The image speaks

I saw this over on Steve Garro’s Coconino Blog. It is a photograph of Doug Roether’s bicycle. A bike Steve made for him.

doug's bike

The image speaks. It speaks volumes. The scene, the orientation of the bike, the bare naked saddle.

The photo was taken somewhere in the glorious southwestern United States. I would imagine it is one of the many spectacular vistas in Moab, Utah. I looks like one of the places I have been, at least once in my life. The sun is shining brightly. The view was earned. Arid. Dry. The southwest. The desert. The great expanse. It is bleak and it is harsh. At first glance, it is a seemingly lifeless and desolate. But it is not any of those things. Upon closer inspection, it is alive. Perhaps not teeming with life, but still full of promise. It is both beautiful and inspiring. And therefore fitting to our present needs.

His bicycle is white. This is the color which inspires Hope. It is the color of the Hero. The color of Good. Of Justice. Of the promise of the coming day, as compared to the despair of night’s darkness. Of being found, rather than being lost. The triumph of good over evil.

The bike is set skyward, pointed upwards into an seemingly endless blue expanse. Set to leave this earth, this existence, poised for launch into the very heavens.

She is (and bikes are women, after all) without man at the helm. Without a pilot. Has he left it? No. He has not left, he is coming. The bike is waiting. Awating, patiently, his return. He is just there, within reach, just out of view. But he is there, you can feel him. The chariot awaits it master. Obedient. Poised. Potential energy. Like an arrow pointed at the stars.

It is a beautiful image.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

29 thoughts on “The image speaks

  1. Big Juan,

    When are you going to stop fucking around, drop out of law school and become a writer? Jesus Fucking Christ, someone gotta hit you betwixt the eyes with a Hacksaw Jim Duggan 2 X 4?

  2. “His bicycle is white. This is the color which inspires Hope. It is the color of the Hero. The color of Good. Of Justice. Of the promise of the coming day, as compared to the despair of night’s darkness. Of being found, rather than being lost. The triumph of good over evil.”

    Well. So much for Obama.

    Now, let’s all go watch the Trilogy.

    And then we’ll burn a cross or two.

    Hallelujah. I need an aspirin. Or two.

  3. thanks for posting that, Johnny. it’s kinda hard for me to look at, still…….i knew some jive-ass hiding behide a cheesy avatar would comment on the “white” paragraph but sadly it only took two posts. some people just don’t get it. also, the same day Doug died they found Maria from Morning Glory Cafe dead at home at 49…….Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles

  4. Wow! Such a simple looking bike yet so fucking right and a great way to pay tribute to someone who meant so much to you guys. I haven’t met ANY of the contributors to the site, have only shared a few emails with Jonny and have only spent three days in AZ. when I went to a CART race at PIR. Yet when I heard of Doug’s death it still shook me because I know what it feels like to lose someone close.

  5. Well said Jonny! Not so well played by the Almighty Whitey. No hatin’ today. We’ll miss you Doug.

  6. Damn, Jonny. Damn. I’m a cranky old bastard who’s seen everything and hates everyone, and still, your words brought tears to my eyes. I hope your friend has found peace.

  7. …dave, on this one we can agree…

    …i didn’t know doug except through these posts but but knowing he was gone & seeing that photo of his bike, wow…i didn’t even need juan’s words, as lovely as they were, to have a tear brought to my eye…

    …that’s a powerful thing & i can only imagine how people like garros & crew feel…

    ******************************************************************************

    …& when i see a certain name posted here, from now on, i’ll think “chicken shit”, not “chicken”

  8. Sorry people. The sentiment was spot on but that paragraph was pure hate.

    The color white inspires hope ??

    Fuck you one and all.

    BGW. I hope you choke on the next chicken bone you suck dry.

  9. Today the part of Dave will be played by Colonel Sanders Retired

    The cycling community and the world in general have lost a special soul.

    If I can muster half the courage and grace as Doug when it is my turn for the big ride, I will consider myself very fortunate.

    Thank you for some perspective.

  10. Well I’m sorry, but I’ve seen firsthand what cancer can do to a person. I’ve seen what it can do to a family-MY family. When someone goes off like the colonel it’s like they’re attacking my own family. This just isn’t the time or the place.

    “The big ride”. Thank you, fit. I will hold that close to my heart.

  11. It’s just not the place for it Colonel. It was a statement about the color of a bike and the passing of a friend. Don’t read into it more than that. We can bicker about whether something is racist in another thread, and there’s a decent chance I’ll agree with you. Not here.

  12. In hindsight, I regret the negative comment I made regarding dave and CSR in this thread. Definitely not the place. Please accept my apologies.

  13. Juan and all caring souls – your touching comments speak volumes about who you are and how you feel. Like others, I only know you through this page, but damn glad to know ya. RIP Doug.
    - Bobbo

  14. Beautiful words in tribute to a beautiful person. I can’t think of a more beautiful place for that picture to be taken. However, it isn’t Moab, it’s taken off the North Rim of Gooseberry Mesa in St. George. A place Doug rode often and always with friends. Those of you down south got Doug most of the time but we Utards got to know him very well and spent a lot of time on the dirt with him.

    Here’s to Doug.

  15. CSR probably didn’t know Doug and BJ’s little speech about the blessed color white stuck in his craw. (It stuck in mine, too.) It’s pretty obvious CSR meant no offense to the memory of Doug and once again, it seems to me self-absorbed dave “it was like he was attacking my own family” is the one doing all the misreading.

    As for Doug, ride on, you courageous dude. That departure was class all the way.

  16. Great photo, fitting tribute. I hope everyone takes it for the simplicity of what it all can be about at times.

  17. “The sentiment was spot on but that paragraph was pure hate.” ???…there must be a “back story” in yer past we’re unaware of, dude…in rereading that paragraph several times, it’s hard to conceive of what you would find to be so objectionable as to warrant the rant you posted in the middle of folks trying both appreciate the life of & grasp the death of a young cyclist…

    …honestly don’t understand yer need to air vitriol in a post like this…(& ya, i did…but mine was in response to you basically insulting everyone involved)…

    “The color white inspires hope ??”…well, uh, ya, in our’s & many cultures it do…think white light, hygienic purity, bridal dresses whereas in certain asian cultures, white represents death…
    …maybe you’re reading more into this than needs be…i dunno if yer capable of it but try digging how you took a healthy, if somewhat sentimental discussion & turned it into something all together different…

    …btw…had me a couple a’ organic chicken legs as part of dinner tonight…healthy burp but sorry, not even a hint of a choking koff…

  18. just for some clarity, here’s what the C.A.R. has to say. note the last paragraph: The colours of the Central African nation were adopted unanimously by
    acclamation during the ceremonious session of the Legislative Assembly
    on 1st December 1958 [1]. Before the vote, President Barth l my
    Boganda said to the Deputees:

    “Those coulours, which symbolize the four territories constituting the
    French Equatorial Africa but also our guide territory, the
    Metropolitan France, came out of my heart. The red stripe which
    crosses the four colours is the symbol of our blood. As we did it when
    France was in danger, we shall shed our blood for Africa and to
    protect the Central African Republic, member of the French Community.”

    The red stripe which crosses the four colours is the symbol of our blood.
    The blue [colour], placed as the sky, stands for Vastness, Freedom,
    Greatness, Serenity.
    The white [colour] recalls Naivety, Purity, Frankness, Bravery,
    Confidence, Dignity, Equality.
    The green [colour] is the symbol of Hope, Belief and Faith.
    The yellow [colour] marks Tolerance, Hospitality, Charity.

  19. with respect to the man can we ask now why in the fuck he ran a kenda small block up front only?

  20. odd pairing indeed BOD especially with that mud wamp thingy on the rear

    on a side note then number of singlespeeds thee days is amazing. most of what we see is outside of so cal. I get hardtail or full rigid 29 but SS here in so cal is like riding a stairmaster at the gym. just out of the saddle pedaling squares at full tilt heart rate. too steep in most places. some fireroads are cool. I suppose that is why we don’t see too much real Cyclocross here either

    RIP my brother

    the bike lives on

  21. butthead— the reason there is no cyclocross in CA is that you have no mud. C’mon up to the Pacific Northwest this November, and bring some really knobby meats front & rear.