Here is the direct link to Sachi’s piece that should remain active even after a new front-page story goes up.

pat robertson = satan

Less than a month before I travel from Trinidad to Venezuela, Pat Robertson, the leader of a US Christian organization that claims 2-million members, former US presidential candidate, television commentator, and friend of the current US president publicly called for the assassination of Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez. I’m disgusted by the hypocrisy of Robertson and the US Right that have demonized Chavez, Venezuela, and much of the rest of the world, while their words and actions display the terrorism that they pretend to decry. When will we stop bullying the rest of the world? When will we pull out of the illegal war in Iraq? When will we forgive debts that enslave most of the 3rd World? When will we reverse the move toward a greater divide between rich and poor at home? I’m pissed!

Robertson Calls for Chavez Assassination

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 24, 2005; Page A02

Pat Robertson, the television evangelist and Christian Coalition founder, has set off a diplomatic fracas with Venezuela by calling for the assassination of its populist president, Hugo Chavez.

"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said Monday on his Christian Broadcasting Network...

already thinking about racing in 2006

Several members of my team have been working hard to seek out more suppport for the 2006 season. While an outstanding year for our team comes to a close ( Cycling Team is ranked 2nd in Northern California and we have had impressive results in several states!) we are looking at an even better year next year. We have a solid core of returning riders and several impressive prospectives. I'm really impressed with the work that has been put into shaping this team for next year. Check out this pdf file, a two page prospectus for potetnial sponsors. (If you know of any one that you think might be interested, please pass on their contact info.)

Friday, August 19, 2005

"crazy-ass English teacher"

What a way to start my morning. I’m in a little café across from Dolores Park in SF. I just got my oatmeal and cappuccino (I still need coffee to function) and powered-up my laptop. Received messages. And I read, and reread, the first email. I’m humbled unspeakably humbled and touch by this.

The message below is from Kirby Garcia. He and his wife Maya Cox were two of my most memorable students. Their creativity, drive, and old-soul wisdom fueled my teaching practice. It has been seven or eight years since I’ve worked with them and many years since we’ve talked. Yet those two are often on my mind. Experiences that we shared were at least as formative for me as a new teacher as for them as students. What a wonderful surprise to get this message.

Reading and rereading this, I’m reflecting on what good teaching is and I’m feeling motivated to return to the practice, seeking out an environment that will foster and challenge the spirit and body as well as the mind.

Here’s the message…


That's alright! You got some exciting things going on there. I knew you were up to something of that nature. You've always been that outgoing, spontaneous, adventurous dude.
Maya was very excited to hear that I got in contacted with you, and we are both looking forward to talking to you as well.

We moved to Phillie because we liked it here, after visiting twice, about three years ago. We've always wanted to travel, ever since high school.

There was this really cool, crazy ass English teacher, who for some odd reasons, took a liking to us. He tended to always challenge our abilities. Being two very competitive individuals, Maya and I took on all challenges. As rewards for our success, this crazy cool guy, gave us the "traveling bug". Yep, he sent me to a beautiful country, called Belize. And Maya, to a number of places.

Since high school, we've gotten married with two kids and still have not lost the "bug"! We planned this trip to Phillie for two years. We sold our home in Oakland, packed up the Camry, and the Garcia's drove across country. Man! Our family and friends thought we were "crazy" just like that ol' English teacher, back in high school. lol…

What led me to look you up? Well I've tried a couple of times, but obviously the wrong email address. To answer your question, You!!! See, in life there are certain people, places, and things that gets stuck into you mental hard drive. Once recorded, it just stays there. Whether the reason is a good or bad or both, just know that you are a great one.

I also looked up Khalid, of Noble Mentors. He was very shocked to hear my voice over the phone. I am looking for Drependba, if you have any contact on him please let me know. I'm just checking in with all the good folks! Who supported, believed in me and respected me.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

family time, california

Amanda-Panda-Pudding-Pie-Pooh-Bear has been living only three blocks from my house for a year... and I'm embarrassed to say how little we've seen of each other. It didn't help that we were both working a ton, she in the evenings and me during the day, and that on weekends I would take off and race while she would usually take off to the mountains or ocean. Even so, it was great to have her around for a while and to have family on the left coast. Meanwhile, the other youngin' in the family is out for a visit. It has been great hanging out with Josh and Amanda. I sure am blessed with a great family.

In other news, I've posted a bunch of new photos. (Click on the green text to see the photo. Click the "back" button in your browser to return to this page.)

I found a bunch of good photos from Superweek and have created a new folder for them. (Note, I'm bustin' copy write laws with this post.) Sorry if the multiple clothes and bikes cause confusion. (I was racing in kits from this year and last and I was on two bikes due to a terminal illness in my shifter.)

I've also posted a bunch of new photos from the summer ventures in the humidity drenched Midwest. Start here and click "next" 18 times to see what is new.

Not too camera shy at start of Arlington Heights Crit in IL. And another from the same race.

Finally, here is a great shot from last Sunday's Timpani Crit near San Jose that showed up on-line.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Hiroshima 60 years ago. Iraq today (still).

I’ve been reflecting all day, the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, on the horror of war and the addiction that our nation has to it, in all it’s forms (overt/covert, nuclear/conventional, star wars/cold war). I feel as though I need to do more to throw a wrench in the war machine. Any ideas? What can/will you do?

I can’t stomach the images and stories of war (and neither can our media which shields most of them from us, keeping Americans ignorant to the blood on our hands, paid for by our tax dollars). The thought of war and the pictures linked below are a depressing contrast to my happy-go-lucky-travel-rambling on this blog, but I feel we must view them to understand the enormity of what happened then in Japan and what is continuing now in Iraq and elsewhere. Please take a moment to view, reflect, and plan action. It is absolutely unjust and unfair to continue to enjoy our privilege uninterrupted while this degree of atrocity continues.

Friday, August 05, 2005

by Gail Murray

To wake each morning
innocent of schemes:
feeling the dream-texture,
gently opening to the day.

To wander with intention
the inner and outer landscapes,
companioned by friends,
rocks, trees, sky.

To find water where needed,
insect guides, and food
that offers itself freely.

To share, in song and mystery
the long chant of a people
unafraid, trusting
our everlasting Source.

Thanks, Heather, for sharing this, which I pass on to the rest of you.

Take a moment. Breath deep.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

back home

I'm back in Oakland.... Every time I return to the Bay Area, whether by plane, car, or train, I get a refreshing I'm in my element feeling. I had a great trip to the midwest, but I don't miss being in a place where the weather is measured by "heat index" in the summer and "wind chill" in the winter. As I write this it is 67 and sunny. Perfect! Just to rub in how great the weather is, you can click here to find out what it's like at the momment.

Meanwhile... I'm fully enjoying unemployment... I'm sure I'll be returning to the education game in January. This news article reminds me that I am needed.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

a tale of two hostels

Driving West back to California, I am taking some familiar roads and visiting the mountains I got to know when I first came out here with my dad, brother and uncle at eleven and later came to explore on my own for a summer when I was 16 and national championships were in Boulder.

Monday I left Chicago early and pushed all the way through to Idaho Springs, Colorado, 30 minutes into the mountains West of Denver. The hostel there was home to a dozen Russian and Turkish youth who were working at McDonalds for the summer on T1 visas. They were a great bunch, but there were stuck in a small mountain town with no social life, working in McDonalds, and staying in a ratty hostel run by a guy who described himself to me as a Nazi. When I checked in the guy, donned in a Rebel flag belt buckle, started right in on how the Turkish and Russian guests smelled bad, couldn’t be trusted, and hated the US. He told me about the gun collection he kept in his room and about the time he pulled a gun on a guest. He shared a bit about his past: 12 years in the military followed by 4 as a bounty hunter. All the while, I kept asking for my key and explaining that I was tired and hungry. After a late night of chatting about the Northern Caucasus and the Turkish coastline, I returned to my room, which upon closer inspection, was an unlivable pit. There was more hair on the sheets than two people should be able to produce. I ran out to my car for my sleeping bag… had it been any worse, I might have set up my tent in the room.

Tonight I’m in a much different situation. I’m in a hostel I’ve been to once before in Glenwood Springs. This place is run by Gary, a guy who moved to the area from LA 17 years ago, bought a big house, and has kept it open to travelers ever since. The living room is packed with crates of albums. I put on some Billy Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald when I arrived. I prepared dinner to Tom Waits. And I’ve been relaxing this evening to live Keith Jarrett and Joni Mitchell.

Meanwhile, I got a great ride in today, taking the bike path from Frisco over Vail Pass and back. Crisp air, stunning mountain scenery, and blankets of wild flowers. Sun one minute, showers the next.

Monday, August 01, 2005

a final weekend of midwest racing

I closed out the Midwest summer jaunt and the month of July with a weekend of Chicagoland races. I did both the 30+ and the Pro/1/2 races at both the Arlington Heights Criterium and the Wood Dale Criterium. At Arlington Heights I got my ass kicked. Twice. Enough said. Wood Dale was the opposite. In both races I bridged across to winning breaks, which lapped the field. In the first race (Masters) I placed second. In the second race I had to dig deeper than ever to bridge to the break. I didn’t have much left for the sprint and finished seventh.