Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Bloomington: Nocturnal Adventures
I did something cool tonight, everybody. And no, that's not me.
Let me start at the beginning. About three weeks ago, I bought (with some timely assistance from a microfinancier in Evanston, IL), a brand spankin' new mountain bike. For those of you that are interested in that sort of thing, it's a Specialized Hardrock, a fairly starter-ish bike, but nonetheless very high quality. So far I have nothing but good things to say about it. Here it is, in all its bikey glory:
Anyway, I've been taking it out for random late-night spins whenever I get the jones to after work. I usually get off around 1 in the summertime (that's one AM for all you desk jockeys), by which time Bloomington, especially up around where I live, is basically quiet and deserted. All the kids have gone home to Indy and Chicago.
So I have the entire Indiana athletic complex to myself at night. In the past, this has led to wanderings around the football stadium, racing circles around Assembly Hall, and I definitely got a cool view of the new Cook Hall tonight from the outside.
IU Basketball's new facility is really pretty - I can't wait to see how they do it up for game days, but it already looks like a great addition to go with the North End Zone. Believe me, it looks much better up close at night with the lights on than it does in a simulation video. If I ever get a digital camera, I'll get some pics.
Rick Greenspan is really putting together something special. But I digress.
Tonight I did something a little different. I headed up to the Little 500 track, which, this being Bloomington, was sitting wide open and unlocked. Without any No Trespassing signs (in case anybody was worried.)
So I rode straight onto the cinderblock track and did five laps. In the pitch darkness. On a mountain bike.
It was awesome.
I have watched almost every Little 500 since being at Indiana, and always wondered what it would feel like to race that track. I think, looking at that picture, Barack probably felt the same way. Granted, doing it in the dark, without a crowd, not on the proper bike, and without 31 other riders trying to kill me makes for a somewhat different experience.
But I think I got the basic idea. And man was it cool.
Anyway, just thought I'd share. Bloomington at night is a pretty sweet place.
On to some side notes.
The IU Men's basketball team, per idsnews.com, got a 3.14 in spring semester. All you die hards looking to go back to the glory days, let's give credit where credit is due. Tom Crean and the boys are doing it "the right way."
Me, I'll take a 2.5 and an NCAA Tourney appearance... but whatever. Way to go, guys.
Also, Joe Posnanski at SI.com is very quickly becoming one of my go-to guys for online sportswriting. Natural voice, good analysis, just an ideal blend of everything you want in good writing as a whole, not just for sports. Here are a couple of his recent articles.
Royals aren't winning, but is that really Trey Hillman's fault?
Griffey's skills are long gone -- but it was fun while it lasted
And his NFL Draft article, which I thought was dead on: It gets more hype than ever, but NFL draft is still crapshoot
One more. I'd just like to remind you all that when you get sick of Peter King, there is a solution. Kissing Suzy Kolber does a detailed rebuttal of each and every column by The Big Latte. Here's the most recent.