Park place

From the annuals of VeloNews, circa 1998.

From the annuals of VeloNews, circa 1998.

Chapeau to all the folks who are taking stars-and-stripes jerseys home from Boulder, especially Bibleburg’s very own Katie Compton, who racked up title No. 10 at Valmont Bike Park on Sunday.

Our politically and spiritually unhinged community is home to some top ’cross talent, for reasons that elude me. There’s six-time U.S. ’cross champ Alison Dunlap, who used to live right here in the Patty Jewett Wild Democrat Preserve and can often be seen towing a trailer full of offspring at a pace that makes grown men weep.

And of course there’s Ms. Compton, who seems so genteel and mild-mannered when buying a bottle of wine at Coaltrain, yet come race day can be seen methodically ripping off people’s legs, eating them, and then using the bloody bones to club lesser riders out of her path.

With two such exemplars of the discipline in residence, you’d think some bright person would have had the idea to duplicate Boulder’s Valmont Bike Park down here in God’s Country™, where men are men and so are the women, only more so.

Alas, the Free Hand of the Market is too busy jerking off to fantasies of an Olympic museum, a “multipurpose” stadium and a visitors center for the U.S. Air Force Academy, which already has one.

You know — places for looking at things, instead of actually doing them.

As one-half of the executive team that operates The House Back East™ Bide-a-Wee Vacation Home & Money Laundry, I have yet to encounter a guest who longs to visit museums, stadia and visitors centers.

What they want to do is tackle the Incline, Pikes Peak, the Garden of the Gods, and Manitou Springs. They want to do stuff, not just look at it. And some of them want to do it while blazing a fatty.

But don’t tell that to the local leadership. They turned this place into Six Flags Over Bethlehem and now it’s all about The Five Rings To Rule Them All, the feddle gummint’s saggy ol’ sugar tit and state-supported fantasies about what a bunch of old white guys think will get the money train chugging through town again.

Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines “spectator” as “a person who sees or watches something without taking an active part; onlooker.”

Yeah, that’s just what we need.

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19 Responses to “Park place”

  1. Steve O Says:

    At the risk of waxing philosophic and engaging in a political debate which will never resolve itself… don’t these so-called conservatives realize that if God had intended them to have an Olympic Museum, multipurpose stadium, and numerous visitors centers, then the free-market would’ve supplied such an item to meet demand?

  2. Steve O Says:

    Hey Patrick, what’s the link again for reservations at the HBE™?

  3. Andy Bohlmann Says:

    Good one, Patrick!

  4. John Dallager Says:

    Steve: I thought free-market marketing was all about CREATING demand…even if we don’t yet know that we need/want the product! 🙂

  5. Charley Says:

    Nice subtle transition from Bikes and bikers to money hogs!

  6. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    The politicos want to keep the callouses on their palms from sliding their hands under the table. Best government money can buy. But I would rather have an olympic museum than another private prison. That industry is the latest darling down here, and we got plenty of residents for them coming from down South.

  7. Larry T. Says:

    Good rant POG! But what about all the income from the folks who journey to Bibleburg to “focus on their family” and soak up all the wonderfulness provided by those right-wingers who run things? There must be millions in that, no?
    I always wonder why taking $$ from the fedrul gummint is OK when you’re a fat-cat politician but so wrong when you’re a poor, jobless person just trying to survive via food stamps, unemployment checks, etc? Somehow the War on Poverty seems to have morphed into a war on poor people.

    • Patrick O'Brien Says:

      Amen brother. And if we can drug test bike racers, why can’t we drug test all those folks drawing unemployment? Shit, they may use that tax money to buy beer.

  8. khal spencer Says:

    We have a similar problem down in BombTowne as far as starting new ventures. As long as Uncle Sam is showering greenbacks for whatever it is we do here, nothing else takes hold. Not that I am one to talk, given that Sam recharges this old white guy’s bank account. But I do recall when we brought in the IMBA folks to plan some neat courses we could sell to outa towners, it was met with some resistance and died a quick death.

    The only thing for which enthusiasm can be whipped up is a shopping mall. Yep, a 1960’s mall. Why? So we can “keep more money on the hill” rather than having folks flee to Santa Fe and Points south/east/north/west on weekends.

    No one has quite figured out that if Uncle starts shutting off the money teat, that mall will be boarded up as fast as that one horse pulling the local economy keels over. Besides, why shop in BombTowne when the goodies are so much nicer in Fanta Sea and via the Internet. Shit, I still can’t get a #6 coffee filter in this freakin’ town.

    There is a lead article in the New Mexican about the 350 billion (with a “b”) bucks someone in D.C. is saying that Uncle will have to spend in the next ten years in order to keep the nuclear weapon enterprise going. Maybe we can borrow the money from China?

    I’m far from convinced we need all this nuclear stuff when some team of smarty pants in East Geckostan, working out of a prefab building with some laptops, could potentially bring our economy to a halt by sending out a virus that will turn out the lights. Methinks this is a Battleship Row mentality waiting for the next version of carrier aircraft to sink it. But what do I know.

    • Larry T. Says:

      Heck, they don’t even have to be that smart! A 4 X 4 Toyota pickup and some AK47’s seem to do just fine raising hell…and we respond with a trillion dollar war effort..and now that we’re gone the same bad-guys are takin’ things over, just like before. What’s that definition of insanity again?
      We played around with MTB’s over the weekend in what was left of our snow, but throwin’ a bike on my back and runnin’ with it is for other folks, as David R. pointed out awhile back!!

      • khal spencer Says:

        We “won” the Cold War, according to “Experts” by spending the Soviets to economic exhaustion. Methinks Al Fido is doing the same to us with those tradeoffs you refer to, Larry. A trillion dollar war effort vs. a bunch of towelheads in the backs of Toyota pickup trucks wielding AK’s? Doesn’t take long to see where that is going. I suspect that like most insurgencies we have seen in the past, the Other Side can ensure a constant supply of cannon fodder/drone fodder to bankrupt us.

    • Patrick O'Brien Says:

      Khal, you are depressing my ass, and I just got back from a swell ride on the SOMA ES. Larry is right. Everyone should have at least one bike where they picked every single part.
      Anywho, the army post here is building a hotel on post and making all TDY folks that come here stay in it. The hotels here, and there are some fairly new ones, are in a bind. Next time I go into one, I am going to recommend that they advertise in Adventure Cycling and other cycling publications. Shit, sell the weather and the bike routes. A hotel just down the road has a 60 mile out and back ride to Bisbee, on a bike path and good shoulders, right outside their door. And it is 65 degrees right now.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Patrick (O’Brien), you make my head explode. I’ve been trying to get the local economic wonderkin to support races and century rides for similar reasons–since Uncle put harsh restrictions on government travel, our hotels are sinking faster than the Titanic.

        What better way to fill them than with ski, bike, and hike events? I whipped up a variable road ride by doing it myself and writing it up–15, 25, 50, 62 mile versions and you can add more if you are more inventive. We have the Pajarito Punishment offroad event that could be easily expanded. Tour de Los Alamos (O’G has raced it as a real USCF guy; I raced it as a fat old citizen) has been languishing.

        Haw haw haw… would not believe the level of ambivalence here towards bringing in what is seen as a “service economy” based endeavor.

        I’m rapidly losing interest in living here in Los Alamos and am more and more thinking its time to bail before the next bulkhead bursts. Its a beautiful place, but not taking advantage of its stunning location except to recruit more of us for le bombe factorie. My fear is Uncle will fold his cards and the rest of us will be left with pennies on the dollar for real estate. The town is collectively whistling past the graveyard, too.

      • Patrick O'Brien Says:

        I know Khal, let’s buy houses in OG’s neighborhood. He like to cook, and I think he always has a well stocked bar and fridge. Shit, he works at home so us retired folks can stop by anytime and drink a beer, maybe two or three, before we continue our ride. I know he would love the company, and we can take treats for Mr. Boo and spoil the shit out of him.

      • Patrick O'Brien Says:

        Wait Khal, scratch that idea. I forgot about winter. Here’s what we do. You and O’G buy houses in my neighborhood. Same deal, just warmer.

  9. khal spencer Says:

    Gawd. All this ‘cross talk and I’m seriously thinking of stripping all the commuter bits off the LaCruz, putting on the Richey Cross tires, and seeing if I can make a fool of myself on it.

    I do have the Long Haul Trucker in commuter form, and its quite good for that.

  10. bromasi Says:

    All tea baggers should be drug tested, are given some good Humboldt gold.

  11. sherkat Says:

    Last year at Worlds, all of us Carbondale cross crazies donned KFC buckets to cheer on Compton in Louisville. She had a bad start, but she didn’t quit. We didn’t actually eat any KFC, and they made me buy the buckets.

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