Sunday, December 18, 2005
It was a busy weekend, so I'm just going to dump all the stuff I need to get out of my brain. First off, the inaugural Frigid Bits Crit was held Sunday afternoon on the frozen surface of Goose Lake. I had hoped to check out the course and maybe get a little photo goodness for the blog, but my two-and-a-half hour drive back from Soldotna got me to the lake just as the race ended. Bagged a photo of the finishers, though.
Everyone enjoyed the course and rode off the lake with smiles on their faces. I just might show up with a bike next month. What the hell, I already buy ibuprofen in bulk. Might as well put more of it to good use.
Quick update on the Banjo Brothers messenger bag I'm testing this winter and sort of "reviewed" here a couple of weeks ago. I exchanged some e-mails last week with the Banjo boys, who are working out some kinks and gearing up for production. It sounds like they're on top of all the little things I've found to nitpick about, such as the poorly positioned shoulder-strap pad. My early sample bag has a few glitches that Eric and Mike are correcting for the new line of bags due in 2006, and Eric assured me that these minor flaws are already being tweaked and won't appear in the final version. If you're in the market for a big-ass bag from a blogger-friendly company that won't leave you broke, check it out. Hard to beat 2000 cubic inches for $80.
Deadhead extraordinaire David Dodd is my hero of the week for spending the past 10 years annotating the lyrics of the Grateful Dead. His website at the University of California has long been a useful reference for reading up on the eclectic array of material behind a deep well of wonderful music, and now it's available in book form. I've said for years that one could teach a college course on American music history just by drawing on the Dead's repertoire. Now Dodd has written the textbook.
And in the teach-your-children-well category, I was reminded this weekend of how happy I am to steer my kids toward sports like bicycling. All the adolescent little hockey hellions who invaded our hotel on Saturday typified much of what I hate about mixing kids and team sports. They were arrogant, ill-behaved, poorly supervised brats. Call me hockey bigot, but that sport seems to attract more budding goons than any other.
Here's a hint: Any sport in which pro teams hire certain players purely for their fighting ability might not be the best character builder for your kid. Oh, and actually calling your 12-year-old by the nickname "Thrasher" in public? Mmm, that might not be sending a really productive signal. Unless you're trying to raise a sociopath.
The management must have dealt with their ilk a few times before, because a sign was posted at the front desk: "Hockey sticks not allowed in hotel." Unleash those little demons indoors with sticks, and by morning the whole place would look like Chechnya on a really shitty day. Chunks of sheetrock, broken lamps and other debris would litter the floors. You'd need to drive a Humvee through the front doors and across the rubble-strewn lobby with a bad-ass Ranger on the 50 to take out hostiles. (OK, so maybe I kind of fantasized about doing that anyway.)
The whole thing reminded me how nice it is to see "Bikes Welcome" signs on hotels in bike towns like Moab and Fruita, and how pleasant kids usually are when you encounter them at trailheads and mountain-bike races.
One of Anchorage's promising young bike racers passed a friend of mine last summer during the 24 Hours of Kincaid. This is a girl who is growing up in a bike-racing family. She's a good rider and I'm sure she knows it. She could be an arrogant little brat, but she's not. She didn't blow my friend's 42-year-old ass away until after saying, "Um, excuse me. Could you move over please?"
That's going above and beyond the call of decent behavior, especially when a good old "On yer left!" would have been enough.
You've gotta like a kid like that.
I'm pretty sure she never played hockey. She's one of us.