Categories ArchivesHistory Lessons

Back to School standard

No matter what day of the week it is, no matter what year or how old I am… when I hear people talking about “back to school”, what immediately pops into my head is my first day of first grade. Man was I excited and boy was I nervous as “all get out”. There was this anticipation of something big happening. That first big day. Something big was about to start: My education! Up to this point, I had been listening to stories from Poppy or my Dad or my Mom or Gram or Grandmom about their days in school. What kind of made it different though was the fact that pretty much ALL of my relatives, not just my ...

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Wheel Summary standard

So this is the first 27.5 “Plus” bike out the door of 44HQ.  Really pleased with how this one turned out and I think it’s a high time to give you the cliff notes version on wheel size… If you’re not “hep” to what a Plus sized bike is, here’s the intel you need to know. The mountain bike wheel size was based on a 26″ wheel because that’s what the early pioneers had access to: Lot’s of Schwinn cruisers which had 26″ wheels. However the 26″ wheel has one bad feature: That small wheel size needs constant pedaling to keep it going. Any amount of obstacle sucks the momentum out of it. Early on, a few were playing with the ...

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History Lesson : “Swinging Bridge Road” standard

As I’ve mentioned previously, I love History. Especially when it’s close to home and in this case, it’s to do with my home town. When I was a kid, I’d hear a handful of stories repeated often about our Valley (The Upper Perkiomen Valley to be exact). There seemed to be a soft place in my relatives heart for certain aspects. But I picked up on a blend of resentment or anger occasionally with some stories and they all revolved around what I knew as just “The Lake”. Technically the Reservoir which feeds Philadelphia and it’s suburbs during drought. My Grandmom (Anna Mae Malasky, my Mother’s Mother) had a sort of sarcasm about “The Water Company” as it’s previous owner ...

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Haircuts! standard

I was out for a ride last night with Kaya. We’re doing our thing tearing up some single track. I paused to grab a snack and a drink of water, but wanted to clean up my glasses. Take them off and that’s when it hit me… I need a hair cut. You see, there’s a simple gauge for me when I need… and I’m talking NEED a haircut and it goes like this: Take something off head and hair goes everywhere? I need a haircut. Hair needing to be be tucked behind my ears? I need a haircut. Wake up in the morning and curls stand about 4 inches off the top of my head and I’ve got the rockabilly ...

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“When You’re Older…” standard

As a kid, I’d hear this line every once in a while: “When you’re older…”   Another one was “when you’re ready”.  Both basically equating to: “Kris, you’re still too small and you don’t realize that just yet.  You just have to wait till you’re a bit bigger and certain things happen at certain junctions in time.  Just be patient.”  Two things stick out clearly regarding these statements from my parents.  First of course was football.  Another was track.  Less so track. I could not wait to play ball for the same team both my Dad and his Dad played.  I’d hear all these stories and that’s all I could think about later that night.   But there was always something ...

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History Lesson #44 standard

Gram, my dad’s mother, was a serious record keeper. She had lists. She had everything marked out to perfection on the calendar. She filed stuff away. Organized. Dangerously organized I might add (sometimes too organized so she couldn’t find something…). And coolest of all? She had scrap books and photo albums so well organized it would make the national archive envious. Volumes of clippings. Hoards of photos. All neatly organized and cataloged. When I was younger and over for a visit, I’d ask her to pull a photo album for me and we’d sit side by side on the couch in the front room as she’d go through each picture with me telling me in detail about the memories she ...

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Ancient History standard

“Over the hill and through the woods…” That saying rang true the better part of my childhood, through my teenage years and well past my 20’s and 30’s. You see, my Grandmom (Mother’s Mother – Anna Mae Malasky), literally lived over a hill and basically through the woods. And you’d go to see Grandmothers house. My Grandpop built the house on what remained of the Malasky Farm which had been claimed by eminent domain when the Suburban Water Company had built what is now the Reservoir just outside of East Greenville, Pennsburg and Red Hill, PA. The Malasky Farm along with a whole host of other farms situated along the banks of the Perkiomen River were all claimed by the ...

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The Need to Ride standard

I was out on a ride the other night. Nothing new there. I ride as much as I can. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday Saturday and Sunday are almost always reserved for a ride. Sometimes short.. well, most days on the shorter side and some longer days thrown in there when time permits. Monday’s and Thursday’s are dedicated to the weight room for strength training. That’s been like that since the fall of 1990. I was a freshman in High School, coming out of a Junior Varsity Football season and the biggest lesson I learned was that if I wanted to be a Varsity letterman, and be competitive on the field, I HAD to be in the gym and building strength to ...

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A day in this life standard

I get a lot of questions. One that pop’s up every now and again is for me to describe what a typical day is like here at 44HQ. Well, here is 6.10.2015: Wake up time was about 8am. I’ve never been a early riser. Honestly. I knew that a LONG time ago. My natural hours seem to be anywhere from 7:30am to about 1-2am (I’m a night owl, what can I say…). So wash up, get dressed and give Kaya some hugs and kisses. She needs these and it’s my job to give them to her. Mr. Kito got some too (he’s the King of the Kitty Castle, or so he thinks). Breakfast was 2 eggs, a piece of toast ...

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Feeling Nostalgic standard

I started mountain biking sometime around 1989 or 1990. I had been riding road for much longer up to this point and of course my fair share of BMX. Mountain biking combines the two nicely: Going fast and getting RAD. Finding mountain biking for me was like coming home. Saved perhaps. But my first mountain bike was a Trek 830 Antelope. Florescent yellow with black splatter paint accents. I saved for months and still didn’t have enough… My Dad took me over to T-Town Cycles in Trexlertown, PA and said he’d make up the difference if needed (which he did – what a pal). I rode that sucker to hell and back again until she finally cracked up by the ...

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