Ear to the ground

“Dude! Are those wild dogs?”

“Dude! We REALLY are in the mountains!”

– A couple of newbies making their way through Durango’s Southside late one night


Singles in New Zealand

Beers and single gears returned to the limelight last weekend. The Singlespeed World Championships tripped from Durango all the way to Rotorua, New Zealand, for its 2010 running. Several Durangoans were in attendance, as were Ross Schnell and Heather Irminger, the proud bearers of the winners’ tattoos from the 2009 race in Horse Gulch.

Approximately 900 riders from 30 countries turned out to ride the 40-kilometer course on Oct. 23, according to a report in ESPN. The Kiwi course traversed Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest, and unlike Durango’s grueling hoof, it offered two beer shortcuts and a decidedly flatter elevation profile.

In its coverage of the race, ESPN offered proof that it should stick to college football – “If The Dude from ‘The Big Lebowski’ was into mountain biking instead of bowling, he would have been a singlespeeder.”

When the dust settled and the tattoo gun fired to life, Kiwi rider Garth Weinberg and Heather Logie, from Australia, took the inky honors. Schnell nearly repeated as World Champion but started cramping after the first beer shortcut.

“I don’t think I needed more ink on my body anyway, and it is awesome he won on home territory,” Schnell told ESPN. “The crowd was going nuts in the trees. People were yelling, ‘good job, but slow down.’”

Weinberg was able to stave off beer cramps thanks in part to a “cleansing chunder at the top of one climb.”

Next year, the SSWC will trip back across the globe for what promises to be a hazy affair in Ireland.

Hairy stuff

Ladies and gentlemen, start your whiskers. Snowdown is coming to Durango a little early this year. The official Snowdown 2011 Beard Contest kicks off this Fri., Nov. 5, at 8 p.m. at Carver Brewing Co.

People interested in winning the prestigious award should show up clean-shaven, and both men and women are invited to participate (women can enter a different variety of beard – their leg hair). During Friday’s weigh-in, organizers will take participant’s pictures and award each brave hair farmer a voucher for a free beer.

The contestants will then go their separate ways and stimulate their follicles for 90 days. On Feb. 3, 2011, they will return to Carvers, luxuriant beards and furry legs intact, for the final judging.

“Snowdown Bites,” this year’s monster-themed celebration of winter, is scheduled for Feb. 2-6. For more information, visit www.snowdown.org and www.carverbrewing.com.

In this week's issue...

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January 26, 2024
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January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows