When I got my airplane I went shopping for a folding bike that could easily fit in the airplane
for trips. I did not have a normal bike at the time and I was hoping I could get
something that was the best of both worlds- a real mountain bike that could fold in half, easily
fit in the car’s trunk or an airplane and then go up a real trail. The Dahon Zero-G seemed to
fit the bill so I got one. I’ve had it now for a year and a half but today is the first time I
took it out for anything beyond the roads and paved paths of Seattle.
I should be clear that when it comes to real mountain biking I’m a big wimp. I enjoy the easy
trails but I’m not so excited about feeling like I’m sliding down something out of control or near
a precipice. Today we were up at Whistler and they have an inexpensive rate for the bunny hill. I
took the bike up for a few runs and overall I can say it did a great job on those runs. One thing
I did learn is that its really important to tighten everything before doing real off-road riding.
On my last run a bolt fell out of my rear brake and it failed which was a bit exciting to put it mildly.
Overall it’s a pretty great bike and it wasn’t its fault that I didn’t check the screws in the
brakes. Probably not good enough for the super-hard-core-black-run type person, but good enough for
a wimp like me who enjoys a nice run on the mountain.
The visit to Whistler put me in the mood to post a calendar of Whistler / Blackcomb events for
the coming year.
posted in Sports |
Last night Kat, Fen and I went to see an exhibition match between DC United and Real Madrid at Qwest Field. It was packed- the reports
are that 60,000 people showed up at a soccer game which is pretty amazing for the United States.
Overall the game was good and Fen even seemed to enjoy it. I do have two critiques. The first is that they were really poor at providing
information on the players. Here we had two out-of-town teams playing. There was no program for sale (that I saw). Even a photocopied piece of
paper listing the players names and #s would have been great. Or some more regular use of the score-board displays to give us information
(rather than just showing ads all game long). Our seats were way up high which was great for watching the plays develop but to be honest I had
no idea who was down there on the field.
The other thing I noticed were the soccer snobs. There were some people sitting near us derisively talking about other attendees
who didnt know everything there was to know about each player or the sport in general. Ive seen this same “more obscure than you” thing in many of my interest
areas (although thankfully I havent seen it play out much among my friends at all). You meet the wine people who make fun of you if
you admit to liking California Cabernets or wines from Bordeaux- if you cant appreciate (and know all the details about) some obscure
region in Spain you are clearly not a true wine aficionado. Alternative Music gets the same thing- to quote an Art Brut
song My Little Brother- “He no longer listens to A-sides. He made me a tape of bootlegs and B-sides.”
Sure I love a good soccer match, a nice obscure wine and a cool B-side, but dont give me attitude for liking Song 2 or a bottle of Shafer
Cabernet Sauvignon. I hope I’ve never come off as that snob myself and apologize if it ever seemed that way.
On the topic of Soccer, here is a schedule for the Seattle Sounders- we may try to catch a game or two in the remainder of the season. US Music Festival schedule.
posted in Sports |
I fear that I’m going to make some enemies with this post. But if you can’t
just lay it out in a blog, what’s the point? Today I set the Media Center PC to
record the Germany vs. Italy game. I also set to record the next two programs
since the games often go over the “allotted” 120 minutes in the ESPN schedule,
but ESPN does keep showing the whole thing. Note- this is not a slam on ESPN at
all- while I suppose you could complain about some of the commentary, overall
the World Cup coverage in the US has improved 10000% in the past few years and
watching not-interrupted by commercials games all the way through is great. When
I went to watch it I discovered that the Media Center had screwed up and only
recorded 12 minutes of the main game. So I skipped forward to the next “show”
and sure enough the game was 0-0 in overtime! Thank you Media Center for saving
me from 90 minutes of crappy soccer.
At which point I need to remind folks that this was a game with Germany
playing. Look, if you want to convince a typical American that their stereotypes
about soccer are wrong, show them any game with the Brazilian team. Even losing
(rare) they do it with big smiles, stylish moves, and keep playing hard on the
attack the whole time. If you want to convince that same American that their
stereotypes are 100% right, show them a game with the Germans. Let’s just say I
wasn’t shocked to see a 0-0 tie although a 1-0 victory with 75 minutes of
defensive boring play would have been more typical.
Anyway, the overtime was very cool, the Italians scored a beautiful goal with
1 minute left and then followed it up with another beautiful goal catching most
of the German team on the attack. That 1 minute would have been worth sitting
through the preceding 119 minutes (although thankfully my Media Center had saved
me from 80 of those minutes). Now the final game next Sunday becomes something
I’m really looking forward to, especially if the French win tomorrow.
posted in Sports |