Monday, September 28, 2009

California Dreamin'

The Sizzle of Summer has far from faded here in Southern California. We 'locals' know that when the calendar turns to September and October, the true heat waves roll in. Look no further than this past weekend in Ontario. You could 'feel the burn' as my daughter and i drove (oh yes, glorious to DRIVE to work) inland roughly 60 miles to the '909' and felt first hand what it's like to stand right next to an oven! The mercury measured 110 degrees on the ride out, and forget that whole 'Yeah, but it's a DRY HEAT' mentality, it was stinkin' HOT!

As for the PBR's finest who descended on Ontario as well, they showed few ill-effects of the rising temps. In particular, Kody Lostroh caught fire and cranked up the heat on the competition, winning his 5th event of the year, and once again distancing himself from his closest challengers.

Our job on TV is to present the 'possibilities' of what could happen in the closing weeks of the season...Kody adeptly, and somewhat exasperatedly, emphatically declared this weekend that he could give a 'rat's behind' about what the commentators say, that his JOB is to ride bulls, and that's what he enjoys doing. Here, here.

If every rider cared as LITTLE about what was SAID, and more about what they did, it would be a much tighter Title Race. You have to hand it to Kody- he doesn't like the limelight, he disdains the distractions that come with his success, and yet, at every instance he has come close to relinquishing his lead in the standings, he finds a way to answer his rivals and his critics. I admire that.

California's real estate is some of the most expensive around, but Lostroh might want to make a down payment on some property- he's won THREE times this year in the Golden State. His wins in Fresno, Anaheim, and now Ontario have provided the backbone for his season's success. Kody admitted after his win last night that he is finally riding up to the potential that he, and his fans, have felt he has possessed all along. It's far from over, but his 'potential' could blossom into a BUCKLE in a few weeks time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reno-Bulls, Balloons, and Beef

Very strange to be fully immersed back in the PBR side-of-life. We've got a 6 week run to wind down the regular season, and then it's time to head to VEGAS, BABY! A lot on the horizon as we start this final push to declaring a World Champ, including a tight points race, and a contract dispute between Comcast and DirecTV that has affected a lot of our followers. I have had so many people ask me 'why have they dropped Versus?' and all i can say is these decisions are made way 'above my pay grade'. Bottom line, i have no idea. But, yes, i wish it would get resolved. The more people that see our shows, the better! Duh!

So, back to the basics- a weekend of bullriding, balloons and burgers. The bullriding- JB Mauney won, and cut into Kody Lostroh's lead. Exciting. Balloons- The Great Reno Balloon Festival greeted the dawn each of the two days we were there- close to 100 balloons in the air each morning- another exciting aside to the 48 hours+ in Nevada. BUT, the highlight had to be my culinary decadence! Burgers! I gorged myself not once, not twice, but three consecutive evening meals on beef...ah, it does a body good!

Sometimes you just have to say, WT'BLEEP'.

Can't wait for the coming weeks- plenty to write/tweet/comment on, but not before it's time. Until then, all the best.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Escape from New York

I love visiting the Big Apple. 99% of the time, I am there for work, so when I got the chance to mix ‘business with pleasure’ this trip, I jumped at the opportunity.

It may be referred to as a ‘Concrete Jungle’, but last week, I was finally made aware of what awaits just outside New York City’s urban interior. For two days, two of my friends played the roles of Lewis and Clark, as they led me on bike trips across the George Washington Bridge and into a veritable cornucopia of cycling options. I fell in love with the terrain instantly, and while it did not possess the vertical of some of my normal SoCal coordinates, it was more than enough of an interesting trek to make my spirits soar (and if I lived in the area, to keep me in stellar shape for any athletic goals).

Much like the city itself, with its cultural labyrinth and myriad of options, so too were the pathways we chose to glide upon. River Road, Palisades, 9W, and Nyack- all names I did not know before my two-day baptism by fire, but I know them now! To top if off, the cafĂ© we stopped at in Nyack had one of the best paninis I have ever tasted. I tried to do my new “Versus” kit proud by hammering home each day as best I could, not sure I turned any heads, but at least the ‘colors’ were flying!

I can’t wait for the next chance I have to throw down and put myself through a suffer-fest of East Coast proportions! Here’s hoping it’s soon.