Posts Tagged ‘Team Mad Dog Media-Dogs at Large Velo’

Crosswords

October 29, 2013
The flier for the 2000 Mad Dog Cyclo-cross in Bear Creek Regional Park.

The flier for the 2000 Mad Dog Cyclo-cross in Bear Creek Regional Park.

Bibleburg has never been a hotbed of cyclo-cross. Oh, sure, nationals was held here once, back in 1980, and shortly after I returned to town from New Mexico in 1991 we got a small local scene rolling, mostly because driving to the Denver-Boulder clusterplex was something of a pain in the ass come wintertime. Or any other time, come to think of it.

Also, the U.S. Cycling Federation required a racing club to promote at least one event per annum, and back in the day there was nothing easier to run than a ’cross. Find yourself a venue, mark it casually with some red and blue flags, install a few homemade wooden barriers to force the roadies off their bikes, and by golly you had yourself a race course.

So we put on a couple races per year, in Palmer Park or Monument Valley Park — host to that long-ago national championships — until some turd in the city government who lived nearby took an infarction about people racing bicycles in “his” park. That we were donating the proceeds from our events to park maintenance was immaterial. Sorry ’bout that, said the parks people, but we have to deal with this asshole all the time; you we only have to see a couple times a year.

Thus we shifted operations to the county parks system, putting on races in Bear Creek Regional Park — where, as a precaution, Team Mad Dog Media-Dogs At Large Velo formally adopted the section of trail that included our course — and in Black Forest Regional Park.

Your Humble Narrator on the job during a rare soft day at the Bear Creek Cyclo-cross. As you can see, I am a veritable blur of activity.

Your Humble Narrator on the job during a rare soft day at the Bear Creek Cyclo-cross. As you can see, I am a veritable blur of activity.

Ours were fast, simple courses, suited to beginners and roadies in need of an early season refresher, in part because the county was not interested in our veering off established trail, and in part because we were not exactly the most vigorous of race promoters.

In fact, we were about as lazy a crop of bastards as ever marked a course. Our northern counterparts, among them Chris Grealish, Lee Waldman and John Vickers, were more imaginative when it came to locating new venues, negotiating with their overseers, and designing interesting circuits.

At our peak, we were getting just over 200 riders per event, which wasn’t bad for being outside the Boulder-Denver velo-ghetto, whose more sensitive communards either feared getting born-agained or libertarded if they dared cross the Palmer Divide or didn’t like driving south any better than we liked driving north. We also were working with our northern cousins on a statewide series that included events from Pueblo to Fort Collins.

Eventually, inevitably, we Dogs flamed out. I peaked as a ’cross racer in 1999, and shortly thereafter started dialing it back; by then, Herself and I were living on a rocky hillside outside Weirdcliffe, and Bibleburg was a 90-minute drive in good weather. The last Mad Dog ’cross at Bear Creek may have been in 2000, though I still raced occasionally until 2004, when I finally gave it up for good.

Another club picked up where we left off, drawing OK numbers and getting progressively more creative with its courses, including one last year up near the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs that I heard good things about. Alas, they, too, seem to have flamed out for now — for one reason or another, there seems to be nary a cyclo-cross in Bibleburg this season.

It’s a pity, really. ’Cross has been the biggest thing in bike racing for quite a while now, and last weekend’s Cyclo X-Xilinx in Longmont drew more than 650 racers, a number unheard of in my day. Surely we could get half that down here despite the Lambornagains and various other socio-political impediments. Tap a medical marijuana company for sponsorship, donate the proceeds to the Society for the Preservation of Steel Bicycles and Cantilever Brakes.

I may not race anymore, but I’d still like to watch now than then.

Blackened forest

June 11, 2013
The Black Forest Fire, as seen from the safety of Caramillo Street.

The Black Forest Fire, as seen from the safety of Caramillo Street.

Here we go again — this time, the fire is in Black Forest, and it sounds like another doozy.

We used to train up there in the Nineties, when I was still racing, and from the sound of it the fire may have started near Black Forest Regional Park, where Team Mad Dog Media-Dogs At Large Velo promoted a cyclo-cross or two back in the day. Plenty of fuel up there, and with the humidity in single digits and the wind in double digits, you have a recipe for some very bad news indeed.

Herself and I saw a couple of Fort Carson CH-47 Shithooks whock-whock-whocking overhead toward the Forest this afternoon, but we didn’t see any buckets dangling. The Blue Zoomies are pitching in, too.

And this is only one of the fires going on at the moment. Others are at the Royal Gorge, La Veta, Douglas County and Rocky Mountain National Park. The Denver Post is also live-blogging the blazes — using actual live-blogging software, too, unlike our local cage-liner, which seems to be doing it the hard (and cheap) way while expecting the customers to keep refreshing the page. Spend some money, peckerwoods. Phil Anschutz has it to burn, you should pardon the expression.

Anyway, we’re just fine here, but sounds like plenty of folks aren’t. More as we hear it.

Ciao, Giro; forza, Dogs

May 30, 2010

The Giro d’Italia is finally in the record books, and now we have a month of relatively light lifting before the Tour de France kicks off in Rotterdam.

The finale, a 15km time trial in Verona, was something of a snoozer, since Ivan Basso could have pretty much run the course with his bike slung over one shoulder and still won the overall. But I got paid for watching it and posting news and information about it, so I have nothing to complain about.

Meanwhile, this just in from the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic: Bill “McBeef” Baughman finished 41st in Geezers 55-64 with a time of 3:03:45, trailed by Michael “Dr. Schenkenstein” Schenk, who crossed 63rd in 3:22:39. The Bride of Dr. Schenkenstein, Susan, took 24th in Geezerettes 45-54, finishing in 3:40:30.

Chapeau to all the Mad Dogs who made it to Silverton. I didn’t even make it out of the yard yesterday.