The speed tribe
December 27, 2006
Aspen, CO ColoradoSpeed is in my genes.A holiday weekend with extended family at a vacation home in Granby was a festival of risk-taking. Between huge servings of animal protein and taking turns making my niece’s “Baby Alive” doll eat its own poop, it was all about the adrenaline fix. I think we should have all been born wearing helmets.On Christmas Eve, we skied Sol Vista in Granby. First groomies with my 10-year-old niece, who is a budding ripper. Then my brother and 14-year-old nephew, Robbie (who joined the Dark Side and rides a snowboard) snuck around some ambiguous closed signs and found some deep 2-day-old powder. Just a matter of leaning back and keeping the tips above the crud, and we had the whole chairlift hooting and hollering.Christmas day meant opening up all the goodies, but in the afternoon, while the rest of America enjoyed their own special brands of dysfunction, we hit the Granby tubing park. We worked about every combination of linking tubes as we slid down the hill at near mach speed, conveniently dragged to the top by a little rope tow.In the evening, we got our speed fix on a homemade bobsled track.When we were kids in Pittsburgh, we’d carry buckets of water to Spalding Circle, a little park at the top of the street, and pour the water down the slope to create a deadly ice track that turned flexible fliers into missiles.The advantage at the house in Granby was the outdoor hose, and thanks to a drop in temperature, we built a good glaze on the track.My nephew rode a flying saucer like an Olympic luger, but I had to take it a step further and hit it on an old whitewater kayak steering with a broom. The speed of the heavy boat sent me far off the end of the track and over a steep drop. It nearly knocked the wind out of me, and the boys couldn’t stop laughing.On the last day, we hit the slopes of Winter Park and Mary Jane, shredding the steeps, abusing our knees in the bumps and ending the day at one of the fastest Nastar courses I’ve ever run – like a Super G.We all medaled and I got gold – just missed a platinum – and the three of us were serious as Bode about the whole business. It’s in our DNA.