Thursday, July 13, 2006

Live. Here. Now. - I already do.

I subscribe to a lot of magazines, Outside being one of them. Well in the August 2006 edition of Outside they have named Boulder, CO as the best place to live for the sporty, outside type. Frankly, I agree with them. For a person who thrives on sports, the outdoors and adventure it pretty much has it all, well everything except cheap housing...

Mountain Biking? Yep, lots of great trails close by (West Mag is my favorite)
Road Biking? Oh yeah. Tons of bike lanes and great climbs
Kayaking? Yep, Boulder Creek, St. Vrain River, Clear Creek are all close
Running? Tons of hiking/running trails without those pesky mountain bikers
Climbing? Loads of established climbing routes
Skiing/Snowboarding? Eldora is less than 30 minutes away. Winter Park 1.5 hours

Boulder really does have it all for athletes. Bike shops are stocked with high end bikes in every shape and size. Orthopedic doctors are the best in the country. Sports massage operations are more common than Starbucks. 300 days of sunshine and pretty much 365 days a year you can train (although I skip lots of them).

So with all this lauding going on its hard to imagine drawbacks, but the magazine also has an article named "I hate Boulder, Colorado! Why Perfectville Drives Me Nuts" and it is a great read.

Some of my favorite excerpts from the article:
"The Gore-Tex Vortex"

"The Dunkin Donuts went out of business, but the oxygen bar next door to the gay-and-lesbian bookstore seems to be doing well. The panhandlers on the Pearl Street Mall sport $70 sandals and pull in upwards of 25 bucks an hour."

"Buy a meditation table, slap a 'Go Vegan!' sticker on your roof box, and you'll blend. You're here for the fitness pursuits anyway."

"Except that's where Boulder gets weird. In most American towns, outdoor-sports aficionados are part of an elite counterculture minority. Mountain bikers and climbers have cachet. Not so in Boulder. Recreating outdoors is the norm here, and it's in your face. There's always some horse-toothed mountain-town equivalent of Laird Hamilton ready to kick your athletic pride through the dirt. Remember the 2005 Tour (de France), when T-Mobile kept attacking Discovery, trying to break Lance? That's what a casual bike ride is like in Boulder. Strangers attack. Old guys with gray beards and steel bikes attack. Reach for a shot of Gu and even your friends attack. And women: Women always attack-they're the worst."

"It doesn't matter what sport you do, you will suffer similar humiliation."

This pretty much sums up Boulder. I've heard some people stating that this article "rips Boulder", but I disagree. I think you are taking yourself a bit too seriously if you can't read this article and enjoy it for the satirical viewpoint of Boulder.

Boulder is a unique place, and the athletes here are truly world class. I've said many times in the past year that I couldn't be in the top 1/2 of the beginner bike races here in Boulder, but could probably podium in the Sport class in Oklahoma in my current shape. It seems everyone in Boulder is a tremendous athlete, yet we all seem to have these insecurities due to the other athletes we encounter every time we hit the trail. Me? I think I've done a pretty good job to realize that I'm never gonna be at the top of the cycling scene in Boulder, but even the bottom is a pretty good place to be. Like Jill says, "There are no fat people in Boulder."

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