Some people don’t hold grudges, and I’m sad to say that I am not one of those people. Sometimes they seem like a really productive use of time and energy, but most of the time they are downright foolish.
File this one under foolish:
It goes all the way back to the 1996 NORBA nationals at Mt. Snow, VT. I was 17 years old and downhill racing was my life. Back then we broke a lot of parts,and this rainy Vermont day was no exception. I proceed to limp over to the Rock Shox tent with my tail between my legs, pads full of mud, and a broken shock crown. The one guy in the booth was none other than Greg Herbold. In 1996 there are really only 3 posters a young mountain biker should have on his wall. One of John Tomac, one of Greg Herbold, and one of Paola Pezzo. So here I am faced with a guy I looked up to a lot…and he proceeded to berate me, the best one was “maybe you should try cross country racing man”. Now I know now that it was just good old fashioned ball busting, but when you are a pissed off kid from NY it sounded like straight insults. For close to 14 years I held this grudge. I took down the poster, talked shit and ignored him every other time we have crossed paths, and I just realized that I have never owned another rock shox product.
Fast forward to SSWC09. Here is my chance. In a bit of a haze I run up to H-Ball and dump 2 beers over his head as he crossed the finish line. I’m not gonna lie, it felt good, “revenge” was mine. Then we proceed to drink on the side of the mountain until nobody could ride straight.
I’m out on a little jaunt in the desert today, and who do i run into? Yup, Greg Herbold. In town for some SRAM testing and sunshine. We bullshit for a bit, two grown men on bicycles in the middle of nowhere talking about where to get beers in town and where the local skate parks are. Because when it comes down to it, we are all here for the same reason. The ride and the beer. H-Ball is actually a good dude and the grudge was stupid. Too bad it took 14 years for me to realize it.
Enough of all this nonsense. Tip of the pint to my girl Paola. Keep it dirty.