Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sleep deprivation has no place in sports

Went to an adventure racing seminar today at REI. Beginner level adventure racing is an idea I've been kicking around ever since Frick told me stories about a few races he did out in AZ last year. And as I've been looking over my triathlon/running race schedule for the summer, I've realized I'll only be signing up for 4 events, which leaves room for something else.

Seminar was pretty OK, sort of an overview of the sport, from beginner level up through more advanced, multi-day races. The shorter races are apparently in the 4-6 hour range, and involve orienteering (navigating w/a compass), hiking, paddling (canoe or kayak), and biking. The longer races include more sports, like rock climbing/rope work, portaging canoes/kayaks, even crazy stuff like parachuting, horseback riding, and have the added element of sleep deprivation. I'm not into sleep deprivation, or blisters, so I went into the seminar already pretty certain that I'm more interested in the shorter races and probably not much beyond that. Then again, I said the same thing when I started triathlon and ended up doing an ironman, so who knows? But anyway, the longer races make for more exciting stories, so there was a lot of focus on that, with a slideshow and stuff like that. Despite this, it did still whet my appetite, and if anyone's curious about adventure races in MN, you can check out the MN Adventure Race Series and Wild Adventure Race sites for more info.

Other random thing from REI tonight ... as you enter the store, you walk over a small bridge, crossing a small pond. Today, there was a sign next to the pond explaining that it was drained and would be renovated because it had been invaded by the invasive, exotic Eurasian milfoil. Now, I can't help but wonder how in the world this stuff got into REI's teeny tiny totally isolated little pond?

Oh, and for what it's worth, if I decide to give adventure racing a shot, I'll be looking for teammates!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Bikey Care Package

Yesterday, as I was getting ready to bike down to 50th/France to get my ice skates sharpened, a long cylindrical package showed up on my doorstep. I was like, hmmm, what the heck is this? No return address either. Then I remembered that my sis had mentioned something about sending care packages to frick and I figured this must be it.

Contents of the package:
  • Tons of Chicago Critical Mass stickers and stuff
  • Stack of bike-themed stationary and envelopes (I know people rarely write letters nowadays, but I'll be busting out my old manual typewriter with this stationary, just for effect.)
  • Several postcards and larger prints with a "bicycles as ants" theme. My favorite one shows several overturned automobiles being carried away by an army of teeny-tiny bikes - just like ants carrying away a picnic basket in a cartoon. Very cool. Wish I had a scanner so I could post a picture here.
  • A menu from The Handlebar bikey bar & grill in Chicago, which my sis has been invited to become part owner. You can tell it's a bikey bar by their happy hour specials ... $1.50 PBR pints, $1 Schlitz cans? Sounds like a bikey bar to me!
  • And the coolest thing, a Chicago Bicycle Federation tshirt in stunning brown w/light blue trim. Way cool.

Thanks sis!!!

On a side-note, I'm making it a goal to visit Chicago on a Critical Mass weekend, sometime before next winter. From what I've heard, Chicago Mass is totally off-the-hook ... hundreds of riders in winter, riders in the many hundreds or thousands in summer, really need to check it out!