Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where to start.....

Where can you even start? Last couple of weeks have had so many strange and wondrous things to rant about in the cycling world, I don't even know where to start, but I'll try.

Number one for entertainment value is the ongoing circus that is City of Boulder Open Space. Now, mind you, ANYTHING the leaders of the bubble get into is good for lots of reliable laughs, or in the least some amazement, but the ongoing battle in Boulder over the management of the area under the flatirons is funny even by Boulder standards. It's ALL here....

Conspiracy Theories!
(Now, why would County open space staff "find" the Angry Ranger trail on the 16th, then wait till the 28th, 2 DAYS before the meeting where MTB access would be decided on to "report" it to the world. And really, hauling reporters up to show it off??? come on..... when was the last time an unapproved social trail got front page news?)
First, do I think Boulder mountian bikers deserve a couple of connector trails out in the flatlands? Yes. Am I impressed by a great, mature, reasonable fight BMA put up in the face of a highly prejudiced process and long-entrenched core of NIMBY "everything that's not like me" haters. Hell Yes. Is the spectacle incredibly amusing? Yes again.

All the letter to the editor nastygrams, and better yet, the online comments have been the source of much amusement for months now. Seeing any idea of compromise slapped down in a hail of bigoted verbal artillery fire can be entertaining. Best comment so far was "Only in Boulder could a mountain biker be considered ANTI environmental", and it is so true. Strange that two pillars of "liberal-ness" can be SO exclusionary when it's not "people like us". Boulder & the Bay Area might someday be able to share their open space amicably amongst themselves, and maybe learn from some more of them backwards-ass places like Larimer & Jefferson counties. (sorry Boulder, That must sting......)

When you've gotten your fill of NIMBY Boulder whining, you can always count on the protectors of competitive cycling, the guardians of all that is good on 2 wheels, the all-knowing oracles from the UCI to rush in & find a way to promote their own self interest..... err, oops, I mean CYCLINGS best interests. All you can say about THIS NONSENSE is WTF? Are you for real?
It's amazing how 3rd rate executives of 3rd rate organizations of 3rd rate sports seem to always devolve to this point. Inflating self-interest in an attempt to make themselves more important that they are. We've even seen that in the not too distant past in Colorado cycling. Now the UCI wants to extort money from bike manufacturers to insure they are "safe". $10K to get a carbon frame approved. Wow. Thanks UCI, frames are FAR too cheap now. At least the fake stickers are already available. (Not that I'll ever have to worry about a UCI race.......)

And, if shaking down the small time manufacturers in your 3rd rate sport to inflate your sense of power might have made the knower of all that is good for cycling, Pat McQuaid, even the smallest bit fatigued, you wuld not know it as he sprang to rescue cycling in the USA from a terrible plot (Boulder Parks & Open Space people??) to destroy it by letting pro road racers use radios. For one, I am very glad Mr. McQuaid and his UCI justice league is out to save us from radios, 34mm cross tires, and faulty plastic bicycles. Oh, the Horror!

NO Radios dammit, this means you, you silly americans !!!

Well, what a fun filled couple of weeks. What will the arrival of spring bring for entertainment? Maybe we can get the UCI & the Bubble people together to fix even more of our problems. I can't wait, Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Winter Options - Biathlon

We have a couple of the High Peaks Masters boys who do a lot of nordic skiing after the cross season. Lots of the mutant bike racers out there also nordic ski, and pain & suffering of that kind of sickening intensity could only make one a better bike racer. Of course, OUR mutants have gone & taken it a step further. Yep, just a BIT further over the edge of reason by mixing firearms and the anaerobic haze into a twisted, strange sport.

Think about doing this....

1 - Do a lap on a cross course at full on, total gagging race pace.
2 - Stop and try to shoot a TINY target a LONG way off.
3 - Pay dearly in time for each missed target by riding a bunch of extra little laps.
4 - Repeat


But that is Biathlon.

The HPM boys & girls have been tearing up the Colorado Biathlon scene all winter, and even putting in top 5 finishes at Nationals. Pretty impressive. Kirk & Matt here toting a rifle about the winter countryside.

The Biathlon season is wrapping up, and while I can't quite "connect" with the nordic ski thing (Give me slogging up a 1000 foot skin track in the backcountry instead....), it really is a facinating sport.

Each fall, us non-nordic ski types can get a taste of it, without resorting to skinny little skis, dainty boots & really expensive wax.

The Colorado Biathlon Club runs a Summer Biathlon each year. Running or mountain biking replace the skinny skis, and they even have club rifles to use. I had taken up our Nordic Mafia's invitation to give the wussy summer version of the sport a try last fall.

Sounds easy, huh. Here is the view downrange from the firing line. NO, Really, there is a little black dot you are supposed to hit down there........ Somewhere........ Really.

You Don't usually think lycra and guns......

My dear wife, on her first day ever firing a gun. Note the three hits (black targets now white...) she got on one round in her race. Hard to take, being shamed like that by your better half.

Here's me missing a whole bunch of those little black dots 50 meters away.

Here is the look you get on your face after missing all 5 shots, and realizing you were probably going to KEEP missing a bunch, and are going to get VERY dizzy doing MANY 100 meter penalty laps. The guy is writing "Danger... can't hit broadside of barn.... never let back on range..." on his little clipboard.

Here's me getting dizzy doing a bunch of penalty laps. I am just noticing Kirk about to catch me and leave me for dead after doing only one penalty lap. Really helps you feel good about yourself.

All in all a fun deal. Felt like a cross race after having to repeatedly chase down people who could shoot better than me. Any of you out there who do the nordic thing might want to think about giving it a try.

Course, I dreamed up a more "interesting" version of this hallowed olympic sport....

If you can find a way to shrink the pool of competitors enough, you start to improve your relative atheletic performance, no matter what the sport.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Is it time?

What with the sudden saving of daylight that just transpired, some strange, unpleasant & generally hateful kind of bike racing already happening in Colorado, and the sudden hordes of bike rider type things suddenly flooding the roads betwixt the Bubble & "not Boulder" lately, it must be that time of year, when the species "roadus-bikerus-shaved-legus" comes out of hibernation & begins a new year of suffering.

Normally about now, I'd have had a good dose of skiing in by now, but given my reluctant & slow-healing hip, I've not been able to get out. Course, now that I have a glimmer of ability looming, we seem to have gone back to a "no Snow" period. Perfect timing. Of course.

Since riding is not causing me issues, I've started at least trying to get out a bit and start re-teaching my butt how to sit on a saddle. Even one or two (ug..) road rides.

I have become a firm believer that indeed Riding Road bikes, (not bad Spelling...) Makes Baby Jesus cry.......... OK, maybe riding road bikes just makes ME cry.


In all fairness, I really AM happy to see the spring hordes arrive. While I may enjoy making fun of those who "Ride not like myself", as long as you are out there on two human powered wheels, it's all good. Of course, given the near biblical earthquakes, tsunamis, and fires here lately, maybe it's not just me whining, but maybe really the end of the world? Probably not, it's more likely just me whining, thankfully. But feel free to keep track.

While I've gotten most of my old & twisted body semi functional with huge doses of Physical Therapy, rest and beer, I seem far from being "ready" to really ride yet. Can't yet bear to start droning around on the pavement just yet. I keep dragging the cross bike out on the dirt roads, trying to put off the inevitable road bike "training" time I'll need to start soon. Is it OK to do your "base miles" on the dirt? I hope so.

Enjoy the coming of spring. It seems to be getting close.