Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Local ski clubs/ Riding dirty

- September 14th, 2009
Rebooting Local Ski Clubs
Fundraisers and membership drives planned for two new clubs
9/14/09
Two of the region’s ski clubs are seeking a reboot, and we don’t mean slapping on a new pair of Salomons.
The newly-named Vasa Ski Club and the North Coast Snowsports Club are both planning fundraisers and/or membership drives this week in an attempt to get skiing back on track in the Grand Traverse/Leelanau/Manistee area.
“After many years of minimal activity, new and existing members of the Traverse Nordic Ski Club have reestablished our cross country ski club,” said Todd Vigland in a letter to members of the new VASA Ski Club. The club hopes to rebuild its membership, generate interest in cross-country skiing, offer group skiing and instruction, and regain prominence in statewide races.
Meanwhile, the Leelanau Ski Club has joined forces with the Northwestern Alpine Ski Academy (formerly the Manistee Ski Club) to form the North Coast Snowsports Club. The new club’s goal is to “combine resources in order to continue affordable top level ski and snowboard education to all area children.”

Here’s the lowdown on this week’s activities:
North Coast Snowsports Club:
A Fundraiser Gala To Benefit Area Youth Snowsports Instruction Programs will be held Saturday, September 19 from 7-10 p.m. at Crystal Mountain Resort in the Crystal Center.
Volunteer Mark Cantrell says the event will include hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar with live music by Blind Dog Hank, along with a silent and Chinese auction. “Our live auction will include a week’s stay at a Steamboat Springs condo in Colorado,” he says.
A $15 donation is suggested for the event, with free childcare and pizza and movies for kids. Tickets will be available at the door; but organizers recommend calling (231) 632-7056 to register your number of adult tickets and for any childcare needs.

The VASA Ski Club:
There will be a kick-off event from
5-6:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 18 at Timber Ridge outside Traverse City. Learn more about the new club and register for the upcoming season. There will also be a VASA pre-season clinic featuring US Nordic Ski Team member, Lindsey Dehlin at 7 p.m.
Ski workshops will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. - noon at Timber Ridge with a charge of $5. There will also be a Roller Ski Technique Clinic starting at 9 a.m. that day, with a fee of $50 adults, $20 students.

For details on the club kick-off or ski events, call 938-4400, or go to www.vasa.org.

RIDING DIRTY
Cyclocross comes to Northern Michigan in a new three-race series

By Erin Crowell

“People like to see carnage.”
It’s the reason we love NASCAR and why the Plexiglas shakes when hockey players throw down their gloves.
It’s also why cyclocross racing has maintained its popularity, believes Jeff Koch, one of the sport’s local participants.
The sport has seen a resurgence on the east and west coasts of the United States – and will come to Northern Michigan at the inaugural Frost Cross Cyclocross Race Series, held at two Traverse City locations, September 19, October 10 and November 8.
Cyclocross is a hybrid of mountain biking and a criterium – a timed race on a short bike course of dirt, asphalt, mud and pavement with a few road barriers thrown in. Cyclists must dismount and carry their bikes over the two-foot-high wood barriers.
“There’s a lot of crashing, people get dirty,” says Koch, an Elk Rapids resident and Arizona State Cyclocross Champion of the mid-90s.
Cyclocross is also a spectator-friendly sport, another contributing factor to the sport’s increasing popularity.
“Unlike most bike races, people can watch almost the entire race from one vantage point,” says Rick Morris, the Frost Cross Series director.
For those participating, cyclocross is a transition between road and mountain biking. Although there are specially designed bikes for the sport, participants may use any sturdy bike with knobby tires – including a mountain bike – for the one-and-a-half to two-mile course.

Twin Bays Racing
The Frost Cross is the premier event of Twin Bays Racing, a new race organization founded by Mike Tarnow and Pete LaPlaca.
LaPlaca, who is president of the North American Vasa, wanted to introduce the area to what he believes to be one of the fastest-growing segments in cycling.
“We’ve got a very active community, a lot of great bike shops and riders,” he says. “There are quite a few cyclists in our area that travel down to places like Grand Rapids to compete (in cyclocross).”
Last October, LaPlaca helped his son layout the course of the National Cyclocross Championships in Bend, Oregon. It was at this well-organized race, in one of America’s biking Meccas that LaPlaca decided to bring cyclocross home.
The Twin Bays Racing partners met with Morris, a cyclocross veteran of 20 years, and came up with the three-race series, that culminates with the Ice Cross Race happening November 8 at Timber Ridge Resort in Traverse City. The event will be held the day after the Iceman Cometh, a 27-mile mountain bike race from Kalkaska to Traverse City that brings over 4,000 riders to the area.
“It’s typical to do four (bike) races in one weekend,” says LaPlaca. “We’re hoping to attract the Iceman crowd and keep those riders in the area, longer.”
The Frost Cross Race Series will feature two training races prior to the post-Iceman event, allowing inexperienced riders try it out first.
“This will give people an opportunity to get their feet wet,” Morris says. “They can learn how to do the barriers and run the course. But you gotta be prepared to get dirty.”

Cyclists are invited to attend the first of the two training races: The Fall Stinger, held this Saturday, on the grounds behind the Grand Traverse Commons. The Fall Fest Twilight Race will be held at Timber Ridge Resort, October 10, in relation to the Fall Fest Fundraiser for the Father Fred Foundation. Riders are encouraged to bring a canned good for this event.
For more information on the Frost Cross Cyclocross Race Series, go to twinbaysracing.com or call 231-941-7050. See what other riders are saying at http://tccyclocross.blogspot.com.

 
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