Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ride It Like You Stole It

Sometimes I fancy myself a bike mechanic. Of sorts. After a fashion.

But I'm not a bike mechanic. This guy's a bike mechanic:
That, in the words of a certain Chris "Mad Dog" Moeller, is what you call "bicycle soul riding." Which, in addition to Sammy Sandals above, also looks looks like this:
Which brings me to what I call the Sean Ramirez Principle, after my McMexican coworker at the bike shop. One day I was putting a new 11 speed Campagnolo Super Record groupset on some rich guy's custom titanium Seven. His "old" parts that were currently on that bike were going on his custom carbon Calfee.

"If I had a bike that cost this much, I sure as shit would work on it myself," I said.

"That's the thing though," Sean replied. "Guys that can afford bikes like this spent their time learning how to make money and guys like us spent our time learning how to work on bikes."

Ouch, that is some true ass shit. The mechanics I work with ride everything from high end Intense downhill bikes--expensive, but hooked up on the cheap because he knows the guys--to lovingly restored old Raleighs, to impeccably-tuned second tier brands like Fuji and Jamis. They know how to work on their own machines, which we all have between 5 and 15 of. There are precious few custom frames between us because we know precious little about the stock market. Or dentistry. And, since we are immersed in the ass-end of industry hype--fancy new titanium derailleurs that don't shift, drivetrain designs that are intentionally obsolete two years after they come out, custom Ti frames that flex like wet noodles--we don't waste our paltry paychecks on the emperor's new clothes. We're smart. We have skills.

Yet we've made horrible life choices.

Quite clearly.

This isn't Sean Ramirez. Matter of fact, this wasted youth somehow owns his own business.
Yeah: it's a bar. But Sean Ramirez was in the room when this photo was taken.

I put together shit like this all day:
Specialized S-Works Venge. $8300 out of the fuckin' box.
Hint: someone here didn't major in Creative Writing, and it wasn't me.

Where have I been? That's always the question. I either haven't felt like checking or haven't had the time since I was about 7 years old. This post was going to be my "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" post, a Freak Magnet summertime classic, but it's getting late, I've got to go to work, and I've made a vow to make these shorter and more frequent.

I've been broke, I've been broken, and I've been broken up with. I've been camping, hiking, riding, and sleeping in the literal and metaphorical dirt. I've been working.

Here's the bottom of my foot, fresh out of the cast:
And here's an 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of paper covered in dead skin:
I'm still here, motherfuckers. Others have fallen harder, and with greater frequency:
"A man can fall many times in life, but he's never a failure until he refuses to get back up." --E.K.
Hoffman at Woodward West, killing his ankle on a lazy Saturday.
Until next time, I love you, I hate you, fuck you, fuck me. Hugs? And, if you see Kaye, can you tell her...

[Whatever it is you need to tell her.]

Sometimes I think all the magic is gone from the world. Then I look at my rainbow unicorn toenail clipper, undoubtedly made by the delicate fingers of a not-long-for-this-world Malaysian angel child, and I think the magic can never end.
Keep on riding it like you stole it from some motherfucker who had more money than balls.

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