Monday, July 13, 2009

not a normal guy

a friend asked if i was an armstrong fan. i will say, MK grew up during his reign, and we have spentmany summers as dad and daughter together watching and cheering for him. on the other hand, he is certainly the "new york yankees" of cycling, and so it's hard to get behind that.

but to me, none of that matters. this is what matters to me:

this is a bicycle racer who has both bill cinton and george bush on speed dial. desmond tutu, too. if he needed to, he could get freaking obama on the phone inside of 10 minutes, i will wager. a BICYCLE RACER.

the degree to which the cycling community fails to celebrate that one of our own has reached the levels LA has in world astonishes me. and, i believe what livestrong has done for Hope in the human condition is as great as anybody living today. every day, right now - somebody someplace is being told they have cancer. every one of them can walk to their car with with their loved one, and instead of lip-service bullshit can honestly say to themselves - " you know, if that lance armstrong guy can win the TdF 7 times after what he had, maybe i can beat this summbitch too." it is real. i think he deserves a nobel prize for that. name me one living person who has done more for Hope than LA.

but, i am not a new york yankee fan. no.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

separated at birth ??

we taped the 1st mtn top finish, and watched it late so i am sure everybody has had their say on AC's attack from the back at andorra. my own ?? that crazy little dude went completely sarah palin on that old man lance mcain. too wild.

almost not woth it

well the week back from vaca was a living hell, as per usual. brite sdie being looking forward kwickly to the SS chmpnship race at levis trow. i never get there anymore except for this race. it is odd, because i still think they are the best trails in the region, but of course nowadays you have to drive past so many other good areas to get there and . . . . . . . . . just doesn't happen.

the SS race was down in numbers. sad to see but oh well. in my opinion WI never did get the whole idea of a SS chmpnship race quite right to begin with. it has been way too serious, and it has been a race of the hardcore instead of a relaxed kinda deal like we experienced back at say, SSWC. the idea that you were not gonna win was MORE a reason for people to go, and not less like it has seemed to evolved to. no matter.

MK had a solid ride, she liked her gear. she won the first 2 SSWC's, was gone last year when she was on very good form. this year of course her form is yet to come, and she got beat by a stronger rider in katie. so, there are now 2 two-time winners Fe of SSWC, maybe MK can use her collgiate cycling experience next season as she leaves the jr ranks to make it a race for the showdown. amy plato raced, and that was cool - MK and amy were the original 2 Fe racing SSers in WI and battled way back to when MK was 13 or 14. she really liked that and after katie and her very intimidating bike-racer-legs took off MK just found a groove and edged amy for 2nd.

i rode an easy gear, seeing as my season is noplace, and was off the back having a great time by myself. i did glimpse rick W once a few switchbacks ahead of me, but was never that close and i just enjoyed the ride. we hit a nicely air conditioned but otherwise nondescript place for huge platters of poor excuses for chicago dogs for lunch, and enjoyed the stunned appearance of the elusive one who broke in his sweet new singular in grand style. thassit. time to go fix the pool.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

so camp is over. long tiring drive home sat eve. i wish i was at eau claire, and it woulda been doable, but too draining - time to come home. the last evening they hold a contest, and the last event is "best trick" - being numerous shots one-by-one at whatever you can throw down on this selected feature of the park. i could not get any action shots, so i will have to describe what went down.

it was a tie - 2 kids wer going at it. the feature consists of a 11 ft high double-bank set-up . . .from steepish to near vertical( at this angle you cannot actually see the last near-vert 5 feet of the bank ), with a 6 foot quarterpipe in the middle as a kinda launch. on top is a 3 foot deck to a wall.

kid no 1 was a little fellow, and he lauched off the 6 foot quarter-pipe, spun a 540 frontside ( facing the wall - hard to dos ), and landed up on the deck in a "disaster" - that being the is board half on the steep re-entry, and the other half up on the deck. he then nudged the rear of the board up and onto the plummeting steep re-entry.

kid no 2 was bigger, and fast. he went for the burly approach rather than tricker. he blassted off the quarter-pipe, sailed clear over the remaining 5 feet of nera-ver banking, across the deck, up another 4 feet or so and onto the steel wall near the middle of the signs you see there. he planted his feet, , compressed, and leapt back off the wall across the deck. at precisely the right moment, he found the balls to put his board back under his feet as he sailed down past the lip of the banking/wall, using the tail of the board as it hit the lip as a placement tool before unbelievably putting his other foot on the front of the board as he re-enters the ultra steep banking blind and plummeting super fast and hard - a slam here woulda been very very bad.

they do this to win a hat. unbelievable.

anyway, cycle related here is the dirt-jump section of the park. i am so happy to be a part of this place. they run 2-3000 kids thru here a sumer and every of them shows that every other time toy here about there "nothing for kids to do" or people bitch about "kids-these-days" is ful of it. this tiny gem of a camp in the middle of nowhere proves it. most ofthese kids have nothing like at home, nick - surely doesn;t. they look inside, and they find it, and they bring it out. i have great hope.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

battle of the week

the classic camp battle is the highly anticipated skater vs gymnast dodgeball showdown. as in most battles, they are won or lost on the3 degree to which one underestimates his/her enemy.

in the case of the skaters . . . . they forget that these girls have spent half their waking lives working out their upper bodies and body coordination. they have arms like cannons, and they do not throw like girls. surprise !!

the gymnasts, on the other hand have an undeappreciation of the inherant anarchy ( read; willingness to cheat ) within the very definition of skateboarding.

mayhem ensues.

in the event they get over - payback for the skaters comes friday AM, when the even MORE highly anticipated "Skater's Rules" match takes place between the skate staff ( who have put up with these rambunctious punks all week , and the skater-campers. the skater staff have a decade of that aforementioned prepensity to anarchy on the campers . . . . . . . . . . . guess who takes the beatdown ??

anyway, 40 miles or so of pristine aspahlt, and free hot breakfast waiting for me when i got done at dawn. nice.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

out-marketing notre-dame ??

yeah yeah, MK is goin to ND. but no - i have not gone ND-parent-mad, despite my ever so stylee NDish plaid knee warmers you see me sporting here. i dunno if they make them or not ( tho based on this pic it obvious they should ). no indeed. instead i came to the northwoods where i ride at 4:45 in the AM before camp opens, and forgot my knee warmers/tights. oops. a kwik trip tp the lost-and-found, an even kwicker modification on a long sleeve shirt with my bangage-scissors netted me these hi-end warmers.

and yes, a normal shirt-sleeve does hang loose on my chicken leg.