It's all downhill from here: Regarding Jared Jacang Maher's "Vail at the Crossroads," in the May 4 issue:
I am a 35-year resident of Colorado and was at one time a frequent Vail visitor. However, I stopped skiing and visiting there years ago after tiring of the inflated, dated and myopic view from the town's Bavarian towers. Last summer I returned to attend a wedding and was appalled at how passé and rundown most of the Village is. I am not sure what Vail can do to bring itself into the 21st century while still managing to charm the moneyed masses, but Peter Knobel's vision for Crossroads is a good start. With his smarts, money and East Coast moxie, maybe he can surgically remove the cataracts from the eyes of Vail's "old-timers" so they can recognize that Vail is becoming an overpriced has-been.
Saddle sore: Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Critical Mess," in the May 4 issue:
I've been riding a bike as an adult (sort of) for fifteen years now, taking advantage of the metro area's once-lame-but-now-pretty-damned-impressive urban path and trail systems. And even though I'm old enough to know better, I sometimes do some pretty stupid things in the saddle. Yeah, that usually results in my vacating said saddle at speed. Yet, in all that time and with all that stupidity, I've never gotten a ticket.
Only someone without much critical mass between their ears can't see Critical Mass for what it is: a mob of attention-whore anarcho-punks out to cause as much trouble as they can. If you ride in an urban area, you get it. Critical Mass members don't run this little dog-and-pony show on Sunday, do they? They're even worse than the arrogant packs of skinny-tire trust-fund yuppies who fill the streets of Boulder every day. It's clear the only reason they do this downtown in the middle of the work week is to cause as much disruption as possible, despite the sloe-eyed, dreadlocked claims to the contrary from their non-leaders.
Road kill: Until recently, I had great empathy for bicyclists in the city. In my car, I always drove extra carefully around them, gave them right of way and waited patiently if they blocked or slowed my passage. During the sixteen months I've lived in Denver, my attitude toward bicyclists has changed completely.
Why? Two reasons. I have on numerous occasions been treated rudely by bicyclists. And more important, I'm afraid of hitting them with my car. When I'm out walking, I am frequently sideswiped by bicyclists on the sidewalk. Once a bicyclist yelled "On your left" about two seconds before running into me. What are so many bicyclists doing on the sidewalks, anyway? And why am I the one expected to move?
I have no sympathy for the Critical Mass folks. Some bicyclists and most bike messengers break traffic laws on a constant basis. I've never seen the police do anything about it. So now the police enforce the law, and Critical Mass is crying about it. I've always thought bike messengers are pretentious in their own special way. But now there's a new level of pretense -- a very organized entity that calls itself an "unorganized coincidence," one that is at pains to appear anarchic as they flagrantly break our laws.
Team USA: I've lost much of my interest in sports, but I thoroughly enjoyed Adam Cayton-Holland's article on La Liga Latina de Béisbol, "A League of Their Own," in the April 27 issue. The more I learn about the ways in which Latinos enrich the United States, the more figures like Tom Tancredo appear, well, just kind of pathetic. Instead of skulking around the border with their guns and binoculars looking for "invaders," Tancredo and the Minutemen should take their families to a game between the Yaquis and the Tarahumaras. The mariachi music, the ice cream and taco vendors, and the beautiful brown people living the faith-and-family values that so many politicians preach -- it all could be a healing experience for those who currently live in fear of the Latino Manifest Destiny. It would be fun to see immigrant-bashers, after a few cervezas, leading fans in the wave and blubbering apologies for all of their unkind attitudes.
Who knows? Maybe some undocumented Latinos would let bygones be bygones and agree to do some more work on Tancredo's home.
The old ballgame: I just wanted to let you know that "A League of Their Own" was a great piece of writing, and one of the best pieces I have read in a while. I have a couple of friends in La Liga Latina de Béisbol; I had no idea the league had been around for such a long period of time. It's amazing how something like baseball can bring so many people together. This makes me wish I had taken the opportunity to play baseball in college, but I turned it down to go to school at Metro. Adam Cayton-Holland was able to take me back to the times when I played every day, and the only thing that mattered in life was baseball.