Arts and Culture

Victory is partially mine! How I defeated a pigeon but not a chicken on a moped (video)

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I was privileged to be the first person to check out a pigeon from MCA Denver's brand-new Thinking About Flying exhibit, where museum patrons can take a pigeon home and let it go, to fly back home to the roost on MCA's roof -- I intended to prove I could do it faster on a bicycle. Evidently, I was correct, because that pigeon took its damn sweet time about it.

How it works, exhibit artist Jon Rubin explained to me, is that the pigeons are brought to their roost and allowed to fly around a little, get the lay of the land. Then they take them about a mile out and allow them to fly back. Then they take them two miles out, four miles out and so on -- so each time the pigeon makes it back, its range is doubled. Basically, by checking out the pigeons, museum visitors are participating in their training. The one I took, Little Rose, was the quickest back from a test flight the night before from "not too far away from the Westword office," a distance it covered in about three minutes. Clearly, MCA was not planning on making it easy for me. In fact, MCA was proving to be a formidable opponent, having entered, in addition to the Stupid Pigeon, their executive assistant, Erin Roberts, into the race, who promised to race in a chicken suit. What she didn't tell me was that she'd be racing on a moped. It was far from my least pleasant surprise of the day.
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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte