Friday, December 14, 2012

Ghosts of Christmas Past

This is going to be one of those rambling blog posts. Its a weird time of year. Cross season is "over" Sorry but its true. In the NECX nothing matters after Ice Weasels. It is the end of season keg party insanity that just can't be topped. Everything else just pales in comparison. But before we put this cx season to bed I have to get some thoughts out of my addled brain. The photo above documenting Leah and my victory in the SSCX Relay Championships of the Universe is so awesome. Matt O'Keefe totally captured it. Leah is laughing her ass off I am getting that blue steel look in my eye as I grab the bike and head off to shred the gnar. SSCX Relay needs to become a thing. Granted you are already at  a huge disadvantage. To properly do a SSCX Relay you need to share one bike. Good luck finding a partner that is your exact same size. Leah and I were separated at birth. Its funny how some of my favorite people are my same saddle height. Its 66.6. You can't make this up. I switched to Shimano pedals just for this reason. Okay maybe it was that my knees were getting f'd by the Time pedals but I like to think it was a foreshadowing of this great day in cycling history.

What this race and Ice Weasels proved to me is that we have to keep cross weird. We have seen what happens when cycling is "serious" Its a joke. A bad, bad joke. When NFL players get tagged for doping cycling becomes the bad punchline. Handups are a crime but apparently doping and "selling" races to another racer are part of the culture. You know what? I want nothing to do with that culture. Give me a wolf pack of drunk visigoths any day over some dopers. So if this is wrong I don't want to be right. We need more unsanctioned races. Not so we can get totally drunk and go crazy. Ice Weasels was actually pretty tame. No one got hurt. No one was arrested. Ok a few people have some weird rashes. Nothing some antibiotics can't take care of. How many people got hurt at Sterling? Hmmm

I am already thinking of next year's Zank SSCX series. We need to take what happened at Ice Weasels bottle it up and uncork it at everyone of the SSCX races next year. If you have ideas on how to make the series 32% more rad we want to hear them. You know where to find us. I have already ordered my pimp bass boat Gold SSCX bike from Zank. It has a secret name. It may be C3PO. It will be a fun magnet....

All of this mayhem has me thinking a bit about my past. I was raised by wolves. Symbolically of course. I didn't ride bikes when I was a young adult in Boston. That was for losers. I drove a car and did martial arts. Then we moved to SF. And that changed everything. An Earthquake actually changed everything. I got hurt. Cycling became rehab. I would ride my white Hoo Koo E Koo over the Golden Gate bridge and ride all over Marin County. Then I got a job at Cal Bike as a graphic designer. Then I got the golden ticket and became their New Products Editor. Didn't take me long to see the beauty of endless free bike parts. Then I met some derelicts. They gave me an education in bike culture. Changed my whole perspective. Thanks to the glories of the internet I stay in touch with them. They continue to be the driving force behind everything I value in cycling. Reading a recent post Stevil wrote just stopped me in my tracks. I owe them so much. I never would have gone on this path without them. Its the one less traveled and its made all the difference.

Reading Mr Surly Wrenches bio also reminded me of Zank and this wolf pack who I know call my friends. Singlespeeds, steel bikes, handmade, not falling victim to marketing hype, the experience being more important than the result. Its more surfing than bike racing to me at this point. But we surf on two wheels. And get really muddy. At the end of this season I just wanted to say thanks to all of you. Past and present. Be well and I will see you all on the flip many days until SSPalooza?

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