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April 02, 1998 - Image 21

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-02

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V U The Migan Daily Weekend Magt'ne - Thursday, April 2, 3~ -

2B - The Michigan Daily Weeken Magazine - Thursday, April 2, 1998
Outdoor Adventures lets students
enjoy a world of physical activity

a-

-- wl

The igan Daily ee en a e - Thursday, April 2, IW -

Weekend, etc. Column
A BOY AND HIS BIKE

By Kern Murphy
and Gina Rasmussen
Daily Arts Writers
With warm weather on the rise and
the end of the semester in sight, stu-
dents embrace the great outdoors by
sunbathing on the Diag and playing
tennis and soccer at Palmer Field.
But instead of coping with spring
fever in the usual ways, college stu-
dents may want to make friends and
stay in shape while exploring more
adventurous and nontraditional
ence Kovacs activities.
rio's Just a bus ride away - on North
Campus - lies the chance for stu-

dents to register for trips including
canoeing, mountain biking, white-
water rafting, hiking and rock climb-
ing.
The Department of Recreational
Sports, located at the North Campus
Recreation Building (NCRB) runs a
program called Outdoor Adventures,
which offers safe, fun, exciting,
informative and affordable trips and
clinics both locally and nationally.
"We run a ton of great trips to gain
outdoor skills," said Julie Haight, a
Kinesiology junior and instructor of
Outdoor Adventures.
Lawrence Kovacs, assistant direc-

Courtesy ofnLa
Aaron Danzer and Charlane Brady, a Sociai Work student, dogsled in Onta
Algonquin Provincial Park.

tor of Outdoor Adventures, attributed
the program's success to the unique-
ness of the services and activities
offered. Rental equipment is high-
quality and affordable.
"We also rent out hard-to-find
things such as tug-of-war ropes, vol-
leyball sets, sleeping bags and picnic
packs," Kovacs said.
Additional services offered are
various clinics such as bike repair,
backpacking, kayaking and map-
reading, all of which are a few hours
long and cost around $10..
So what do these trips entail, and
can a college student on a budget
afford them? Kovacs said that the
trips are geared towards college stu-
dents' schedules, spreading the trips
throughout the year. "Nothing is
planned during finals," Kovacs said.
The trips vary in length as well as
in price. The more economically
challenged college students might
opt for the $20 canoeing day trip as
opposed to the more intense and
five-day-long, several-hundred-dol-
lar dogsledding trip. Equipment,
transportation, instruction and food
are almost always included in the
price of the adventure trip.
Students need not be Indiana Jones
material to participate, but they must
be 18 years old. No affiliation with
the University is required, but the
majority of the participants are
undergrads, with the rest being grad-
uate students, families and older
people.
"I love working with the college
students and the general population,"
Kovacs said.
Asthe saying goes, the more the
merrier.
"One memorable experience was
our spring break trip to Cumberland
Island. We had a great diverse group
of people. It was great because
everyone was so enthusiastic,"
See OUTDOORS, Page 16B

Imagine yourself walking innocently
down the sidewalk. It's a sunny day. The
birds are chirping. The warm wind
blows against your skin, and the hair on
the back of your neck stands on end.
It's a good day. You breathe in the
sweet-scented air through your nose,
and exhale slowly from your mouth.
You feel good. -
Other people are bustling about,
enjoying themselves, smiles on their
faces. Everything is right with the
world. And then you notice something a
little strange.
Everyone is looking at you. Not star-
ing, necessarily - just a sidelong
glance here or there, keeping track of
you out of the corners of their eyes.
Then it hits you. You're naked.
You look around, trying to find a
place to hide or something to cover up
with. But there's nothing. There's
nowhere for you to go, nothing you can
do. It's just you, out in the open, com-
pletely exposed.
And then you realize the wind isn't
so swarm anymore. Suddenly it's freez-
ing outside. Which can mean only one
thing.
Shrinkage! OK, let's stop right there.
I know what you're thinking, and no,
this isn't a Naked Mile-run column
(although I reserve the right to compose
that one at a later date). I'm not talking
about an isolated incident - something
that happens once a year, when people
are feeling a little crazy.
Nope. For all practical purposes, I've

walked the streets naked every single
day for the past seven months - ever
since my senior year of college began.
Calm down! Calm down! Before you
run to your windows and pull down the
blinds, before you slam your doors and
force your children to come inside
(after all, young minds could be dam-
aged easily by such a traumatic experi-
ence), just relax.
I'm speaking metaphorically here.
What, did you really think I'd risk my
entire reading public (now about four
people) by talking about myself -
naked? Bleh. Even I have some stan-
dards of taste and decency, for heaven's
sake.
My "emotional nudity" stems from
something far deeper than just a lack of
clothing. Actually, it more has to do
with a lack of a place to live. And a lack
of a job. And a lack of any kind of idea
about my future.
I know, I know. I'sound like a com-
mercial for enlisting in the Army
Reserves, but I'm serious. For the first
time in my life, I have absolutely no
idea where I'll be or what I'll be doing
at this time next year.
All my friends are busy signing leases,
talking about the jobs or internships
they'll be making money at this summer.
'While I'm just, well ... naked. After I
graduate. as far as I know, I have nothing.
No Job. No home lined up for next
year. No certainty about anything.
The smallest decisions are taking on a
huge level of importance in this atmos-

phere of panic. From figuring out what
I'm going to eat for dinner, to even wor-
rying about what I'm going to wear in
the morning (see, I told you I was being
figurative), I just don't know what I'm
doing any more. About anything.
Which leaves me with just one feasi-
ble option for gain-
ing some kind of
control over my
life. One last way
to find some
peace. One last
chance to take my
life in hand.
My mom and
dad are probably
hoping I'm going
CHRIS to say something
FARAH level-headed and
AR. 'c practical, like
"apply to morn
businesses," or
"compile a list of potential places of
residence." Hah! That would make far
too much sense.
At a time like this, when everything
is slipping away, there's only one last
resort for a rational man like myself.
Go for a bike ride. Now, I know rid-
ing my bike isn't going to pay my bills.
It's not going to find me a job, or put
down a deposit on a new apartment. It
won't even get me into grad school.
But a good bike ride is the best way
to get control over a life in a downward
spiral. Period.
You can go anywhere you want on a

bike, as long as you have a little time on
your hands (and boy, do I). You don't
have to stick to the road, as if you were
in a car. You can take your bike on
almost any kind of trail, sidewalk or
path that's ever been invented.
But riding a bike is better than walk-
ing, too. True, you can go anywhere on
your two feet. But on a bike, you can go
there fast. Bikes open up a whole world
of epic adventures - traveling to parts
of the city you've never been to before,
or even hopping on Liberty Street and
driving west until you reach the country-
side.
Nothing holds you back - no stub-
born, dense potential employers. No
old-boys' networks you have to break
into, or ass-kissing cover letters. No
jacket and tie required. Just hop on your
bike, and go wherever you damn well
please. It's up to you.
Getting lost is even fun on a bike. In
a car, getting lost can be scary. Road
trips in cars can almost take you too far
- you can run out of gas, or get so lost
that finding your way home becomes an
annoying chore.
But on a bike, you always know
you're just one street or corner away
from finding your way home. There's
something comforting about that.
Making a wrong tum in life isn't always
so easy to fix.
Maybe at the same time, if you're
lucky, you'll see something iew on
your bike ride. Maybe you'll find a lit-
tle spot that only you seem to know

about. A little nook where you can hide
away when the prospects of your future
- or lack thereof-- get a little over-
whelming.
I managed to find a cool little rope
swing just on the outskirts of Ann Arbor.
It dangles over a large pond, hanging
from the branch of a big, gnarled tree.
Some of my favorite memories are of
riding bikes with my friends to the
swing and spending a lazy afternoon
flying over the water, trying to make it
back to shore without getting wet.
Of course, that didn't always work. I
went swinging with my brother one
summer afternoon, and we both ended
up soaking wet.
He'd been wearng jean shorts when
he fell in, so he had to resort to wearing
one of his T-shirts - legs through the
arm holes, with his belt holding the
shirt in place. I was more fortunate - I
had jumped off in nothing but my
tighty-whiteys (sorry for that image, but
at least I wasn't naked), so I was good
to go for the ride home.
Memories like that, rope-swing hide-
aways where no one can find yoL, and
long rides on a warm summer day - all
the worries in the world. piled on sith
all the confusion and insecurity. just
couldn't touch any of those things.
When you need to take a little control
or find some peace of mind, just take a
bike ride. Clothing optional.
- then Chis Farah i nt on his hike.
You can reach him at
jiarar inich.edu.

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