Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mork went back to Ork, and took the rest of the hippies...

I grew up in the bucolic town of Niwot, Colorado. Heckuva place. Backwards, you will note, it spells TO WIN. Not that we ever won much as a small town school in a big town conference, but it was a great place to grow up.

Among other things, the Red Zinger Bicycle Classic held in the 70's and 80's (later renamed the Coors Classic) featured some of the all time cycling greats in a stage race around Colorado. There were races including a Team Time Trial down Colorado 119 - the "Diagonal Highway" between Boulder and Longmont. In 1986, Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault came to race, that year included the Niwot Time Trial. My favorite race was the Criterium that was always held in Boulder. These days I would prefer the hillier stages. The race was a key race for the 7-11 team including American cycling greats Ron Kiefel, Davis Phinney, and Andy Hampsten. The most famous stage was the "Morgul-Bismarck" - of course that road is now sort of ruined as it is in a subdivision - at least by my understanding.

The race was viewed very favorably locally, at least in the mindset of a teenager, and nobody was happy about the races demise.

The race definitely added to the local cycling culture, I would go out and time myself on the TT course (and determine that I was actually a LOT slower than I thought I was). I was taught as a teenager to respect cyclists on the road, to slow down and give them a wide berth when passing.

Apparently things have changed in Boulder.

BOULDER, Colo. — Tensions between drivers and bicyclists in rural Boulder County have reached a new level, with fliers circulating in mountain neighborhoods asking drivers to blockade next month’s Sunrise Century ride.

What is it about being in a car and "Needing to get somewhere" that makes people lose all concept of space and make them willing to risk other people's lives. I just don't get it.

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