Northern Virginia Cycle Fest Takes Washington Area Bikers Inside the Beltway

JCC Fairfax County bike tour

After riding over 50 miles in the Northern Virginia Cycle Fest, Doug Landau & friends are all smiles back at the Fairfax JCC

Sunday’s 5th Annual Northern Virginia Cycle Fest was a challenging event with cyclists getting to see many different Fairfax County, Arlington, Falls Church and Annandale neighborhoods. The JCC Fairfax Bike Tour benefitted the Wounded Warriors Project and WABA (Washington Area Bicycling Association). Before bikers departed from the JCCNV on Little River Turnpike, they were given safety lights, bandanas with a map of the course, lots of shwag and a rousing send off. There were four ride options: 11 miles, 30 miles, 50 miles and 62 miles.

The Cycle Fest had information booths, giveaways, rest stops with tasty treats (and friendly volunteers), SAG vehicle support, Mechanical support and food at the end of the ride. Doug Landau started with friends from Herndon and then joined other triathlon friends after getting dropped while changing maps. What bicycle did the Triathlon Trial Lawyer use for this all morning ride ?  As mountain bikes were not permitted, and Landau’s triathlon bike was still drying out after Saturday’s Savageman 30.0 race, the Herndon Virginia biker rode the bike picked out by his friend, and wounded warrior, Jose Ramos, that had been bought for his son to use when he came home from his Navy assignments.  “The tri bike would have been too uncomfortable after 4-5 hours, but I would have liked a third gear to go up some of the short hills.  A “granny gear” would have enabled me to spin out my legs after the very difficult race the day before.”

While there were many turns, the bicycle injury lawyer praised the safety consciousness of the ride volunteers, the time put in by the folks who painted yellow arrows all over the 4 courses, and the JCC for hosting such a fun, non-competitive event. Lawyer Landau did the 50 mile option and looks forward to participating in future events; hopefully with fewer turns !

Neither Rain, Nor Wind, Nor Cold Keeps Savage Triathletes from Competing at Challenging Deep Creek Lake State Park 30.0 Triathlon

Rain and wet roads lead to slower times at the Maryland Triathlon Series race at Deep Creek Lake Park

Top Reston Masters Triathlete Eric Mackem snapped this picture of Herndon lawyer Doug Landau “in action” on the wet roads of Deep Creek Lake Park at the Savageman 30.0 race

The pelting rain, wind and cold convinced Melissa Landau to consider wearing her full body wetsuit on the bike portion of the Savageman Triathlon Saturday morning ! Presently in 4th place out of 161 athletes in her age group, Mrs. Landau was looking forward to swimming in the clear Deep Creek Lake, riding the challenging roads of Garrett County, and running on Deep Creek State Park trails. This Maryland Triathlon Series event supports the Melanoma Research Foundation, the voice for melanoma prevention, detection, care and cure.  The Landau Law Shop is a sponsor of the Virginia Triathlon Series.

When the Landaus arrived at Deep Creek Lake State Park for the late morning start (so that the fog can lift), Doug Landau made the decision to ditch his heart rate monitor, cyclometer, watch and large ring on the bike.

 

“In order to be safe on these steep, wet roads, I felt that holding back would enable me to have a safer race. As I am presently in 9th place in my category, I wanted to complete this very tough course the first time I competed in this MTS event. Also, this is a longer distance for me and I have a quartet of sprint competitions left this season, and I do enjoy the short, ‘red line’ type races most of all.”

 

Deep Creek Lake and the wind propeller topped Allegheny Mountains of western Maryland, provide a scenic venue. On Sunday the Set Up Event folks have a half-iron event that features a very tough bike course. These events are fun for the competitive Ironman racer to the leisurely back-of-the-pack or novice participant.

As Landau swam out to the starting buoy, he noticed a drone overhead filming the race ! Careful not to get off course and to keep a steady, but not “all out pace,” the Herndon injury Lawyer dashed through the first transition passing wetsuit clad racers right and left. Lawyer Landau then passed people throughout the hilly bike course until he returned to Deep Creek Lake State Park on State Park Road, when two bikers passed him as he tried extricating himself from his bike shoes with frozen fingers and feet ! It rained the entire time he pedaled through Swanton, Maryland, and soaked and cold, he rolled into the second transition. Try putting on shoes without feeling in your fingers or toes ! Landau had a slower than usual transition, and was careful on the rocky running course, so as not to fall, turn an ankle or face plant on the steep descents. Passing still more competitors, he was only passed by two much younger athletes.

Finishing over 20 minutes later than would have been expected on a flat, dry and hot Olympic Distance course, his 2:40:16 was good enough to win the age group by over 5 minutes, with one of the best bike and transition splits of the day ! While the longer race Sunday carries more weight in the standings, Landau hopes his performance under the adverse conditions will give him enough points to break the top 5 going into his last two Maryland and Virginia Triathlon Series races. For Official Results click here Still shivering after his warm down run, Landau left without waiting for the Awards ceremony or taking his place atop the podium as the best athlete in his category on the worst day for racing.

Half Way to St Patrick’s Day

Join in the fun on September 17 -- half way to St. Patrick's Day!

Join in the fun on September 17 — half way to St. Patrick’s Day!

What a clever and fun idea!  Herndon, Virginia is celebrating the half-way point to St. Patrick’s Day on September 17, 2014 with a Fun and Fitness Celebration!

In the Morning

10am – 12pm at Herndon Community Center

- Traditional Irish fare

- “Ask a fitness trainer”

- Free kiddie play zone

In the Evening

5-6:30 pm on the Town Hall Green

- Free Zumba class and Intro to Body Pump

- After party at O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub

The Fun Happens Right Near the Abrams Landau Law Shop

While Herndon lawyer Doug Landau has tried Zumba (to the delight and laughter of his non-dance-challenged daughters), he does use the Herndon Community Center facilities frequently, especially for hydrotherapy and deep water exercise.  Landau also enjoys O’Sullivans and its Irish food, friendly staff, and entertainment.  It’s only a couple of blocks from the ALL law shop!

We hope you’ll join in the fun!

Drug Enforcement Agency Investigating NFL Painkiller Use

Long-term use of pain medications is often not without complications

Shown here after running the Virginia Trial Lawyers race with his wife and daughter, Doug Landau is concerned with the long-term effects of strong pain medications

As a follow-up to the National Football League (NFL) lawsuit in which former players accuse the league of using painkillers to mask athletes’ injuries so the players could “play through the pain”, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is now investigating who distributed and provided those drugs.  (Read more in a Washington Post article.)

At Abrams Landau, Ltd., our business is helping injured people.  We know from years of experience working with clients who suffer from both short-term and chronic pain that the use of pain medication is not without its problems.  According to athletes’ lawyer Doug Landau,

“Painkillers like Percodan, Vicodin, etc. can be addictive and there are risks associated with long term use.  The symptoms we see, along with our injured clients’ medical histories, bear out the difficult balance between pain control and controlled substance abuse. Plus, once a long-term painkiller user builds up a tolerance to the efficacy of the medication, they need more and more pills.  This, in turn, puts an additional strain on the digestive system, liver and stomach lining.”

In the case of a professional athlete, it is easy to imagine that pressure from team doctors –  much like the pressure we see exerted by insurance company nurses who try to medically manage a disabled workers’ comp claim –  would cause problems with patients’ physical AND mental health, not to mention the doctor-patient relationship.

Those who distributed and/or provided the drugs to NFL players without proper medical supervision should be held accountable for their actions.

College Triathlon Teams Duke It Out at Williamsburg Virginia Race

Age Grop winners on the podium at Jamestown' Virginia's Anniversary Park

Sporting William & Mary as well as Virginia Tech colors, age group winners show the college kids how it’s done at the Williamsburg Sprint Triathlon

Triathlon teams from William & Mary, George Washington University, Georgetown, George Mason University, University of Virginia, James Madison University, Marymount, University of Maryland, Virginia Tech and other Mid-Atlantic region schools battled it out this weekend for bragging rights at the Virginia Triathlon Series Williamsburg Sprint Triathlon. “There were so many athletes with ages 18-24 on the back of their calves that I was beginning to feel like a dinosaur!” remarked Herndon Virginia injury lawyer Doug Landau.

The event was contested at Anniversary Park next to the Jamestown settlement the day after the Williamsburg Half Iron event. The race started with a 750 meter swim in the James River. The water is slightly brackish, with a current, and high temperatures meant no wet suits. Many taller athletes were able to run in the shallow water of the James River. Others employed the “dolphin technique” to get out and back to the beach more quickly.

Lawyer Landau found himself well back in the field, with a swim place of 190th. With another blistering run through the first transition, and a fast 20km bike split on the fast course along Route 5 in James City County, this VTS sponsor found himself passing college athletes. On the pancake flat 5K on an asphalt bike path lawyer Landau passed (& cheered on) more university triathletes to finish in just under 71 minutes to make it to another podium. With 3 VTS races under his belt, Landau is now in 11th place in his division out of 298 athletes, many of whom have completed more than the 5 races counted towards series points.

Once again Greg Hawkins and the Set Up Events crew did a terrific job. The heat, the 9 hour finish of some half iron athletes on Saturday, and the water conditions made for a long weekend for Jane Langford, Set Up Volunteer Coordinator and the race volunteers. This event benefits Special Operations Warrior Foundation. There were a number of military personnel participating in the race, and Landau ran with one young Marine who sported a tattoo on his back that read “grunt”. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides full scholarship grants and educational and family counseling to the surviving children of special operations personnel who die in operational or training missions and immediate financial assistance to severely wounded special operations personnel and their families. This is definitely a race to put on your calendars for next year and it supports a terrific charity at a wonderful venue. Plus, you can come a day early and visit Historic Jamestown, Yorktown and Colonial Williamsburg and get a fantastic dose of early American history !

How Does World Cup Measure Distance Run by Players?

CYA youth soccer team

These CYA soccer players have no idea how far World Cup players run during a game.  Sometimes midfielders cover as much as 10 miles in a 90 minute match

Have you ever wondered how far a soccer player runs during a game?  With the world’s attention focused last summer on soccer during the excitement of the World Cup games, this may be a question on the minds of sports fans across the globe.

Sports fanatics have always been — and always will be — obsessed with statistics.  Every sport has stats to follow, and every coach and trainer tracks them.  So why should soccer be any different?

During this year’s World Cup games, players were tracked using a system by Stats LLC.  According to the company’s website, STATS is an acronym for “Sports Team Analysis and Tracking System”.

The STATS system records how far and how fast each player runs, as well as where on the field they spend most of their time.

Contrary to what you may initially believe, this sophisticated system does not use sensors or chips or anything similar to track players.  Instead, it relies on computer-vision cameras to track objects on the field, and then using an additional layer of software, can identify the individual players.  The data is then analyzed and compiled into useful information that can be used to:

  • track “top runner” or other player stats
  • analyze player skill and strategy
  • gauge a player’s fatigue as a way to prevent injury
  • predict success of game strategy

Athletes lawyer Doug Landau notes the impressive use of technology as an aid for coaches and athletes to hone players’ skills and also avoid fatigue and the resultant vulnerability to injury.  “As athletes, we sometimes do not realize how much wear and tear we are putting on our bodies.  A system that can unobtrusively yet accurately track movements and collect data is an excellent example of how technology can improve safety in sports,” says Landau.

If you or someone you know has been injured and are seeking legal counsel from someone who knows what it is like to be an athlete, look no further than Doug Landau, of the law firm Abrams Landau, Ltd.  Contact us by email or phone today (703-796-9555).

Mad Dash Rhinebeck Races Celebrate Labor Day & Local Charities

After copping yet another age group award and top 20 overall finish, Litchfield County CT injury lawyer Doug Landau poses on the main street of Rhinebeck New York after the annual "Mad Dash" 5km. road race

After copping yet another age group award and top 20 overall finish, Litchfield County Connecticut  injury and disability lawyer Doug Landau poses on the main street of Rhinebeck New York after the annual “Mad Dash” 5km. road race

The Mad Dash 5K , 10K & Mini Dashes are an annual tradition in Rhinebeck New York.  They start on the main street of the town, had accurate mile markers and the 3.1 miler followed a mostly shady “out & back” course (so athletes could see their competition at the turnaround).

These charity races, founded in 1988 are sponsored by the Church of the Messiah in town. Unlike most “charity events,” 100% of the proceeds go to support local charities. The proceeds from the Mad Dash have helped fund countless local charitable organizations such as The Messiah Food Pantry, multiple homeless shelters, AIDS related community services, WIC, Community Coalition for Rhinebeck Youth, Dutchess County SPCA and many more. Last year, the Mad Dash hosted over 700 runners and walkers of all kinds and raised over $14,000 !

The courses cover rolling hills and beautiful scenery on a paved road. With assistance from the MidHudson Road Runners Club (“MHRRC”) these popular local events benefitted from a sunny morning and community support.  There were plenty of police and volunteers on hand to help ensure a safe race, though there were a few runners who could not hear because of headphones and others who ran on the wrong side of the road, despite directions to stay to the right on this :out and back” running course.  Driving over from Sharon Connecticut, Doug Landau managed to crack the top 20. Averaging under 7 minutes per mile and finishing 18th out of 270 finishers in the 5km, lawyer Landau copped another 50-60 ager group award. Click here for full results.

Should Recumbent Bikes be Allowed in USAT Races and Championships?

USAT eventsHaving raced recently in the Marine Corps triathlon, where “wounded warriors” swam with metallic prosthetic legs and mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, and touring bikes shared the road with tricked-out aero bars and disc wheels, Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau is in favor of recumbent bikes participating in USAT-sanctioned events.

However, in addition to putting on competitive, challenging and fun events, USAT needs to be concerned for the safety of all participants.

In the race recently completed by lawyer Landau, an athlete competing with the metallic Cheetah lower leg, like the one Oscar Pistorius used in the Olympics, was admired by all of the athletes, but was a potential danger when someone’s hand came close to the thrashing lower limb during the swim. Especially in conditions of poor water clarity, such a prosthetic device could be extremely dangerous. Race directors can make accommodation for all sorts of “nontraditional equipment.” However, an all-out ban on recumbent bikes would prevent people with cervical neck surgery, severe scoliosis, limited spine mobility, or compromised lumbar spine to compete in multi-sport events.

Ensuring the bikes’ visibility during the bike event with flags, as well as mandating that all passing be done with an audible signal, would increase the safety of recumbent racing. Furthermore, recumbent racing bikes would be low to the ground, reducing the likelihood of falling, or wiping out. Since recumbent bikes are a bit wider than regular racing tri bikes, directors of races with very narrow roadways would need to look at their race course to see if it is feasible.

As our population ages, three-wheeled bikes may become the only way that an older athlete can compete in the bicycle portion of a race. These are not much wider than the three-wheeled chairs used by paralyzed athletes for the run portion of such races as the Boston Marathon and the Ironman triathlon.  Herndon lawyer Doug Landau’s own cousin competed in a North California triathlon using a wheelchair for the run, a “handi-bike” that was in a recumbent bike configuration, and swimming on his back. “It is feasible, commendable, and replicable. I think the emphasis should be on inclusion in the sport, not exclusion,” notes Landau.  What do you think ?

Group Training Rides for New Cyclists in Reston

Bikers at Historic District of Herndon & W&OD Trail in Virginia

Bikers at the train depot in the Historic District of Herndon, Virginia, next to the W&OD Trail

This past June, Reston Bicycle Club started conducting Group Training Rides.

Held on Sundays, these organized rides are intended to educate novice to intermediate riders on group riding techniques, formation and signals. This past weekend’s Reston Century rides took bikers on three of the routes past the ABRAMS LANDAU law shop in Herndon, Virginia.  “I hope that all the street construction and steel plate placement did not create any unnecessary hazards for cyclists traveling through the Old Town Historic District of Herndon.  With Great Harvest Bread Bakery, Dairy Queen and other scrumptious stops located within sight of the W&OD Bike Trail, perhaps riders who did not know about the Town’s offerings got off their saddles and sampled some of “the taste of Herndon!”

“For someone new to cycling, or someone looking to brush up on his or her technique, a group training ride is a great way to acclimate a cyclist to biking.  Being comfortable on a bike, negotiating turns and hills, understanding how to ride as part of a group, knowing appropriate signals, and getting practice in a non-stressful setting are important steps along the path to safe cycling,” notes lawyer and avid cyclist Doug Landau of the Herndon law firm Abrams Landau, Ltd.

Landau is an advocate for bike safety for riders of all ages, and promotes safe cycling and helmet usage through his “Helmet a Day” campaign, participation on panel discussions in the biking community, and insistence on safety during his own rides.  He always performs a pre-ride checkup on his bike, wears the appropriate clothing and head protection, and uses a bell on his bike to alert other bikers of his passing.

For more information on Reston Bike Club, including ride schedules, visit their website.

 

Marine Corps Marathon Series Quantico Triathlon Conducted with Military Precision

Quantico Marine Base Triathlon

After the Marine Corps Marathon Triathlon at Quantico, repeat Grand Master & Age Group Champion Doug Landau thanked volunteers at this Virginia Marine base

“When a race takes place wholly on a military base, you know you are going to start on time and no motorists would dare run a stop sign !” observed Herndon trial lawyer Doug Landau at yesterday’s Marine Corps Triathlon at Quantico. With over 460 registrants, the Marines and volunteers showed that last year’s inaugural race success was no fluke.

The Quantico Tri began with a 400-yard swim in the Quantico base’s pristine 50M outdoor pool. Starting every 10 seconds, and snaking their way across the pool, after athletes completed 16 lengths they ran to the bike transition area. The 8 mile out-and-back cycle tour of the main side of the Marine base featured one hill to the turnaround point. After racking bikes, triathletes continued on to complete a 5K run that went by the soccer fields where lawyer Landau’s kids had played soccer tournaments in the past. This distance is similar to the three-mile event every Marine must complete annually as part of the Marine Corps physical fitness test. There were “wounded warriors” team members competing with their prosthetics; other veterans utilizing recumbent bicycles and still other athletes who were more comfortable on mountain and hybrid bicycles. Fast swimmers were seen using dolphin kicking off the wall before beginning their freestyle, breaststroking and even keeping an eye on the competition backstroking !

As this was not a USAT sanctioned race, many standard rules were not announced or followed. While the helmet and no riding within the transition area rules were in effect, others were not. Some athletes had water-proof headphones/iPods, others did not wear the mandatory race or age numbers, and still others cycled in the middle of the road. There were no mile markers on the bike or run courses, though there were plenty of spirited volunteers. Next year’s event could be further improved by reminding athletes of several safety rules, including:

  1. passing on the left on the bike
  2. calling out or giving some other verbal warning when overtaking on the bike course
  3. not slowing or stopping at narrow “choke points” during transitions
  4. allowing passing at the ends of the lanes during the swim
  5. “tapping” before passing in the pool

While finishing a minute faster than last year, and crossing the finish line in 9th place, when the final results were tallied, lawyer Landau managed 6th place overall. The Herndon Reston area multisport athlete and injury lawyer was the fastest Grand Master and easily won his age group again this year. Landau started in 53rd position, and was only passed by one athlete once on dry land. His good friend, and Set Up Events volunteer coordinator Jane Langford, was the overall woman’s winner. For full results, click here.

Douglas K.W. Landau is admitted to practice in DC, VA, CT, FL, and NJ. Abrams Landau services clients in Washington DC, Pennsylvania, PA, Maryland, MD, Virginia, VA (including Northern Virginia, Fairfax county, Loudoun county, Herndon, Reston, and more), Connecticut, CT, Georgia, GA, Florida, FL, New Hampshire, NH, New York, NY, New Jersey, NJ, Maine, Massachusetts, MA, Rhode Island, RI, North Carolina, NC, and South Carolina, SC.

Information disseminated on this website is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. This information is not intended to create an attorney-client or similar relationship. Please do not send us confidential information. Past successes cannot be an assurance of future success. Whether you need legal services and which lawyer you select are important decisions that should not be based solely upon this website. Please contact: Abrams Landau Ltd. at (703) 796-9555.