Greetings from a strip mall.
That’s right, I landed safely and securely in Colorado Springs, and since the interwebs company can’t seem to get their shite together, I am without a home internet connection for the time being. I am therefore at the whim of the Starbucks internet connection and the mercy of the very loud, middle-aged business folks who set up shop here just about daily. If I never set foot in another one of these here Starfucks shops, I’d die happy.
I’ve been here in the grand state of Coloradbro a total of a week and I have thrown my leg over a bike exactly zero times. This is what moving is like: I move couches, washers, driers, televisions, more couches, but not a single pedal. These things happen.
I am feeling strangely zen about this move, and I’ll tell you why.
First off, I have a garage now, in which I can set up a personal bike shop. And no one (well, almost no one) knows me in Colorado, so I am obligated to work on no bikes but my own. I can’t tell you how good that feels. Don’t get me wrong: I dug working on bikes for friends, acquaintances, and the like in Flagstaff, but the relief of knowing I can enjoy bikes when I want to and leave them in the garage when I don’t feel like being D2 for a while is a damn good thing if you ask me.
The worst part about CO so far? Not knowing anyone. I got an e-mail from the illustrious Nick LeBag, wrench extraordinaire at Flag Bike Rev, and he shared with me a bit of his writing. I tell ya, that Flagstaff-town sure had some good people stocked in it. Made me miss the desert already, the way things always want to prick you, eat you, give you abrasions, dehydrate you, kill you. So many memories of rides through the Verde Valley and the red rocks of Shredona, so many jaunts up Waterline to the Inner Basin…the taste of the southwest is spicy, and I like spicy.
Nick’s bit o’ writing is spicy, too. Check it here:
Geronimo has a mean Cadillac. His beat ride scours the Mogollon Rim and the Gila and the ghost towns. His bony hands grasp the steering wheel just as the Marlboro Man held his reins. The chrome is scratched, the glass yellow and cloudy. The seats have no fabric, only rusty metal springs. The belts and hoses are disintegrated, and the tires flat. Pack rats live in the mufflers, cactus wrens in the air filter. There is no battery, and the gauges all read “extra medium.” The engine is lubricated with Anglo fat, and the gas tank filled with blood and official Mormon drink, the Pepsi-Cola.
He wears Wild Bill’s Schofield pistols cross-draw, tucked into Custer’s last sash. He has General Crook’s saber, President Grant’s whiskey flask, and Andrew Jackson’s scalp. And he remembers. He remembers his oldest foes. He remembers the dirty ol’ Mexicans. And he remembers Whitey McHonky. The settler. The railroaders, the miners, farmers, bankers, BIA agents, diseased cattle, cowboys, and their heifers. He was watching as forests were cut, oil wells drilled, rivers diverted, and deserts paved. He was buried where the backhoe dug, and breathed the air stinking of copper smelters and coal power plants. He watered his horse in the dry arroyos and dead streams. He hunted deer in your backyard. He remembers all of this. He’s coming for you.
Do not repent and beg. Do not cry or capitulate. Do not preach your innocence, plead your ignorance, or mention your family. He don’t give a shit. Load your guns, pack your belongings, and change the oil filter. You are being relocated to Florida. Or Dallas if you’re Jewish. Resist if you can. He’ll rape your hot daughters, piss on the Virgin Mary, curb stomp your God, and hang your pet kitty cats (“O Mr Snuggies got lynched!”). You won’t have time to clean up the poop in your pants, or stop and think. If you hesitate, the stampede will not wait with you. Run, or be trampled. Gringos will pave the Camino Diablo, and I-40. Geronimo’s Cadillac is the vehicle of righteousness. Please remain calm, pray in a clockwise direction, let’s all speak with God safely. If you thought Malcolm X was the anti-Christ, punk rock was the voice of the Devil himself, and Hip-Hop sounds like something a bunny would do, Geronimo will make you take the Lord’s name in vain, and then some.
If you don’t know Nick LeBag yet, you ain’t baller at all. Fix yourself.by