Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Old people

Here's the point:
In all sports, masters deserve a medium for fair competition.
Jimmy's absence will leave a gap in the local cycling community.
I learned a lot from my great grandmother Amba.

Master's need a place to compete. This is the least we can do for a group strong with supporters of any support for decades. A 65 year old running 5ks has most likely spent tens of thousands of dollars on race entries, running shoes, and band-aids for chaffed nipples. Without a 60+ division all this person has to show is a closet full of poorly designed free T-shirts. Jimmy (I use him because he's the master's racer I know most) has spent more years than I have been alive immersed in the sport of cycling and contributing positively to it. He has benefitted the image of cyclists to those outside the community and enriched others experiences within the tiny cycling sub cluture we all know and love. For bike racers like Jimmy, and runners like my grand father (70 and still running 5ks), the least we can do is offer them a forum to compete against others like them... Like them? I mean people that have found something that they could participate in for decades. All bitching in the masters races aside, at the end of the day they're just a bunch of old farts that have continually been demonstrating their love for cycling in some way for a long time. They give back more as a group than many people can ever take from the sub-culture. It's the true masters (not the guys that start at age 58) that should take the credit for keeping the sport alive. This being said, I might have to open a masters category in the race I'm promoting right now. It's mountain, but interestingly enough it's the same weekend as gateway cup.

In some ways, there is a jimmy in every group. Some guy who's old as crap and who's seen it all. In another way, every group needs and old filthiez. On rare occasions do you find someone who has seen it all and is still willing to keep talking about it, passing down sound advice, and weaving parables on cycling and life with an eloquence lost in today's overstimulated and under focused society. When trying to glean advice from CBC I always went right up the heirarchy. I asked Butthead, argued a bit, took it's for what it's worth, then ask Ethan the same question. After hearing both sides, I would drop back in the pack to chat with Jimmy and ask him about both sides, letting him makes sense of it for me. Often the answer was, I don't know, but you should listen to ethan. Other times Jimmy would explain to me why each person would give that answer. It was kind of like reading a story on Fox.com, then CBS.com then going to jimmy as an unbiased 3rd party to find the real answer. Sometimes the unbiased remarks were cut short with an anecdote about the usefulness of performance enhacing drugs, or the neccesity for me to have as much sex as I can before my parts start sagging. I always make sure to listen in on jimmy giving advice to others, knowing that his opinions have been forged in experience and polished with years of point-counterpoint and logical evaluation. Without this veteran of the bike and of life, CBC will be missing something. Whoever jimmy falls in with down in OK will gain the pleasure of several more decades of Old Filtiez in all of his glory. I hope they recognize thier gain. I guess what I'm saying is.. Jimmy I'll lead you out any day.

It's not like that in only cycling. I'm still very happy that I spent many hours in my great-grandmother's house as a kid. I had the priviledge of living one block away from my great-grandmother during grades 2-5 and I took used that situation to my advantage on many occasions. Grandma Beckham was always ready to tell me about moving to Joplin in the when it was a booming little mining town. She was always happy to get out the viewfinder and tell me about the times she visited each of those places. I always like to hear stories about her husband winning state championships in checkers, and practicing while laying on the couch against other people playing in the kitchen. Her best and her worst quality was her unabashed critisicm of others. Amba was a God fearing woman who detested gambling, tatoos, men with long hair earrings and tight pants, and saw no reason to keep it inside. She let me know exactly what she thought I was doing wrong. Sometimes she was a little out of touch with the times, but today I respect her lack of fear towards confrontation or stepping on a few toes. She taught me a lot, and I feel blessed to have developed a relationship that spanned three generations. I have discoverd more and more that this relationship was unique in our age difference and in it's intimacy. Not only did I meet my great grandmother, and remember her, but I was able to soak up much knowledge of the way things used to be for people, and for my family. That's priceless.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Brady the builder

I worked commercial construction today. Hah, it was fun. I 'm in Breckenridge for a few days and the girl I'm staying with had to work 12 hours today. Naturally I couldn't be alone for that long so I called up a temp agency and found work for the day. I showed up fashionably late (10 AM to a workday that started at 6:30) just as the rest of the crew was finishing the hard work. I helped with the easy stuf for about two hours, then we took lunch. Then I moved some stuff, then we went home. Thank you very much that'll be $75. I think I should do this a few more times. Not because it was a great experience, but because it would make my taxes crazy at year end. Currently I will claim income from 4 emloyers, I think I should shoot for double digits.

Salt lake city is a wierd town. I heard the locals refer to it as "the city that never wakes up" and that seems to fit pretty well. Last call is at 1AM every night, and the people just don't get rowdy like the good drunk rednecks that add some spice to the midwest bar scene. I would like to go back during the school year and hangout at the university bars on a weekend, that might change things. If you aren't into drinking and maybe find the outdoor life more exhilarating, SLC has a lot to offer. Every day that I rode I had no problem finding a new 5+ mile climb with a decent grade. Weather was great (unlike Breckenridge). Great hiking and mountain biking trails are plentiful, and the Wasatch mountain range provides more accesible rock faces than any other I have seen to date.

My last day in SLC I took advantage of that last characteristic. I went and did a multi-pitch trad-climbing route with my friend who works near SLC. In english, we climbing up a rock face that was a couple hundred feet tall. We had a 60 meter rope, but the climb was long enough that we had to anchor ourselves to the cliff and start over with the rope twice (for a total of 3 pitches, ground, first anchor, second anchor). At the top we used one rope to double rapel douwn the side.

My immeidate conclusion: cycling makes you think about life. While you're on the bike, a combination of endorphins and lots of time allow you to iron out your mess of a life, develop goals, strategies, and plan for the future. Climbing makes you think about death, and in turn, leading a fuller life. After the first pitch, you a high enough a fall would certainley be fatal. Now you're tied in to somethin at all times, but that something is often a trapezoidal nut wedged into a crack (hope it holds), tied to a glorified ribon (hope it holds), tied to your waist. The other scenario is you are on the face being held on only by a rope about 1/2 inch in diameter at the mercy of your climbing buddies competence (they don't belay properly, you will fall a long way).

I didn't come down from the mountain with a new set of zen master quotes, but I did learn, I am not afraid of death, and to date, I am happy with how full my life has been. I'd say that's a pretty major thing for anyone to say. So far, I have 22 regret free years, I want to see how long I can keep it going...

That was an unintentional segue: I've been wondering for awhile now, what is being an adult/growing up anyway. Whatever it is, I'm not there, and I'm not sure I want to be. This concept of adulthood, which I feel is to often erroneously used as a synonym for maturity, seems to only be occupied with some sort of negative ingredient. People often imply to me that adulthood comes with one or more of the following:
-intense regrets
-a bitterness toward others/the human race
-a closed minded attitude
-dissatisfaction with your present life
-giving up on the belief that you can do something about that dissatisfaction
-losing all beliefs that you can accomplish your goals
-an inherent realization that work suck and there's nothing you can do about it
-being a kid was fun, but eventually you realize the rest of your life will be a travail

there are others, but my mind is starting to confine itself to certain genres of characteristics of adulthood. It often appears to me that adulthood is just the feeling of loss of internal power and ability. I'm still a kid, but if adulthood has to be something like that, I'm challenging myself to not grow up for awhile. It should aslo be said that I feel a few of the so called adults who read this blog are very much not grown up, according to the definition provide above. Maybe it's the people who suck at life that just like to the most about it.

Speaking of definitions, did you know that "poop" has 4 definition according to webster. Yes this is toilet humor, but I found it intriguing that I didn't know it yet. Poop can be: 1. fecal matter 2. a factual report 3. the front of a ship (the part below the poop deck) 4. waves that crash over the poop (onto the poop deck).

Now after this post I feel like I should go drink a gallon of ridalyn and try and focus.

Be back in CoMO soon.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Road trip

This guy is serious about his blogging.

I leave for Salt Lake City and Breckenridge in 8 hours. I'll come back sometime before my brother's wedding. I am smuggling some good cheap whiskey into Utah and some fireworks in to Colorado so my friend can have a proper 4th of July a few days late. Going to visit a climber in Salt Lake and a cyclist in Breckenridge (that's right men of CBC, I'm staying with Felicia). I really have no itinerary but I'd imagine I'll be doing some climbing in SLC and some biking in Breck (one of my pet peeve's: when people abbreviate noun in an attempt to sound overly aquainted with said noun... examples: Breckenridge = Breck, Newcastle = Newkie, Spatula = Spat <-- I heard a snobbish steak and shake cook once dissing the "spats" at a campus dining hall claiming his "spat" was far superior, as were his burgers, and his penis).

Soup du Jour:
I have been riding once or twice a week for around a month now and my legs are starting to feel normal again. While I haven't been riding much I haven't been sedentary in any way. I've been finding solace in ultimate frisbee, badminton, disc golf, water skiing, trail running, weight lifting (going to look like Kersha soon), climbing, others. I should give some "normal American sports a try." You know baseball, football, soccer... wait scratch soccer, that's not American, just the other 6.2 billion people on the planet. I also wonder why my legs still don't feel great. I figure it's one of 4 things:
-I still commute nearly every day so I really have been on the bike at least a little bit 6 or 7 days a week
-I am doing to much other stuff and while that is fun, I really need to let my legs get fat (read: grow kankles)
-Maybe they are just getting out of shape (this is very likely)
-Something I haven't guessed at yet or have already incorrectly ruled out.

Reading the place mat:
Now a word from my sponsor (me)...
Mizzou is hosting a mountain bike race at Cosmo on Labor Day weekend (Saturday Sept. 2nd). I know this probably isn't a good day, but it was the only day I could get working with the state NORBA series and the Collegiate schedule. Non-collegiate racers will be welcome to come and show the young guns how it should be done, (or just to race). Prizes, payouts... blah blah blah... it'll all be up on stlbiking.com soon. The race will be part of the NORBA series so maybe I'll get a few guys that way. Oh here's the cool part. I am starting the collegiate field and NORBA fields together. Collegiate racers will have a chance to pay the collegiate and NORBA entry fee and score points as well as win prizes/cash. For NORBA racers this means a larger field size and more actual racing (as opposed to time trialing through the woods). ATTENTION WOMEN: there will be more than 3 racers in your field.

In an unrelated note there will probably be a 3rd annual naked crit on Saturday night Sept. 2nd. ATTENTION WOMEN: lots of naked college steeds drunk and ready to go... race bikes that is.
I was going to post a picture of a previous naked crit but blogger.com won't let me... hmmm technical difficulties or conservative opression for the protection of others?