Never Lay Down Your Sword
I don’t care what you used to do, what are you doing now? I hear this all the time, you “used to ride” now..well it is obvious that sitting has been the game for a spell. You don’t have to apologize, it happens. I was riding one day and I ran into a guy who needs new spandex, I don’t want an eye-full of man ass, hold that shit up to the light like a 100 dollar bill every so often and do us a favor. “All my friends are gone, they are married and have kids” He lamented as we both worked up a fire road, four miles of burn. “They are still your friends; they have just lain down their sword, that’s all.” He liked that. “You can steal it if you like.” Exposed man-ass-peeking-through-lyrca rode away from me. I don’t care about all your puck rock stories form the days of yore, I saw you roll up in a min van, all those faded tattoos mean nothing to me except perhaps you were trying too hard to not be a square. Your sword is hanging on a hook with soft tires, waiting to be wielded again. It does not believe your bs and neither do I, so what are waiting for? Pick your sword back up again and be born anew, or remain a douche. The choice is yours.
Bikepacking is the new fixie.
I can’t help but look at this whole bike packing craze and feel like it is the new fixie, just a thing for hipsters. That whole fixie thing ruined cycling for a time. Sure some shops (that are closed now by the way) made some money but all it did was bring a frat boy mentality to bikes, followed by a thug mentality (LA represent) like people being shot for their bikes, I guess it was the same amount of money as robbing a 7-11 with minimal risk to the perpetrator. Who has time to just take off for weeks on end? Perhaps they are the free ones and us responsible ones are the real slaves? I guess the presentation of the whole thing seems to cater to libertines, that is the old word for hipster by the way; a self-indulgent pleasure seeker. All those smug bearded faces that don’t have an ounce of hardship etched into them, being selfied at me like they have all the answers. All the self-aggrandizing narcissistic things I loathe in people are rife in this scene. There was this guy named J. Hart Rosdail that rode across Africa and the whole of Australia in the 1960’s on a 3 speed touring bike he bought for seven dollars. That man was a true bad ass and he was very humble about it, not like all the cool kids out there. Chasing cool is a fools errand, what will these people do when their parents stop cutting them checks for their “art”? I don’t think I’ll ever be cool enough to be a bike packer and I can’t say I’d want to be. I wish they’d just go back to heroin.
“You already told me that story, three times now.” “Urrr…I did?” “Yeah.” I said. BMX tales from when you were 12, you’re near 50 now. It is sad when you only have stories from old adventures, decades old sometimes. What it means is you’re not making new adventures, no new stories as it were. In a small way the bard that only spins tales from the days of yore is already dead; they stopped really living ages ago. At what point do think to yourself that you’re going to go get a haircut, buy some docker pants and become a douche? When does that start to seem like a good idea? I’ve seen so many of my friends become boring, vanilla, tamed versions of their former selves. All the cool things they used to do are now in boxes, bikes with flat tires hung on hooks in the garage, bike magazines replaced by Ikea catalogs on the coffee table. All they have now is tales from the past to hang on to the person they once were. I view the past like a port on the voyage of life you can sail by, perhaps dock in the bay for a spell but can never go to shore again. One is only allowed to sail on to new ports, new adventures. If you stay moored to a bay in the past then you’re stuck there, never able to see new horizons or find new water and ports to explore. We are here for a long time, not a short one so go out and have new adventures and new tails to tell, holding on to the past is a jip.
I’m not cool enough for Cyclo-Cross
Sometimes I look at events going on at the interwebs and I know I’m not one of the cool kids. I don’t have any piercings nor tattoos or some handmade lugged steel bike made by some bearded curmudgeon from Oregon that looks a lot like my Schwinn Le Tour but costs 1500 dollars instead of being found in the trash. I don’t have a lot of “likes”, in fact I did not know what a selfie was till a few years back. I saw a girl pointing her phone towards her self and asked my companion what she was doing. He explained what a selfie was and I felt like it was cursed knowledge sort of like accidently seeing your parents naked, never to be erased from your memory bank. I’m out of the realm for anything that starts at either 10 O’ clock hour. Too late on both accounts, I live in the working persons time and am industrious enough that any Quaker worth their salt would give me a nod of approval but to show up to the post ride drinking/ hang out and act like the party did not really start till I got there, well I’m not cool enough to ever feel that way. You can chase cool but it sort of like building a sand castle in the shore break; it must be maintained at all times or it will quickly erode. Cool becomes addicting too, once you have some cool points, you want more and you want to keep the ones you have. It is sad to see the cool kid who spilled all their cool points out on the floor and is trying to gather them back together. Cool is something that has to be agreed upon. The cool person has to exude an aura of “cool” or an aura of bullshit and the other person or people has to take a deep whiff of this crap and say “Hey, I like that stink.” I think there is a little mutually agreed upon cognitive dissidence going on there between both groups. I have seen people I know chase cool, go to the cool shops to party, hang with the cool kids, eschew the local ride to ride with the hipsters instead of supporting your local scene etc. I guess when you’re 13 you don’t know any better but when you’re 35, well, that is just pathetic. The deeper social context is that these ethereal qualities exist because very few are satisfied with who they are, they see that other person to have more of “it” whatever “it” is. Any chance to feel like you’ve moved up in some way and can by mutual agreeance of the false notion of cool that you are now a Star-Bellied Sneach, most will jump at the opportunity. Any life closely analyzed will reveal faults, at some point one can just get over the whole thing and spend their time and energy being the person they want to be instead of chasing conditions that will only last a spit in time in one’s life trajectory. I’d rather be rad than cool any day. While cool is an ethereal concept, rad is proof. Jumped your bike over a trashcan? That is rad. Beat a guy on a down hill bike armed only with a coaster brake? Rad! Rode a wheelie down the street? Of course, rad, a wheelie being the foundation in which all radness springs forth. There is no denying the rad moments you’ll have and the ones you’ll be witness to. Rad is a flash in the pan, extemporaneous, right now, an explosion, encapsulation off all things good about bikes, cool is the slow burn. Rad is an exclamation point and cool is an ellipse… to be continued? Perhaps. Seek radness at all times and it will become the core of your being, chase cool and you run a fools errand. While the reward for radness is instantaneous and fades right after, the reward for cool may never come to fruition and when gotten, well, it never seems to be enough. You can “be” rad and only “feel” cool, choose wisely.
05.8.18 - 7:55 am