Sunday, October 23, 2005

Veloswap

This weekend’s main event was the Veloswap. I was awoken at 7:00am Saturday morning by Allison yelling "Bikes! Bikes! Bikes! Bikes!". Allison, Cassi and I were out the door at 7:30am and on our way to the Veloswap. The doors didn't open until 9:00am, but at 8:00am there was already a large line at each of the entrances to the National Western Complex.

At 9:00am we were allowed in, and everyone rushed around like little kids looking for Easter eggs. Bike makers, bike venders, bike shops, nutrition companies, clothing companies, and hundreds of individuals had booths set up, promoting their products, or selling their wares. New, used, complete bikes, parts, accessories, everything, was there.

Kids in a candy store? You bet. I only bought a couple pairs of socks and a couple tubes, but I had a great time. Cassi walked home with a road bike. She, Allison and I have since been out riding, helping Cassi put nearly 30 miles on the new ride in less than 24 hours.

I am already looking forward to Veloswap next year.

In other news: Loveland and Arapaho Basin are open of the season. Ski season is here, and bike season is still underway. I love Colorado.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I know I'm not alone

Thursday night, Allison and I went to see the premier of "I know I'm not alone" at the Boulder Theater. The movie was made by Michael Franti, a hip hop/reggae artist. Franti is well known in Colorado and further west as a lively performer who can easily fill the large concert venues in Denver and Boulder.

The movie is a documentary about Franti's trip to Bagdad and the palestinian territories of Israel. He wanted to see what life was like for the people living in occupied countries. Of course, as a musician, Franti also brought his guitar. Many scenes show Franti playing music with people in there homes and in the street. People he does not know, and can not speak too, but the music brings people together.

Franti talks to everyone. The rich, poor, young, old, Americans, Iraqis, Israelis, Palestinians, civilians and military, he even does a concert for some US troops. As an outspoken critic of the Iraq war, he said "that was the hardest show I've ever done" but it is amazing to see how warmly he is recieved. He even makes some friends in the army, and they show up later in the film.

After the movie, Michael Franti came out on stage for a question and answer session about the movie and his trip. Franti is incredably brilliant, and it showed in his Q&A. The best example of this was when someone asked him "Where do you get your news? and which do you like better, Grass or Roots?" He laughed a bit, then answered "I assume you mean Bluegrass or Roots Reggae, and in fact I get my news from both of those places"

He followed the Q&A with an solo acoustic set. Franti is famous for his work with his band, spearhead. However, Franti solo acoustic was probably the best concert I have ever seen. Franti has the carisma and stage presence to energize a crowd. He turned the audiance into an insturment. Clapping, and chanting, and singing, created an atmosphere that was truely amazing. The entire venue was on their feet, dancing and singing along. The concert didn't end until 12:30a.

I would strongly encourage EVERYONE to see "I know I'm not alone" http://www.iknowimnotalone.com

For another review of the movie, visit http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05258/571541.stm

For more information on Michael Franti visit http://www.spearheadvibrations.com/index.html

Thursday, October 13, 2005

21st Birthday Pic

Here's a pic of Melissa and I at Coors on my 21st Birthday. (This is the same Melissa that I road the Moab Century with). Thanks to Johnny for the picture.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Moab Century

Moab: The adventure capital of the USA, home of the 24 hours of Moab, Moab Jeep Safari, Fat Tire Festival, Skinny Tire Festival and the Moab Century Tour.

The Moab Century Tour ( http://www.skinnytirefestival.com/century/century.html ) consists of a 45, 65 and 92 mile ride. The 65 and 92 mile rides include the great hill climb called "The Big Nasty". The whole climb gains 4500 vertical feet in roughly 20 miles, but its real claim to fame is that the last 3000 vertical come in the final 7 miles. Naturally, I went to do the 92 miles and the "Big Nasty".

I was invited on this ride initially by Melissa (a good friend and my roommate's girlfriend) and her father, Randy, who were planning on doing the ride. After some very slight problems getting registered, we were on our way. We drove out in Randy’s van, which is all set up for the cycling vacation, bike racks on the roof and rear capable of taking 7 bikes. The middle seat in the rear had been removed to make room for a cooler and food, and made the back of the van have more leg room than my living room. We were riding in style.

We arrived in Moab around 11:30, and quickly laid out the sleeping bags to get some sleep. The night was clear, so we elected to skip the hassle of the tents.

The next morning was sunny and had a slight chill in the air. The kind that is refreshing in the morning, but you knows it will burn off when the sun pokes its head over the mesas. A perfect day for a bike ride. Breakfast, then off to the start.

What a ride: The "Big Nasty" proved to be one of the easier obstacles on the trip. The wind proved much less forgiving. We had a headwind nearly all day. Of the 100.22 miles we did that day, only 15 of them had a tail wind. The rest were slow, contributing to our painfully slow average speed of 14.9 mph. Despite the wind, fun was had by all. The temperature was perfect, the sky was blue, and the sandstone of Moab was its vibrant red. Although the ride was officially only 92 miles, we tacked on the little extra to make it a true century.

We returned to Denver Sunday morning to find crazy weather. Snow, wet and wind. 18" of snow have already fallen in Summit County. The weather slowed our trip home by a couple hours, but I don't think anyone in our van cared. Between naps, we snacked on root beer and Ritz crackers, a well deserved rest.

The century was fun, and everyone involved had a great time, it's important not to forget why we were there. All the proceeds from this event benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation ( http://www.livestrong.org/ ).

"The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) believes that in the battle with cancer, unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything. Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist, Lance Armstrong, the LAF provides the practical information and tools people living with cancer need to live strong."

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I'm 21...The drought is over

As of Oct 6, 2005, I am 21

The night of Oct 5th I rolled into my house around 11:45 from whatever escapades I'd been up to that evening, to find my roommates Charlie and Duncan standing at the door waiting for me. "Where have you been! We're going to the bar" they explained. Sure enough, that was true. A few moments later (in fact, about 12:05, now Oct 6th) the bouncer at the Buffalo Rose (a local cowboy bar on main street in golden) was checking my ID. He must have thought it odd, but on a Wednesday night, he was checking the IDs of Duncan, Charlie, Melissa, Johnny, Chase, Brennan, and "P" as well. As a group, we nearly tripled the population of the bar, but pay that no mind. Drinks were ordered, even Charlie, my Mormon roommate (who also has a bartending license, but does not drink himself) bought me a shot.

I woke up the next morning, not what you might call “refreshed”, but no worse for wear. I went to optical mineralogy lab at 8:00, and got out at 11:00. From there, Johnny, Melissa and I went down to the Coors brewery. Like all large breweries, Coors runs a tour of the facility, followed by a bar where you can indulge in 3 free drinks of Coors products. The local college community has discovered that if you walk in and inform the desk that you are there for the “short tour” they will send you directly to the bar, skipping all that silly stuff about how the beer is made, and getting directly to the point we all care about, which is drinking the stuff. We went in, had our drinks, and I was given a t-shirt that very appropriately says “I’m 21…the drought is over”.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Biking in Buena Vista

Escape from Golden and the School of Mines was needed. We'd all been in Golden since the school year began, and we were all getting irritable.

Time for a camping trip.

Cassi, the ski team secretary, and good friend of mine, cooked up a trip to head toward Buena Vista, near where she grew up, and go camping and do a bike ride that goes up the side of Mount Elbert (The tallest mountain in Colorado). The whole ski team was invited, but do to the flu going around, and a number of other factors, only 4 of us ended up going. Cassi (In blue in the group pic), her roommate Allison (who is not on the ski team, but was made an honorary member on this trip, and is in orange in the group pic), Brian Babcock (in dark grey), and I (in the green and yellow) headed out friday afternoon (just after my hair escapades -- see below) for a campsite out in the mountains near our proposed trailhead.



Clear skies meant the tents stayed packed up, and we slept under a sky of gorgeous stars. We awoke the next morning, broke camp, and headed for the trailhead, where we met up with Cassi's father, Frosty. Frosty was a sailor, and is now retired. He rides bikes in the area like it's his part time job, so we naturally invited him to ride with us, and be our guide for the trip. Guide he did. 15 miles of fantastic scenery, topping out at 10,800ft. Threw the yellow aspen trees and threw dark pines, all the time being watched by the snow capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains.



We returned to Golden on Saturday night feeling very refreshed.

Hair



Almost cut my hair
Happened just the other day
It's gettin' kinda long
I could have said it was in my way
--David Crosby


I did cut my hair
It happened on friday
It was getting pretty long
It was in my way
--Ben Teschner

Friday afternoon I cut my hair, and I'm now sporting my more traditional buzz cut that those of you who know me most from my high school years will remember. I donated two pony tails to Locks of Love, a charity that makes human hair wigs for children with diseases that cause them to go bald. Be sure to check out there website www.locksoflove.org if you want to know more about the work they do.



I'd also like to thank Cost Cutters who cut my hair free of charge because I was donating to Locks of Love.

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