Friday, August 31, 2007


Since it's obvious that summer is waning, I last week was on a mission to shoot as many summer pics as possible, given we had some really nice weather last wknd. It has been predictably nice here in the am and til about mid-afternoon, then it clouds up and looks like the end of the world come 5 o'clock. Hopefully the heavens allow us to run a dry RGO race within the hour.


Ryan Gaul Open is tonight. 5:30 at the shop, shuttle up to the weather station in top of Baldy, then take a 15min, 2000+ft plunge back into town to the shop. Good variety of riding terrain...above treeline rocky tundra, babyhead-littered jeep roads, rocky and buff single track, town ball fields, grass, pavement, stairs, etc.. One stop along the way on the Juniata bridge. lookin' forward to some fun. i will have to baby my new $150 derailleur.

nice job

LSU. 45-0 blowout of MSU, although the 1st quarter was pretty sluggish. No way MSU can give up 6 turnovers and expect to beat the #2 team in the country. big test next wknd vs VA Tech. we'll see how they do tomorrow. prob no night ride tonight, but an after work special, which is great b/c I don't get a chance to do those often.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

it's Game Day

tonight it all starts! Pretty cool that the LSU-MSU game is the official opener of the 2007 college football season! I am predicting a bold 11-1 season. Super high hopes. Pre-season #2. We'll see how they handle the hype.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

coyotes, end of summer

So today after the LRSH teacher appreciation picnic at Carter Park, I too Montana out for a bathroom walk. As we were coming out of the woods on French Gulch Rd, we heard a pack of coyotes yelping, maybe just 200' or so above us. Then a few minutes later another pack, clear across the valley, also responded with plenty of yelps. Kinda freaky sounding. No biggie usually, but I'd hate to be by myself and see 6-7-8+ coyotes suddenly following me.
Some aspens down in the valley have yellow leaves already. The Olathe sweet corn season is over. It's not light in the am before 6a anymore. The upper mountains are turning from green to purple. Uuugh.

Monday, August 27, 2007

wknd photo dump

first one below is Alina dressed up in her Tigger costume, pushing her baby around in the toy stroller. The other one is looking down Bridge St from the neighbors. Then Alina enjoying zero gravity in the bouncy castle, and finally a picture of her enjoying some watermelon.


great weekend with great weather. my legs finally feel normal after running last Wednesday's 8K trail race here in town. too bad I had a stomach cramp on the downhill, I lost many spots in the last mile. We sessioned the Great Flume Friday night. It was a great ride until Brandon smacked his nose really hard. Luckily just some blood and no broken bones. Saturday morning, Alina and I left the house early and cruised around town so we could let Helen sleep in some. Our first stop was Daylight Donuts, but they had a line out the door, so we continued on to Cool River for some eggs and bagels. We were able to relax this weekend, though we went to a couple of neighborhood parties. Alina esp. enjoyed the bouncy castle yesterday afternoon, and of course breaking in her Tigger costume early for Halloween. pics soon.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

the age of religious politics

Editor's note: This is part of a series of reports is featuring from a documentary, "God's Warriors," hosted by CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour says she believes the world has entered an "age of religious politics."

LONDON (CNN) -- The world needs courageous, committed leaders with a "genuine desire to reach compromise" to tackle the world's most thorny issues, especially where religion and politics intersect, CNN's Christiane Amanpour says. asked users to send questions to Amanpour as part of "CNN Presents" documentary, "God's Warriors."

Here, Amanpour answers your questions:

Jack Wilson of Cannes, France: How can you even begin to compare Islamic extremists with Christians or Jews? How can you even put them in the same sentence?

Amanpour: We're not comparing. We're showing that each faith has their committed and fervent believers, and we're showing how each of those are active in the political sphere in today's world. Video Go behind the scenes with Amanpour in Amsterdam »

Robert Preece of Rotterdam, Netherlands: Dear Christiane Amanpour, You are a voice in the world that many people trust, sometimes considerably more than their politicians. In your experience and insights, have you seen clear and effective ways that can significantly improve the situations in relation to "God's Warriors" and extremism?

Amanpour: Robert, there are all sorts of ways. For instance, I've seen religious conflicts that are really political -- but masquerading as religious -- having been solved, such as between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, between Muslims and Christians in Bosnia, and between the Kosovar Albanians and the Serbs there.
God's Warriors
CNN's Christiane Amanpour examines the effects of Christianity as a powerful political force around the world.
Thursday, 9 p.m. ET
see full schedule »

But it takes leadership. It takes a real committed, courageous and determined leadership to get beyond an individual's religious or ethnic or special interest. That's the only way these things are going to be solved.

Terrorism is a different thing. Terrorism has to be defeated. But terrorism is a symptom of other things, and it's very hard. It's been shown that the war on terror can't just be fought militarily. It has to be done in many, many different ways -- hearts and minds, financial, good intelligence, good policy and all the rest of it.

Susan Moore of Clayton, Georgia: ... Did you come away eased and heartened, or with the feeling that this is an insolvable, permanent human condition?

Amanpour: I don't believe it's an insolvable, permanent human condition. But I do think that we are in an age of religious politics or political religiosity, and it could last for some time. This is not to say that good politics, good policy and good diplomacy can't soften the edges of some of the extremism we see.

But that's going to take committed and courageous leadership. And it's going to take not pandering to those who believe that only they can interpret God's word and to those that believe politics should reflect religion.

Regina Bowling of Charleston, South Carolina: I believe we are watching the gathering up of energy worldwide in the form of religious intolerance for the "perfect storm" of global holy war. Do you see any compromise one could offer to calm these hysterical masses and avoid ultimate disaster?

Amanpour: I don't see right now the potential for global holy war. It's true that way back centuries ago that daily life -- including politics, governance and kingdoms -- were ruled with religion as one of the bases for power. And, of course, today we've come to expect that a modern, progressive system of government is one that is political and secular.

But what we're seeing is that because there's so much alienation around the world ... [and] people are reacting to a world they seem afraid of, many people have turned back to religion. In some cases, it's the only form of politics and the only form of political expression. In other cases, it gives them a sense of identity. Still other cases, it's a reaction based on fear of the culture they see around them.

But as far as I'm concerned, as long as people believe that only their holy book or only their holy word matters and is relevant, then there will be no solution. And that's why it takes committed and courageous leadership to provide an answer and solution that addresses the greater good for all.
Don't Miss

* In Depth: God's Warriors
* Muslim woman: Do I look like a terrorist?
* Christians, Jews in Holy Land alliance
* One man's journey to faith

Rachel Ford of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Christiane, you were raised in an environment where you were exposed to multiple religions. You have spent your career discussing and reporting on religion and politics. Doing this report, looking at the world through the eyes of those who see God in such extreme ways, are you afraid of where we are going?

Amanpour: I am slightly today, because I don't see good leadership, and so that does frighten me. I think it's a real problem today that a lot of the political crises, which are religious in flavor, could be solved by better and more inclusive political leadership -- and a genuine desire to reach compromise. It also takes a genuine desire to be brave and look at a real solution to a problem, rather than pander to the special interests on any given issue.

Asnawi Maamor of Manila, Philippines: The three religions -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- believe in God but why is it that Islam, the successor of the first two, is always misunderstood for being the odd one?

Amanpour: Well, because the world's focus has been on Islam, particularly Islamic extremism and terrorist violence, mostly because of September 11, 2001 -- because of those attacks on the United States. And so there have been many reactions to that: fear and anger, as well as in other quarters a desire to try to understand and figure out what is behind all this.

At the same time, I think we need to be very careful because while this strain of al Qaeda-ism and terrorism is an unacceptable expression of any kind of action, there is a difference between terrorist violence and those who believe that religion should be the basis for political life -- whether they be Muslim or others. And we make that distinction in the documentary.

Marcos T. of Sacramento, California: If the majority of fundamentalists in any religion are peaceful and do renounce violence against people of other religions, why is it that the radical minority has dictated what has been happening for the past 100 years and the majority are unable (or perhaps unwilling) to stop them?

Amanpour: I do think that is a problem that afflicts society very often -- that unfortunately the very vocal minority often dominates the political stage. As some have said, it is the extremes -- whether on the left or right -- who are so committed as to be motivated and mobilized to go out and shout the loudest and work the hardest to get their points and their rhetoric across.

And that's why I again say it really does take very courageous and committed leadership to get solutions that benefit society that are based on justice and equal rights for all. It can't be a solution that involves the dictatorship that involves either the majority or the minority.

Dennis Huston of Warrington, Pennsylvania: Can we still negotiate with God's warriors or is it too late?

Amanpour: Dennis, it's not too late, and it depends on the type of warriors. I don't think there's any negotiating to be done with al Qaeda. I think these people have to be defeated. But they're not necessarily going to be defeated militarily. They have to be defeated by removing the conditions that lend them support among certain masses, and that means solving some of the world's most intractable problems, particularly those that involve thorny religious issues.

There are many so-called God's warriors who are really frightened and disgusted by what they see as a militantly secular society. I think that many, particularly Christians in the United States, feel that religion has become sort of a dirty word in society -- that faith has been banished from the public sphere. So their reaction is against what they call a militant secularism.

Donna J. Wert of Spirit Lake, Iowa: What are the positive concepts in the Christian faith that would build "a bridge" with other faiths?

Amanpour: Actually some of the Christian right have been extremely successful in persuading their government to help, for instance, to try to bring peace in the Sudan, between the northern Islamic Sudanese government and the southern rebels. They've been fighting for more than 20 years there, and it was the Christian right that persuaded the government of George W. Bush to get involved and help provide a political solution to this.

I think the Christian right, some of whom we featured in our program, have decided that they need to get involved and get Christians involved and mobilized on the environment -- that this is the Earth that God created and, therefore, we as human beings need to look after it. That's very positive and, of course, it's a big issue of our time.

I also believe that many of the Christian right pastors we talked with said citizens, especially Christians, should mobilize against poverty at home and that they should mobilize against injustice and racism, as well as look very carefully at some of the deep social afflictions that are present in the United States.

Roberta Briffa of Montana: As a theology student I am really looking forward to watching "God's Warriors". What I really appreciate is the fact that you chose to discuss and report on all three faiths and not just concentrate on one or two.

My question is this: How do you manage to remain calm when you confront dangerous situations in the countries you visit or when you research and report on delicate issues such as those on "God's Warriors"?

Amanpour: Experience helps. Knowing many of the countries that we visited and having been there before helps. Knowing that I have a reputation as a fair, objective, fact-based correspondent gives me a certain credibility with whom I'm interviewing.

David Blackburn of Fayetteville, Arkansas: Despite the fact that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all require worship of the God of Abraham and have the doctrine of loving other people, many followers of one of the above faiths hate the others. Do you think that this hatred stems from a lack of knowledge about what the faiths have in common?

Amanpour: One of the things we asked a lot of the people we interviewed was: What do they think about the other religion?

We're talking about very fervent fundamentalists of all faiths, and we asked them about the other two religions. They were all very careful in what they said. We didn't really hear much hatred. They all talked about the dignity of the other religion. So I think there is a respect by each religion to the other religions.

But I think where it gets really tricky is when politics gets involved and when it's a questions of war and peace and land and other such things.

Tracy Goordman of Oak Ridge, New Jersey: What have you learned from the average person in these countries about their feelings towards women and their role in society?

Amanpour: Tracy, I would just say in general, fundamentalism of any religion is not good for women. Fundamentalism is a patriarchal system and it does not seek to empower women. There are differing degrees of that between the different religions.

But fundamentally, in many of the religions, there are not serious leadership roles for women, and it is a patriarchal system. Women's rights are something that each and every woman all over the world has to be very careful to lobby for and protect.

help for Youssif

This kind of story, from CNN, really disturbs me. A member from the Children's Burn Foundation said - "In terms of a personal reaction, the only thing I could say is it takes your breath away -- because it's just so unfathomable, that that kind of brutality and violence was undertaken in a premeditated way against a defenseless child," she told

It really is disgusting and would drive me to acts of sheer brutality had I the chance to face these a**holes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

outdoor photography

was out shooting exterior property photos this morning 6:50-7:30a, while the light was ripe. Things were going well until a big cloud bank blocked my nice morning light. Just before that happened I snapped this cool pic looking across the valley towards Baldy and the Continental Divide.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Helen suffers but still gets 4th

Devon from the paper wrote a great article about Helen's race. check it out.

back to school

i am taking a short course in photography, specific for dSLRs, from NYIP. it wasn't too cheap but so far it has proven to be very valuable. the course manuals are awesome, well written, and good for people like me with short attention spans. the audio CDs are well done. i have yet to check out the DVD, but having the photo projects will be good.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Alina in the news

Last week Alina went on a picnic with some of her friends at school. A photographer from the newspaper was around and took this pic. She is in the back right in the pink hat.

- Summit Daily/Mark Fox
This group of toddlers from the Little Red Schoolhouse in Breckenridge enjoyed some outdoor time with a picnic lunch Friday. The group, front left to right is Adam Grunes, Mateusz Puc, Jack Jamison, Alina Cospolich and Nash Martin.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

18hrs into Helen's Leadville 100

and she's doing well. Alina and I are here hanging in the Delaware Hotel. weather so far has been okay.

Friday, August 17, 2007

brawl, show

the Breck Brawl didn't go so well. I nearly imploded at the top of the first climb, only about 5min into the race. I settled in some the last couple of laps, but it was too little too late. Glad the mtb race season is over, getting ready for cross is exciting.

The Beastie Boys put on a great show last night at Red Rocks. Those guys rock it good, esp. for being 40+. A pretty mellow crowd, and a beautiful summer night at Red Rocks for a show. Before the show we rode Apex and Enchanted Forest. Awesome high-speed singletrack, and some good techy sections to keep you on your toes.

Leadville 100 is tomorrow at 4a for Helen. 100mi of trail running. Wish her well and send some happy thoughts/vibes/prayers up her way in the Collegiate Peaks range of Colorado this weekend. Alina and I will have lots of quality time to hang out together. Hopefully I can post some pics soon after, or during, if the Delaware Hotel has wireless. I expect Helen to finish sometime around 2-2:30a on Sunday. Maybe Alina and I will see a ghost there at the old historic Delaware Hotel, the place easily seems like it has a colorful past full of characters.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

late afternoon lunch


it's in. I think it came out well. first enjoyment will be washing down the bike out there after tomorrow night's race. it'll be nice to have a good parking spot for guests. snow removal will be a whole different animal. not sure where I am going to put it with the fence and garage so close.

parking pad

our new driveway/parking pad is in. It took 3 guys about 3 hours. It is 3500psi concrete with 5" slump. Pretty pricey, hope it lasts up here. Pics coming later today/tonight. it will be great to be able to wash bikes and such out there.

feeling good

took Sunday off but yesterday's lap on the race course felt great. it was nice to ride later in the day when it was warmer. the bike feels great too. this morning I climbed up X10U8 to Minnie to Side Door. Beautiful early morning singletrack. I like to ride before work when the trails are so quiet. Also, the sunrise is getting later and later, so come September the early morning rides will be tough to fit in. Daylight savings doesn't end until November 4th this year. By then the trails will most likely be done anyways. Now there's enough light to start riding without lights around 5:45. In September that will prob be 30min later.

Civil twilight as defined by Wikipedia:

"Civil twilight is when the Sun is 6 degrees or more below the horizon. It is also known as dusk or dawn in some places and is the time immediately before sunrise and right after sunset. During this period of time, there is still enough light from the Sun that artificial sources of light are not needed to carry on outdoor activities in most cases. Civil twilight lasts until the Sun passes 12 degrees below the horizon which starts nautical twilight.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

congrats Jenny & Shaun!

yesterday Shaun & Jenny tied the knot up at the Ten Mile Station on Peak 10 of the ski area. it was an awesome day with nice weather for a classy wedding.

the Friday Night Lights edition this week saw up going up Westridge. An incredible night for a great trail. Saturday I did a nice ride up behind the mine to the lower half of Barney. I then went across the valley and up Pioneer to Dwight's to the Game Trail. Dennis rear derailleur exploded, bummer. Mine bit the dust a couple weeks back, now Dennis' too. Today we went down to Denver. I was excited to briefly enjoy some heat in the big city. It was 98 down there. Within 30 minutes it was 64 degrees up in the foothills on our way back. Short spin on the race course tomorrow.

Friday, August 10, 2007


another gorgeous high country summer day. an easy 45min spin up around the nordic center this morning. tonight we're hitting Westridge. mmmmmmmmm.

Larry Lohrman did a post about presenting your work the other day. He linked me to it. So now, if you Google "Jeff Cospolich" (not many do, trust me), my work site comes up. Crazy how powerful and connected the search stuff is these days.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


We had Kate come over to shoot some more pictures of Alina in front of the house this evening. Alina wasn't super crazy about it, but after we brought the slide out on the yard, she warmed up and was easy to work with, for a few minutes anyway. Kate tried to shoot some family pics of us three, but Alina didn't want to sit still. Instead, she wanted to figure out how to jump off the top of the slide.

finally, some nice weather

work's tough now, but the play makes it worthwhile. yesterday was bluebird and warm, I got out for an hour from 6-7a, then again from 10:30-11:30a. Today is again a nice weather day. I climbed up the ski area Breck Brawl course, then over towards Pk 8 and Pioneer Trail and Dwight's to the top of 8. 5.1mi in 45min, prob about 1,300' vertical. I was treated to a perfect downhill. 25min of bliss back to Park Ave. Trail surface was perfect tackiness. If I thought yesterday was good, today's traction was even better. I hope to get up Westridge tomorrow night. Should be awesome.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

hanging out

Alina only slept for about an hour this afternoon, so she was a handful tonight. But we still had a blast...

Monday, August 06, 2007

ice cream with my cake

i was hoping to get out on the bike path for a quick ride during work, but it rained off and on all day. after work though the weather broke and I got out on the cross bike. up the gulch, then up Sallie Barber to the mine. descending down from there wasn't that fun since I had to ride my brakes, and the front brake stutters unbearably. compared to my Intense with over 5" of travel, the cross bike felt like I was riding a road bike with 20mm TT tires. pretty sketchy. soon I was on the flat road just pedaling like a madman, swerving around and bunny hopping some of the puddles. it was pretty fun actually. then I dropped into Barney for about 100yds, flirted with more singletrack for a few seconds, but after riding over some rocks I soon realized how lucky I'd have to be to ride that trail again without flatting. 50lbs in a 30cc tire on a rigid bike isn't much suspension. So I kept it straight and rode down Baldy to Boreas. I was treated to some fresh asphalt on lower Boreas. It was almost as fun as skateboarding on a newly paved street. the light cross bike reminds me how sweet a 23lb mtb would be for race day. climbing up Sallie Barber was very easy compared to the mtb. I need to get some new tires ordered from Schwalbe.

i ate the whole enchilada

yesterday worked out well. 36.5mi, 4hr30min, prob about 4,000' vert. MY FAVORITE RIDE ever. too bad I was a bit scared by some thunder as I was grunting to the top of Georgia Pass. Luckily I didn't see any lightning, and I didn't get soaked. left the house around 10a and returned just after 3. It was great to ride solo and listen to music and some podcasts all day. saw some other cyclists, but didn't stop much. hooked up with Troy on the way up Westridge, rode with him all the way down to Horseshoe Gulch.

some random thoughts from the ride - riding up Little French was cool as always, the flume is a perfect grade to be able to stay in the big ring and get your pedal on, the Great Flume is the most beautiful and remote trail anywhere I've been on in Summit, the 1mi climb to the top of Georgia Pass is miserably steep and loose, the Colorado Tr (CT) down from the pass was fantastic, though pretty wet, the CT between south and middle forks of the Swan was awesome, the climb up to the north fork and westridge was longer than I remember, staying in the middle ring for the whole 30min climb was good, the downhill from there to Horseshoe Gulch is probably the single best downhill stretch ANYWHERE I have ridden, the climb up and over Gold Run Rd back to the house was surprisingly easy.

I felt great, and I think it was mostly b/c I drank about 120oz water, 20oz GU, and a can of Coke. plenty of liquids, and it wasn't even hot, but I was working hard, esp. going up Little French, up South Fork rd to Georgia Pass, up the CT by north fork to Westridge, and up over Gold Run Rd. 4 big climbs, each almost a half hour.

woke up to Seattle-looking weather. thick low-hanging clouds, high humidity, wet streets and temps in the low 50s. it started raining on my way into the office, stopped now though. Hopefully I can find a somewhat dry window for today, all I want is an easy hour on the road bike on the path. at least the weather today should scare away many tourists.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

the whole enchilada

tomorrow I hope to ride THE BIG EPIC. It is my dream ride in Summit County. Start from the house (of course), pedal up to Little French, take the flume down to Am Gulch, then the Great Flume to the South Fork. Up the grunt of a jeep road to Georgia Pass. Descend the Colorado Tr all the way from there to Horseshoe Gulch. Down through the golf course, up and over Gold Run back to the house. we'll see, it's a huge ride.

wet and warm July

bummer July is over. the last half of the month was very wet. below from SDN.


SUMMIT COUNTY - July lived up to its historic record as the wettest month of the year, with strong monsoon thunderstorms dumping more than two inches of rain across the local area.

In Breckenridge, weather watcher Rick Bly measured 2.29 inches of water, nearly right on par with the historic average rainfall (2.31 inches) for the month.

"It's interesting that 72 percent of that came on July 19 and 20. That's a little unusual," Bly said.

The early part of the month was extremely dry. At one point, around July 15, rainfall was only about 18 percent of average, Bly added. The single-day storm that dropped 1.29 inches on July 19 was the second-highest total Bly has recorded in more than three decades of taking observations for the National Weather Service.


Wow, 1.29" on July 19th. That is a lot, and apparently the 2nd most one-day total in more than 30 years. In New Orleans, we received almost 17" in one day in 199, when our house flooded with 3' of water.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


i need some more. up a bit late the past couple of nights. feel okay in the morning, but it catches up to me around lunch. last night was a good workout. comparing my time to the other categories, for once it looks like I am not too out of place in the pro/elite category. Faia didn't have a faster time, though it isn't surprising given the course, with its long gradual (big ring) climbs and descents. Climbing with local studs like Todd and Thane is good. Looking forward to a mellow mtb ride after work tonight.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Penn Gulch SMC

for the first time in about 2 weeks, I felt pretty good during the race and was pretty happy with my time. 5th out of 6 in the pro/elite field, pretty meaningless with a field that small. Brett Morgan, Todd Smith, Thane Wright and some kids I didn't know. Brett was toying with us on Boreas, putting in several small accelerations just to mess with us. He wasn't breathing too hard. Hung with Todd and Thane all the way to top of Boreas, so that alone gave me some confidence. I was on the rivet on the upper section of Boreas, before we dove down to Indiana Creek. But the work paid off, as I was in good position on the way up the grind. Unfortunately, I lost a bit at top of the climb, and I was pretty cautious (slow) on the descents tonight after a rough week or so of fitting in about 3 years of "missed" crashes. I lost time on Blue River Tr, which disappoints me. But I held off some good riders and felt okay when I finished, though I failed to outsprint this little Spanish kid, who naturally was riding a nice Orbea carbon hardtail (rocket ship).

Hopefully I can have a good ride for the Breck Brawl in a couple of weeks. And if work permits, maybe race the Keystone MSC over Labor Day weekend. Can't wait for cross though, esp. some of the good courses we had in Boulder.