Monday, November 21, 2011

Riding Planet Gwadz

I needed a mental health afternoon, so I took half of Friday off to chase a friend around downtown DC on his cargo bike.  I've known Joel Gwadz for years, but hadn't really ridden with him.  Gwadz is a major fixture in the DC cycling community.  His Blog, Gwadzilla ( has been documenting the cycling lifestyle in DC with great photos and commentary for years.  You can tell Gwadz is seriously into the community because pretty much everyone we met on Friday afternoon at least tipped their hat to him.  The afternoon was perfect and I was really looking forward to follow Gwadz around with a camera aimed at him. 

I arrived at the Occupy DC encampment at Freedom Plaza about 10 minutes before Gwadz.  I put the dummy up on the center stand and just pedaled away for a few minutes.  I chatted with people and snapped a few photos.  The Dummy is a great conversation starter and it was particularly easy with the Occupy folks... they totally get it.  It also made it easy to strike up and get them talking about their experience in Freedom Plaza and what the future holds.  My few minutes with them was enjoyable.

Before long Gwadz rolled up and we were off.  We rode around town, shot photos and video and delivered a bunch of stuff to the Occupy group at Mac Square.  Over the years I've adopted much more of a "Live to ride another day" style of cycling downtown.  I am much more relaxed and I don't mind waiting for lights and traffic.  I just sort of roll in a very mellow way.  That changed the instant I struck out with Gwadz.  I chased him through the city and the old instincts for traffic and pedestrians came right back.  It was a serious blast.  There were no "oh shit!" moments.... just 2 guys on cargo bikes winding their way through the city.  

More on the rig Gwadz was riding later.  

Hugs and kisses,


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