On paper Icer Air 2005 sounds solid: They're building a ski jump on Fillmore Street, which Jonny Moseley and his pals intend to attack, spinning like nut jobs before landing 60 feet away in packed powder (or packed shave ice). Turning S.F. into Tahoe -- it's stupid, frivolous, and unquestionably genius. Oldster Glen Plake will be there, along with a gaggle of snowboarding urchins and a few legends like Shawn Palmer and Shane McConkey. Two competitors will walk away with $10,000 grand prizes and Jeep Grand Cherokees.
But that's just on paper. The event won't be worth shit unless they pick the correct block. So I went and stood atop the hill -- kicked its tires, as it were -- imagining if the angle of descent were comparable to, say, the Mainline Park at Squaw Valley. It's the right block. The sidewalks are stairways. I wouldn't walk up it without throwing a tantrum or looking for a bus, and a dropped doughnut is forever lost. I give it a 99 percent chance of supporting serious eggplants, or whatever they're doing this year. Practice runs start at 10 a.m. on Fillmore between Broadway and Green streets, S.F. Admission is free; visit www.icerair.com.
-- Michael Leaverton
Fun and Games
Talking about GLBT sports
Back in 1980, former Olympic decathlete Tom Waddell created what's now known as the Gay Games -- an inclusive international sporting event to foster self-respect and acceptance among gays and lesbians. And you didn't even have to be gay or an athlete to join up. Aside from offering 28 sports, from basketball to martial arts, in dozens of countries, the Gay Games now includes a cultural component, which showcases stereotype-dismantling art and performance. "Home Team: The Growth of Gay Games & GLBT Sports" features Waddell's widow, Sara Waddell Lewinstein, and Tony Jasinski, founder of the San Francisco Gay Basketball program, talking about the 23rd anniversary of the first Gay Games and the future of sports in GLBT activism. The lecture starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Main Library's Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin (at Grove), S.F. Admission is free; visit www.sfpl.org.
-- Nirmala Nataraj
Rowing for integrity
And they say jocks are dumb: The San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival features rowers from all over, coming together not just to grunt and sweat, but also to consider the legend of Chinese poet and patriot Qu Yuan. See, in 278 B.C., those two occupations weren't as oil-and-water as they seem now: He drowned himself rather than serve a corrupt government, as his heart broke with love for his country. Boats came along to try to find his body and his spirit; maybe the athletes in this traditional re-enactment can find him this year. We could use a guy like that.
Some 100 boat teams take off Saturday at 8 a.m. near California between Avenues C and F, Treasure Island. Spectating is free; visit www.sfdragonboat.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
The ANA Cable Car Chase starts off with a deceptively flat stretch along the waterfront. Then the course makes a hard right, California Street's cable cars rev up, and the race is on. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. (and the race starts at 8) at Aquatic Park, Jefferson & Hyde, S.F. Registration is $35; call 595-6934 or visit www.anacablecarchase.com.
-- Michael Leaverton