When I was growing up, pretty much every kid I knew received a brand-new remote-control car for Christmas. This was not because of some vast improvement in remote-control-car technology, but because by the end of the year, our old cars were so devastated through use that they were rendered essentially inoperable. We pounded those bad boys. We drove them on busy streets with real cars and through the legs of irate dogs. One popular trick was to tape several garbage bags together, attach them to the back of the toy car like a parachute and then fire that sucker off the roof. Put it this way: They never floated safely to the ground. It was remote-control urban warfare, and our cars paid the price.
If only the Rat Raceway, 3600 Blake Street, had been around then. Not that the remote-control racetrack would have been easier on our cars -- there are enough bumps, jumps and hairpin turns to take down the most pimped-out rides -- but if the Raceway had been around, the Colorado State Off-Road Nitro Championship Racewould have existed, too. And if our sport was sanctioned and organized, maybe our parents would have bought us more than one car a year. Alas, it's too late for me, but upstart R/C enthusiasts can bring all their cars to the second annual state championship beginning today at 10 a.m. and continuing through Sunday. Racers will compete against top drivers from across the country in five different classes. Spectators can watch for free, but it will cost you $40 to participate. Small price to pay for remote-control glory.
On Your Mark
Have a ball at the Denver Oyster race.
This weekend's going to be a real ball-buster -- at least if you're competing in the Denver Oyster Urban Adventure Race (named after our infamous Rocky Mountain oysters, of course). Fifty three-person teams will compete against each other in a course that takes six to eight hours to complete and involves everything from biking to kayaking to creeking. But here's the catch: The course is a secret until the morning of the race, and organizers reserve the right to throw in a couple of surprise disciplines to keep contestants on their toes.
If last year's race provides any clues, participants could be cycling to Washington Park, braving the chilly waters of the Platte River or panhandling for change. (It's an urban adventure race, after all.) We do know that the race weaves through Denver landmarks and other attractions, including Six Flags Elitch Gardens, with racers hitting eight to ten checkpoints along the way.
The starting gun fires at 8 a.m., with the race beginning and ending at REI's flagship store, 1416 Platte Street. Entry fees and proceeds benefit Special Olympics Colorado. So get out there and grab the bull by the balls!
Anyone who's ever caught a buzz off the Power Rangers surely understands the mystique of the crotch rocket, and no motorcycle better boils down the term than a Japanese-made sportbike. They are futuristic and sculpted, with a seating style designed to sling the rider into an aerodynamic position. This is not your bare-bones, chrome-and-grease Harley we're talking about; it's an alien thing, with innards sheathed in hot plastic, like something off a toy-store shelf. When it hits the road, it is speaking an entirely different language.
If you speak it, Copper Mountain's Suzuki CycleFest, with three days of races, demos, organized rides, seminars and parties, is your kind of celebration. For information, go to www.cyclefestco.com or call Copper Mountain Resort, 1-866-841-2481. -- Susan Froyd
The Fast and the Furious
Catch Danica Patrick as she spins around PPIR.
Poll a hundred sports fans and ask what they know about IndyCar Series Racing, and you'll hear most say just two words: Danica Patrick.
The petite, confident 23-year-old rookie propelled her career into a SportsCenter-worthy lead item, with a mix of brash, aggressive driving and good old-fashioned, all-American sex appeal. In her first full season, the brunette-tressed FHM model is ranked tenth in earnings and was named Indy 500 Rookie of the Year following her fourth-place finish at the 2005 race in May.
This weekend, Patrick and the rest of the Indy Racing League will be in Fountain for the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway, located just south of Colorado Springs on the west side of I-25; you can't miss it. The state's biggest open-wheel event starts on Saturday, but it really gets revved up today, with the flag dropping at 1:45 p.m. For more information or tickets, visit www.ppir.com or call 1-888-306-7223. -- Cub Buenning