I rode for a little over an hour Sunday morning with Brinky on my single speed two-niner. It’s the only bike that seems to be worth a shit at the moment. Well, not counting the road bikes. Most of them are always on point. All they ever need is some air in the tires.
I think that’s why I like the single speed so much. The last mountain bike I sold for nothing (we’ve all done it) was a dually with five different air chambers I had to check/pay attention to/adjust/think about each time before I rode the damn thing. Two positive chambers up front, and one negative. One of each in the rear. In a word: Tedious. If any of ’em (or two or three) were off a few psi, bad things would happen.
And I hate bad things. Unless they’re strippers. Then I love bad things.
So, about the single speed – I’ve always really liked the fact I can squeeze the front tire and say, well, maybe she needs a few strokes and I’m out the door. I hate fucking around with my bike for twenty minutes before I go ride. I’m more of a “find my helmet and find the door” kind of guy.
And twenty minutes is thirty percent of my total ride time these days.
The following is an email I wrote HD last week. (And Mort is yet another alias for our dear beloved Bacardi Marti)
From: big jonny
Subject: Re: DAMAGE!
Mort is going to go bye-bye on the climb to Bisbee and end up laying
on his back in a Dairy Queen parking lot somewhere cursing Jesus’
name…That’s what my money says.
You will win for the seventeenth time.
I was right on one count at least. HD won again. He makes it look easy.
I got this email from Bacardi Boy yesterday regarding my Ride Clean cleans up post:
From: Bacardi Marti
Hey nice shout out for the team and for hammy and HD —
….and I could be pissed about the DQ comment…
…except for the fact that I would have placed a bet on myself for just that….sucking down a blizzard and looking for suds…
Good thing he’s got thick skin.
A little background on this one: Ten years ago when even seven hundred time winner HD himself was new to the event, I helped crew for him. Me and Iron Schott drove around all night in a VW van with no heat, leap frogging HD, taking his clothing & lights, and feeding him bottles. Cochise is 252 miles longs, starts at 2:00 am, and it sucks.
Iron Schott and I ended up crewing together two years, just him and me, in a van, with no heat, down by the river.
It was fun as hell.
Anyway, one of those first two years, there was this guy in the race, I can’t remember his name, a cat maybe a few years younger than me who came into the bike shop I worked at. He was over at Sky Harbor airport working as a baggage handler, and he rode an old mountain bike to work. A real salt of the earth type guy. Nice guy too.
He rode Cochise that year, on the same clapped out mountain bike with slick tires. I don’t know if he owned a stitch of lycra, I think he rode in sweatpants. His parents crewed for him. It was the first time he had done anything like that race. I guess he read about it somewhere and thought it’d be fun. I read about it somewhere and thought it’d be hell. That said, I will have to do that event one year before I die or get hit by another drunk driver and can’t do it. It’s always out there, getting stronger, while I’m in here, getting weaker.
So it goes.
Back to the mountain bike cat: He was at the awards ceremony in the lobby of the Gadsden Hotel in Douglas, Arizona, the morning after the race. He stands up to accept his finishers trophy and say a few words about how it went for him out on the race course. The ride was very hard, he was proud to have finished, his parents were troopers and saw to him throughout the night, couldn’t have done it without them and the like. At some point his father had suggested he ride behind the van as to benefit from the draft, without realizing of course that that just wouldn’t be cricket. Everyone shared a laugh, and he continued on.
At some point in the night he ended up in the despair many of us have faced head on in ultra endurance events. He was in a Dairy Queen parking lot somewhere off I-10, laying flat on his pack on a picnic table, staring at the sky and wondering just why in the hell he had ever undertaken such an endeavor.
We’ve all been there, that dark personal moment were we ask “Why the fuck am I doing this to myself?”
He said what he really wished at that moment, more than anything, was that Dairy Queen was open and he could buy himself an ice cream.
The place erupted in heartfelt applause.
I was bust’n on ‘ol Bacardi, calling out a “dark personal moment” at some point during the night. He’s due. His first 24 hour race was last February at the Old Pueblo, and this was his second big one. I thought he’d at least have an “I really want a fucking ice cream about now” moment. I figured he’d finish the thing, no problem there. Just that it would be zero fun. Cochise is nothing to fuck with. Unless you’re Jackass. Then you do it with a bunch of water bottles on a rear rack and stashed gallon bottles of water you put in the bushes the day before the race and still finish second place. To HD no less.
That reminds me: Jackass needs a new nickname. I’m getting sick of calling him “Jackass”. He seems to actually enjoy it. And I can’t be having that. Not on my watch.
Please post your suggestions in the comment section. There are no wrong answers, only stupid kids.
Bacardi Marti the Cabana Boy pulled it out. Good on ya, Marty. Good on ya.
Link dump and I’m out:by