Friday, February 26, 2010


This week at the Olympics something very special happened for me, Sunnyside Sports, the USA and of course all of the skiers who have ever skied for the USA in Nordic Combined. Four very special skiers won the silver in the Nordic combined event, earlier in the week Johnny Spillane won a silver in the normal hill individual event with Bill Demong and Todd Lodvick in 4th and 6th, and yesterday Bill Demong won the Gold in the large hill, with Johnny Spillane the silver. This is huge. The first Gold ever for the USA in any Nordic event. Before this year the USA had won only one nordic medal ever, Bill Koch's silver in 1976. This year the USA won four medals.
Why the personal connection. Well back in the day, the 70's to be exact, Bend had it's own Olympian, Mike Devecka. Mike was a friend of the store and we helped him out more than once with his Olympic career. If you look in the photo you will see 4 bibs from 4 Olympics. He skied on his own the last years of his career. The US ski team wanted younger skiers, he just happened to be the best in US so we helped raise some money to get him to Europe to compete. Later in live he became a bike racer, a father to another Olympian and now he lives in Colorado. Still a friend and still comes by when he is in town. We followed the Olympics back then hoping that Mike would have the luck, the wax and the strength to win an Olympic medal. He never did but he still had a great career.
Years later (the 90s now), I was invited to Steamboat Springs to watch a Nordic Combined World Cup. I had never seen one before and was quite excited to see the event my good friend Mike did all those years. It was quite fun to watch, but the interesting thing was there was a young group of Americans there, Billy Demong, and Todd Lodvick among them. They did quite well for being so young and we were all sure the future was there.
But Nagano, Salt Lake City and Torino didn't pan out as expected no medals. Vancouver has changed all that. This is not a miracle on snow story, this is a story of hard work and our racers becoming the best in the world. They were not underdogs they were favorites.
If you watched last night you may have noticed the US skiers had some pretty long jumps. The weather then changed and some of the other good skiers did not even come close. The US team had the luck this year. I have seen events where the same has happened to the US team. This is an outdoor sport. So we had the luck, the fast wax and fast skies and the athletes who have really put in the time to become the best in the world.
I have followed these guys for 15 years and it is so cool to see these guys do what Mike tried to do all those years ago. Mike should be proud and so should all of those athletes that came before. I don't really care about a dynasty, I just think it is cool that a sport that has been so special to me and to Sunnyside Sports has had the exposure on the TV and that all that hard work has payed off.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cline Butte

I am going to Mallorca next month for my 8th time, and when I go I always stay in the same town Puerto Pollensa. I have been asked by friends - don't you get tired of the same roads? - Well I don't. We manage to find new roads, new cafes, and we always like to return to our favorite places. I like to remind these friends that I have lived in Bend for over 30 years and I still love to ride the same trails and roads, ski the same hills and loops, eat at the same cafes and do all of this with the same friends.
I am not saying I don't like new things. I loved going to Meissner ski area this year and skiing some new trails for the first time. A couple of years ago I couldn't get enough of the new funner trail. I like both. This week I went someplace new for me, the top of Cline Butte. When I first moved to Bend we used to wonder what all those towers and buildings were. There were stories about super secret radars etc, but truth is I never had a reason to go up there, the road is gravel, so not so good for a road bike, and I don't really like driving my car that much.
36 years later I finally made it. The local mountain bikers put some pretty radical trails there some years back, so radical that local legend, Carl Decker, broke his back on one of the more tricky descents. That put me off trying those trails.
Things change though, a couple of years ago a new trail system was put in at the base of Cline Butte, it is called Maston. There is a nice pretty flat 11 mile trail, about 1 hour on bike. I like a little farther, so I took Phil's suggestion and rode a fairly new single track to the top of Cline Butte. It is sweet. The last 15 minutes is pretty grueling,as it follows the road.
Once on top you can see most of Central Oregon, it is a great view. There are a few choices for going down. I stayed away from the one where all the riders had full face helmets and full armored pads. The one I took was single track, with a couple of mandatory drops. I had to walk around two of them, but it was still a fun trail, and it was someplace new. Pretty cool after living here so long.
Thanks for reading.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Kitties on my lap

We have three kitties, Rupert, Alex and Ariel. Alex is the perfect lap cat, always on a lap,mine, Kathy's,a student, someone's. Rupert is a doer, we don't know what it is he does, but he is pretty busy. His main job is to save us from the evil white cat from across the street. We are pretty sure it must be evil or Rupert wouldn't spend so much time keeping us safe. However at 8 pm every day it is lap time for Rupert. We have two laps available most days in our home, but Rupert has to be in the same lap as Alex, and Kathy is the chosen lap. Sometimes they are on top of each other, sometimes spread out, but always together. Alex is small, Rupert is big, in fact twice as big as Alex. Tonight Kathy is out so I am the lap, that is what that photo is -Alex and Rupert. I feel honored to be so picked.
Ariel is, of course, off by herself. That is how she is. I can't really go to bed, two kitties are just too important to disturb.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sinus Infection

In this photo I do not have a sinus infection I have a happy infection. It seemed wrong to put in a photo of someone (me) with a bad headache.
I guess the good thing is I have never had a sinus infection, an ear infection or even a throat infections since at least grade one (that is canadian for first grade). I was sick plenty my first year of school and then my doctor took out my tonsils. I didn't miss any school for about 4 or 5 years. I heard about sinus and ear infections but I didn't have clue as to what that was. When I got a little older those mysterious illnesses popped up again as my friends started having children. Children it seems live with those infections all the time. So here I am at 59 years old experiencing something new. I would kind of like to jump into that photo, 72 degrees, and no infection. Maybe this is a new way of natural healing, get a photo of when you feel great and just transform your self into that person. I do feel somewhat better today so I am off on a walk with my sweetheart, we may see the mountain lion we saw the track off, that could scare me out of the infection.
I started to learn French the same day I got my sinus infection, so I associate French with a headache. I hope that is short term though because I am enjoying learning French.
On another note we have been watching a series on Canadian History we got from Muffy. She used these to teach Zoe and Tosch about Canada. Though the United States and Canada share a common history, it is different enough that we have learned quite a bit. The first post Columbian European settlement in North America was an English settlement on Newfoundland. I never new that. Unfortunately the early history of the native americans and the euros is much the same in both countries. We are only up to around 1700 so we do have a ways to go, I am sure there will be many new and interesting things to learn.
Thanks for reading and take care.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


24th OBR and it still is as fun as ever. Sunnyside has been involved in OBR from the start. I never really thought about growing older with the ride but that is what happened. I was in my thirties when it started and now I will be 60 in a few months. There are some on this ride who were on that first ride and I can say it has been fun to have this 20 + year connection. This ride is more like a family reunion than anything.
This year we are doing the same route we did 10 years ago, some eastern Oregon, some cascades, some western Oregon, with the jewel of Oregon thrown in -Crater Lake. This is my favorite route. I feel lucky to get to do it twice. The photo is our camp. Lots of colorful tents, and if you were here you would hear lots of laughter. That is what this ride is about, nice roads, and laughter. Good times.