Breaking Up Is Hard To Do Getting down on Gray Butte
By now every road bike geek in America is in a tizzy about the lawsuit- countersuit action between Greg Lemond and bicycle maker Trek. The situation is as exciting for rabid roadies as those Hollywood star split-ups are for celebrity worshipers.
For those of you who aren't in the know, here's how it all came down. On March 20, former Tour de France winner, and American cycling legend, Greg Lemond filed a 41-page lawsuit against bicycle maker Trek claiming, in essence, that Trek wasn't paying attention to the Lemond bike line. The suit can be read online at www.velonews.com.
Trek, which has manufactured the Lemond line of road bikes since 1995 and built it into a $15 million business, struck back with a counter-suit on April 8.
In a letter regarding his company's suit, Trek president John Burke noted: "Despite our high hopes for the Lemond brand, many innovative designs, strong commitment and support from Trek, the continued disparaging statements and harmful actions from Greg have undermined the Lemond brand and Trek as a whole."
Bike industry watchers know the root of the problem is Lemond's continued sniping at Lance Armstrong, and Lemond's insistence that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs during his record run of seven Tour de France wins.
Notes one certified roadie geek about the suits: "It's a big ego and, in the case of Armstrong, a big money deal. Lemond's suit states accurately that Armstrong has built 'a veritable sports empire'. Lemond has had the audacity to suggest that the underpinnings of that empire may have been built of dope and that the entire empire was a house of cards. That angered the big money boys and they'll fight it out in court as we watch from the sidelines."
Last week Sunnyside Sports' Don Leet asked the question that's been on the minds of many mountain bike riders this winter, i.e. what's the status of new trail development at Horse Ridge?
Obviously plans to create a parking lot about a quarter mile west of where people currently park and building new trails linking the parking lot to the existing singletrack system are on hold. The reason given by the BLM for the delay continues to be that all their efforts and money are being put into the trail development at Cline Buttes.
And while we're talking places to ride with "Horse" as part of their name, the riding at Horse Butte south and east of town is either overlooked or unknown to most local mountain bike rides. Try the riding there, it's at it's best right now.
The Banff Mountain Film Festival road show rolls into the Summit High auditorium for two shows this weekend. Sunnyside Sports is this year's title sponsor of the event where all the proceeds going to the MBSEF for its youth programs.
Best things about this film festival, as opposed to others we know of, are: 1) You don't have to wear black clothing or thrown-together thrift shop ensembles to be "in". 2) You don't have to pretend to know a thing about film and film techniques. 3) You don't have to be fluent in pretentious film speak to have a good time. How refreshing is that? Oh, tickets are available at Sunnyside Sports.
Frozen Yet Ascending
Every year for the past 19 years a group of climbers of a certain age (read over 50) from all over the U.S. have gathered at Joshua Tree in southern California to climb together in the warm spring weather.
But after some of the group climbed at Smith Rock last spring during the American Alpine Club's annual meeting in Bend, erstwhile leader, author, and noted climber Chris Jones decided that the 2008 gathering would be the second week of April at Smith Rock.
As the date grew closer, some of the dozen or so climbers slated to arrive in Bend and then head north to Skull Hollow to camp started checking the weather and noticed a cooling trend they didn't like.
So rather than climb with frozen fingers, they dropped their Smith plans and headed to Red Rocks just outside Las Vegas where it's been a balmy 75 to 79 degrees for the past ten days. Meanwhile, Jones and a group of six arrived at Smith.
They climbed every day and made the best of it. Jones battled a wicked cold and the others craved a warm bonfire at the Skull Hollow campground after hours on the rock.
The one thing all the climbers missed, apart from their long time friends hanging out at Red Rocks, was not having ailing octagenerian Alan Steck along with them.
Steck, who started climbing in 1942 and at age 40 made the third ascent of the Salathe Wall on El Capitan in 1966, still climbs, according to Jones, " up to 5.10 with ease."