history



At last count, I have been to the emergency room six times in the last eight years. Friends and colleagues and family members hear this number and think, “Well, of course, you’re always going on those crazy adventures, you’re bound to hurt yourself.” But readers, tis not the adventures that land me in the hospital (well, except for the turning-point bike accident back in 2007). Usually, in fact, I land there because some drunk dude is careless. It’s totally awful but it’s totally how things have been these past eight years.

Well, this time I landed in the ER just because I’d been running out of steam and the immune system was down and one can ignore abdominal pain for only so long. I tell you this not to elicit pity, but to introduce my latest blog posting about how to prepare yourself for mindless and anxiety-filled hours in the ER. Cuz I’m an expert by now.

My latest for Trail’sEdge on being prepared for the emergency room.

And yes, I’ll be spending Thanksgiving alone (by choice, readers) at the Sand Creek Massacre site. To fully understand what I’m talking about, read about my adventure to Chaco Canyon when I decided to just say no to Thanksgiving over a decade ago.


Although Alberto Contador hasn’t been looking the badass he is in this Tour de France, he is confident he’s going to start taking names again once the Tour hits the Alps on Thursday and Friday.

There’s no doubt that 2 days of riding in the Alps, after over two weeks of riding 100+ miles a day, is a feat few can accomplish. But I take issue with Versus Television’s claim that The Tour de France is the “Most Epic Race. Ever.” Because it’s not. There’s plenty of endurance races out there that kicks the Tour’s butt. And as my allegiance is firmly in the mountain biking camp, I had to write last week about the Great Divide Race, a mountain bike race that skirts the Continental Divide (mountains the entire way), lasts at least three weeks for most demi-gods and -goddesses, and is solely supported. This means no teams, no support car, no fancy GPS devices, no sponshorship money, and no television coverage. Just the participants and the bike.

Like the Tour used to be.

A friend of mine had this history-lesson response to the way the Tour has changed since its inception:

Back when the Tour de France started over 100 years ago, it was very similar to the Great Divide.  It was initiated by a newspaper company that wanted to expand its readership beyond the city of Paris.  So, the TdF was a publicity stunt to generate interest throughout France.  The paper had exclusive rights to interviews with riders, etc.  The front page of the paper was printed on yellow news-print.  Hence the yellow jersey.
As the race took on a life of its won and sponsorship dollars flooded in, the purse for the winner grew into a huge sum.  Thenm the inevitable happened.  The equation below sums it up:
Huge Male Egos + Millions of Dollars at Stake + Pressure from Sponsors + Modern Chemistry + Lack of Ethics = Cheating
It happens in every sport when there is enough money to support the cost of the drugs.
In the past, the TdF didn’t do ANYTHING to dissuade the riders from doping.  This is evident by the fact that the race promoters issued a statement to teams back in the 1930’s stating, “Amphetamines will not be provided by the race organizers.  Teams are responsible for providing their own.” 
We’re not sure of the

Sniff, sniff. It’s the first time the snowboarding season is ending and I’m actually going to miss it. Out here in Colorado we still have a few weeks left, but nary a few good days. The snow is turning to rain, even in the high country.

What’s a girl to do? How about head for the hills. Of sand. With a board.

My Denver Snowboarding Examiner piece on transitioning from snow to sand gives the goods on how to get started in sandboarding and how to make it down the hill, sense of humor intact. Because nothing says Earth Day like sand between your toes…


Let’s face it. Pirates are cool. And historical women are cool.

So female pirates from history are the coolest, like icy cool. My next installment for the folks over at HistoryNet.com features three women, from ancient time to the Elizabethan Era, whose nautical prowess brought them infamy.

Without eye patches, even.

Read about these historical female pirates.


Maybe it’s just the places I frequent, but the collaborators in getting the word out about Women’s History Month is doing the viral thing on the interwebs.

The folks over at Alexander Street, who maintain a scholarly database of all things female and social movements from the years 1600-2000 are tossing their hat in by offering free access to the likes of you and me.

If you’re doing a school project or are just plain interested, they’ve got archives, documents, biographies, and for the visual learners, graphics and tables. And lessons for teachers! Yay!

Check out Alexander Street


Readers-

To commemorate Women’s History Month I wrote a mini-series for the connoisseurs of history over at HistoryNet.com.

You can find all articles on Women’s History under Magazines/All history topics, then scroll down to Topics Sorted by Subject Matter. Click on Women’s History and poof! there the miniseries be.

Today’s installment includes the resume, as I imagined it, of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France, and then, when it suited her, Queen of England.

Read the entire Women’s History series.

Read about Heroines of Women’s History, including my beloved Eleanor.


A couple of days in March are famous: the Ides of March (thanks for the warning, Teiresias!) and St. Patrick’s Day (the Irish snake guy).

But the entire month of March is devoted to celebrating the women in history who made in impact – whether on their country, their cause, or maybe even just their family. The National Women’s History Project’s theme this year for Women’s History Month is Writing Women Back Into History.

I attempt to do just that for the fine folks over there at HistoryNet.com. Please, go check me out and if you feel inclined, leave a comment.

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