Alas, summer is coming to an end. The signs are all here - the kids are back in school, the floaters have dwindled and cyclocross season has kicked off. Summer goes by way too fast in Central Oregon. Geez, I haven't even finished putting storage wax on my skis yet. But that's the way it goes, and there are some pretty cool things to look forward to as the summer sun sets.
BEND IN THE CROSS HAIRS
This year, we've got a full season of cyclocross races on the calendar, capped off with the National Championships here in Bend. So, there will be no lack of opportunities to get dusty, muddy and anaerobic. The Thrilla series (www.webcyclery.com) started last week and continues on Thursdays September 10, 17, and October 1, at the corner of Century Drive and Chandler Avenue. After that, the new Crossaflixion Cup series (www.freshairsports.com) will take place on Saturdays October 10, November 14 and November 28. The grand finale will be the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships (www.usacycling.com) Dec 10-13 in the Old Mill.
MEISSNER WILL BE DA BOMB
It just gets better and better at Meissner Sno-Park. Last year, we had the new hut and parking lot. This year, the grooming will be da bomb, thanks to the Bombardier 400 groomer and tiller that the Tumalo Langlauf Club recently purchased from Elk Lake. Rather than cut down the blade on the groomer, the TLC is building a new shed that it will fit in, and has permission from the Forest Service to widen the trails. So, look for wide swaths of beautiful corduroy to glide on at Meissner this winter!
Even the 3.5 K doggie ski trail at Wanoga will be competing for Best in Show. Kreg Lindberg of DogPAC says, "I'm buying a Ginzugroomer, which should provide overall better trail quality at Wanoga and will be much better for hardpack/ice. So we'll be able to groom through the conditions we had this past January and into spring. And I'm getting the track setter, so we'll set classic tracks."
Speaking of Elk Lake, the resort will once again transition from a mecca for summer fun to a winter destination. The Moon Mountain snowmobile club will groom the route down Century Drive from Dutchman Flat once a week and the resort will groom another day of the week using compacter bar. Word is there may be some new ski trails in the works too.
If you haven't booked a cabin for the holidays, now is the time, and if you haven't done a Friday night ski-in, you should. You enjoy about 1,200 feet of elevation loss during the 10-mile ski, eat a sumptuous dinner in the lodge and get transported back out by Sno-Cat about 10pm. Elk Lake is magical in winter. One of my most memorable New Year's Eves ever involved skiing into Elk Lake, celebrating with friends in a cabin, and then skiing back out by headlight at about 2 o'clock in the morning. For more information, visit www.elklakeresort.net.
"SLIDING SCALE" COULD
BE A SLIPPERY SLOPE
Don't forget that September 30 is the deadline for purchasing a Mt. Bachelor season pass at the discounted pre-season rate. I think it will be interesting to watch how the new daily lift ticket pricing scheme will pan out. I give Mt B credit for creativity, but any pricing plan that requires actual arithmetic and an explanation of its "Methodology" is probably doomed. The "Sliding Scale" (Mt B really should take advantage of the pun) will be based upon the formula:
Operating Lifts + Weather Conditions = Daily Total
Now, when you call the Snow Phone, instead of hearing that it is a "Bluebird Day," you will hear "It's a Fiver. Come on up!"
I'm thinking Mt B must have hired a math major into the marketing department. If the system is successful, we can look forward to new and improved pricing systems in the future. I suggest this formula:
(Barometric Pressure + Median Price of House in Bend) Ã· (Number of Brewpubs in Bend - Your Age in Dog Years) - (Price of a Plane ticket to Maui) = Lift Ticket Price