From the monthly archives:

September 2008

Rock-n-Roll Fantasy

by Alan Rider

Alright friends, quick question:  What do guitar legend Jimi Hendrix and I have in common?  Give up?  Well, here it is:  We’ve both taken the stage to perform at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore Auditorium. 
I got the chance to play the Fillmore recently as a participant in the Rock-n-Roll Fantasy Camp.  After a full day of rehearsals with our “camp counselor” Kip Winger (yes, that Kip Winger,  front-man for the multi-platinum ‘80s rock band of the same name), my four bandmates and I took to the same stage that helped launch the carreers of  Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, and—well—more rock legends than you can count.
While the one-day [...]

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Let The (Winter) Games Begin!

by Alan Rider

If you’ve got a touch of the post-Olympic blues in the wake of this summer’s amateur athletic extravaganza in Beijing, take heart.  Tickets for the 2010 winter games—officially known as XXI Winter Olympics—in Vancouver, British Columbia officially go on sale two weeks from today.
 In the meantime, I’ve discovered a place where you can participate in one of the winter games’ premiere events without the years of training and self-sacrifice it takes to become a world-class athlete.  I’m headed to the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah—site of many of the events in the 2002 winter games—this weekend to run one of the world’s fastest bobsled tracks.
While the park’s “Comet” [...]

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Need For Speed

by Alan Rider

I’m heading out to western Utah’s world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats later this week for the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association’s World of Speed. 
But here’s the really cool part: I’m not going as a spectator.  I’m going as a participant, thanks to a little-known program that allows anyone with a high-performance machine to get a taste of land-speed racing by running their car or motorcycle flat-out (or at least close to it) on the salt.
The USFRA calls it The 130 MPH Club and it’s designed to let anyone with a driver’s license and a street-legal vehicle explore its true performance potential in a safe environment.  There are a few simple rules  to ensure you [...]

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Fierce Feathered Friends

by Alan Rider

Just came back from a quick afternoon paddle on a local lake where I must have spent 15 minutes watching an osprey catch dinner for her nest full of young. As I watched, my mind drifted back to one of my more extraordinary experiences at a program that allows ordinary folks to get up-close-and-personal with a remarkable bird of prey.
I’m talking, of course, about falconry programs like the one at Manchester Village, Vermont’s Equinox Resort. Their British School of Falconry—the oldest such program in the U.S.—offers several experiences that let you get a taste of this sport that was so popular with the likes of Alexander the Great and Kublai [...]

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