Cory Gardner is used to getting the horns. After all, he messed with the ram while at CSU

State Representative Cory Gardner had a little trouble handling the far-right fringe of the Republican Party last week. What's that? You thought Gardner, who's running for the fourth congressional district seat currently held by Democrat Betsy Markey, already represented the far right? Well, he's nothing compared to Iowa congressman Steve King -- a man who believes Barack Obama "has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race on the side that favors the black person."

After an embarrassed Gardner canceled this past weekend's fundraising appearance with King, he was roundly criticized by his Tea Party supporters, King himself and former congressman Tom Tancredo, who set up a cozy place for King to speak his, um, mind.

But Gardner hasn't always had trouble handling things. As a student at Colorado State University, he was an official Ram Handler, one of the chosen few in charge of primping and pimping the school's official mascot, CAM the Ram.

Although Gardner seems oddly sheepish when asked about his ram-handling skills these days, a 2007 article -- no longer available online but present in Google's cache function -- in CSU's Rocky Mountain Collegian contains this line: "Cory Gardner, a Colorado State Representative and former Ram Handler, said his time with CAM was great."

So, Gardner was not only a ram-handler -- grooming CAM's fluffy coat, trotting him around at football games, feeding him piles of alfalfa -- but enjoyed it! In other words, Gardner has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism that breaks down the side of rams on the side that favors the male sheep.

Scene and herd: Cycling in Denver can be a dangerous sport. Between road-raging cars, RTD buses, giant potholes and wayward coyotes, you never know what can happen when you strap on that helmet. Just ask Governor Bill Ritter, who broke his ribs in a bike crash last March.

Maybe, just maybe, cyclists need more than just a helmet to protect them, says Nadia Bolz-Weber, the somewhat irreverent pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, a Lutheran church that caters to young urban types. To seek God's protection for her parishioners, Bolz-Weber will hold her second annual Blessing of the Bicycles at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 27, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Bannock Street.

The event, which is "open to all regardless of religious affiliation, race, creed, color, sexual orientation, fat or thin tires, and brand of bike," will include a thurible of incense made from bike parts and a sprinkling of holy water using a handlebar tassel, says Bolz-Weber, an ordained Lutheran minister who stands 6' 1" and has theologically themed sleeve tattoos and a nose piercing. "I love asking people to guess what I do for a living," she said. "I've gotten burlesque dancer...and DJ."

Oh, and Bolz-Weber will read a section of Ezekiel that begins: "Whenever the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. And whenever the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose also." After that, the congregation will go for a short ride, "mainly so we can end at Sweet Action Ice Cream," she adds.

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