Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bike Polo

Last weekend I was in the Twin Cities for a concert and to visit friends. We saw The Hold Steady put on a great show Saturday night! On Sunday I went for a ride with Jake. We rode from Uptown to Theodore Worth Park. It was a great ride. The single track in the Cities is so much smoother than in Duluth. There were no roots or unwanted rocks. After two laps at Worth we proceeded to take a few laps around the lakes before calling it a day. On our way back we saw a group of guys playing bike polo. We asked if we could join them and they handed us bats. It was amazing to see such skill on a bike. These guys would sprint on their bikes right towards each other then whack the ball to their teammates with an ease that was impressive to say the least. This sport was super fun. The mixture of agility, speed and balance combined with a great need for hand eye coordination is extremely fun to play! I would encourage anyone that rides a bike to try it if they have the chance.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


It has been a while since I participated in an event as a volunteer. For over ten years my family and I worked an aid station in the Voyager Trail 50. We got to see everyone right after the infamous power lines on the way out and then on the way back we would have to tell them that they were much easier than they remembered. The fact that they had run 36 miles was a hard point to argue but we did our best. Lately I have spent a great deal of my time racing and have not had the chance to see the other side of a race which most consider a thankless job. Today I helped with course control for the Harvest Run. It was a simple job as most of the race was on the Lakewalk in Duluth, Minnesota so the race only had to cross one road. This road was not extremely busy to I was able to tend to my duties as well as watch the race. I was amazed at how many people thanked me while they ran past. To take the time and breathe to thank a race official is one of the most selfless acts I have witnessed. I know how precious each breath is during a running race, and what I would give for one more. The race was lucky it was a beautiful day, which made it easy to smile, and offer words of encouragement but I think that it could have been sleeting and it still would have been an easy job. It is amazing how nice it was to see the appreciation these runners and walkers had for those who help out with an event that they paid to participate in. The job was in fact far from thankless and I would encourage anyone who has run a race to volunteer, not only is it fun to see the other end of a race participants are quite gracious. This is a lesson I will remember the next time I pin a number to my chest, a small thanks or smile is worth the breathe that is lost.