Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mayor wins race, big time service award

The Mayor of Turtle River won the Wood & Wool 12k retro cross country ski race in Bemidji last weekend . At the awards ceremony she not only received her first place award for winning the race but was also presented with the Johnson/Jarvi award for contributions to Bemidji area skiing. It might have slipped by her that she even won the award as she was in deep conversation (NOT an unusual event) with some folks, but she heard the word ‘Vasaloppet’ and that got her attention. The other thing that really got her attention was that her parents, TheLegend and the GraciousPartier had come to town for the event. TheLegend was very proud of the way they had infiltrated Bemidji the night before without being detected. Since TheMayor knows everyone in town it was indeed quite a feat. As he sat at the banquet waiting for the award, hand covering the side of his face, TheLegend told the guy next to him, “I’m not being anti-social; no one’s supposed to know we’re here”. TheMayor was well deserving of the award, having spent countless hours promoting and coaching skiing over the years. And the Wood & Wool event was the logical extension of her Vasaloppet race, where she skied on the same skis wearing some of the same wool clothing that The Legend had worn in the first race in 1973.

Old gear is fun. Whether its wooden skis or a wooden Greenland paddle, using the old tried and true gear has a very strong appeal to a number of people. I don’t begrudge the high tech skis, boats, paddles, etc. Everyone wants to go faster, lighter and be more efficient. Wood & Wool however, has a much better ring to it than Kevlar & Carbon fiber or Plastic & Polyethylene. Sometimes you don’t want to go the fastest or be the most efficient, you just want some good feel. Wooden classical skis have such a nice smooth kick, compared to the abrupt kick/glide transition of the plastic skis, that they are a joy to ski on. In the old days, my basement used to be the scene of an early November Pine Tar Party. The smell of pine tar as you warmed it in with the propane torch, mingled with the hoppy aroma of several fine pale ales, served as the reminder that winter and the ski season was just a couple weeks away. Kayaks can be the same way. The feel of my Chesapeake LT-17 with its hard chine and no rudder or skeg is much different than any plastic or glass boat. And a skin boat with the feel of the waves alive beneath you is a very relaxing feel that kind of bonds you with the water. I still love my Rossingnol carbon skate skis and my Valley Aquanaut but every once in awhile a person needs to go back to the roots of the sport and just enjoy the feeling.

Congrats again to the Mayor. We’re off to Canoecopia to most certainly not buy anything tomorrow. I am in San Antonio, hoping that the flight delays that plagued us on the way down will allow me to get home and get some sleep before the big event in Madison. A man, of course, needs his sleep if he has to walk around all day and not buy anything.

1 comment:

JeremiahJohnstone said...

Way to go Angie Dweedle. I still remember that first race in 1973. I don't remember anything except for being so hot from overdressing and nearly passing out. Also, Good job on your Vasaloppet finish and of course all your years coaching up in Bemidji. I bet they wish you would start coaching again.
Well,Daveo! I highly doubt you will get out of Canoecopia without breaking out the card. You better fess up when you get to Colorado. We'll be waiting.JJ