Tuesdays with Dirty: By Any Means Necessary

People have told me recently that I spend too much time alone. Riding around for days on end with nothing but my sleeping bag and some food, just thinking about things. Some of the things are important, some of them aren’t, sometimes I don’t even think about anything at all. But the one common theme is that all this thinking is from the seat of my bike. The only vehicle that I know of which can take you back in time and make you feel like a kid again all while making hours disappear without you even knowing. The ultimate time machine

Lately one of the topics at the forefront of my mind is the wars  which are going on in the world. I get lost for hours in the never ending maze of questions and possible answers. Like many others out there, I have a personal attachment to this topic. My best friend from my youth, riding partner, brother from a different mother, and all around BMX shredder is over in Afghanistan right now. He has this amazing gift of sending me pictures at just the right times to help me gain perspective.

Years ago when I was ” between jobs” working retail and selling sleeping bags to soccer moms, I was a pretty unhappy guy. What does my buddy do? He sends me a picture from a firefight on the streets of Baghdad. A goddamn picture that he snapped while people were shooting at him and trying to kill him. That is a pretty interesting way of telling me to harden up. His reality was so different than mine, so much more real, I had no business complaining about my situation.

This past week I was hit by a car riding home from a group ride. Nothing too serious, just a flight over the hood and I tested out the old helmet. I got off pretty lucky with no broken bones but I was banged up bad enough that I wasn’t able to ride for the past six days. I never really knew how much my life revolved around pedaling until my leg was hurt bad enough to where I couldn’t do it. Limping through my days drove me insane.

Just like clockwork, like that sonofabitch was spying on me, I get an email with some pictures from the heart of a war zone. Three simple images of people riding bikes.

034

036

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I like to think that the first two are just every day people riding to the store for a gallon of milk, or to work for the day. Pedaling down that unpaved road with the chaos of war all around them. The third one came with a caption: “…and yes, that’s me, risking my life to ride that shitty-ass bike“.  It made me chuckle.  Because I know that being over there for months at a time, year after year after year the only thing he wants more than a cheeseburger and a beer is to hit a set of dirt jumps. To just lay out a big old table top followed by a 360. But for now, ramping an Afghan townie off of some retaining walls will have to do. We will ride. By any means necessary.

So last night I sucked it up. I threw down some advil with a shot of whiskey to numb the pain and after six days of healing, I hit the trail. It was a glorious reunion. I couldn’t even imagine my friend going 6 months without a turn of the cranks. On my way home I mailed a letter with some DC stickers in it addressed to a forward operating base somewhere on the other side of the planet. I can’t wait to see where he puts them and I hope to share more pictures from our embedded war correspondent in the future. I know that there are a good amount of people in harms way who check this site on a regular basis and I want to ride with each and every one of you some day. Get home safe.

Until then…keep it dirty

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About dirty biker

I am a fan of singletrack, singlespeeds, single malt, and single women. Tempe, Arizona, USA

48 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Dirty: By Any Means Necessary

  1. Havent been riding much lately, outside of a commute.. No motivation.

    Tomorrow I’m hittin the roads, by any means necessary. Thanks for the push.

  2. Good post DB,

    sadly tonight we’ve just learnt that we’ve lost another SAS trooper in Afghanistan.

    That’s two in two months.

    Australia & New Zealand are taking a lot of causalities over there & in honesty I’m asking why.

    I’m a veteran so I have the right to ask that question.

    “Peace be with your spirit brave warrior”

  3. “I’m a veteran so I have the right to ask that question.”

    We all have that right and I’m clueless why we are in either country. It’s been going on 10 fucking years. And still no end in sight I can honestly see.

    Best wishes to your buddy DB.

  4. Hey TripleF.

    Good on you, turtle pirates rule, good to hear from you.

    However,

    No, cock sucker, you do not have that right, until you’ve had the shit shot out of you & you seriously know what fear is, you do not have the right.

  5. Nice post Dirty..and I ride mostly by myself as well.. Ive always said the only thing wrong with a group ride is all the motherfuckers that show up…never feel bad for getting some solitude.. And get better soon.

  6. Hey DB, love the post, timing is a little tough for me.
    My son in law is in Asscrackistan right now… nine and half months to go.
    Good thoughts appreciated.

  7. You all have the right to ask questions!!!….. Because of the people who serve, fight and die to preserve you right to do so. You may not like the reason we are fighting these wars, but never questions a soldiers reason for doing his job. They are soldiers, that’s what they do!!!! MM you said it perfectly sir!!!

  8. American fall.. mass organized Anti war get our troops home now rally.

    get it organized lets show the world American citizen/taxpayer/warfunders, want this shit over. its destroying humanity. pick a date promote the shit out of it. our govt are plying with the lives of our children.

  9. Might as well get this party started.

    Erm- any thinking person both has and is right to question this (and every) war. Full Stop.

    And also, though I hope everyone of y’all make it home safe- “don’t question a soldier’s reason” is unacceptable. If people chose not to do that job, it would not be done. Only thing keeping this war rolling is people “doing their job”. Sorry.

    Be well. Come home when you can. Drinks on me.

  10. I once heard a wolf crying incessantly, and so I stopped believing. It was Tomas C. Howell. “All that hate’s gonna burn you up, kid.” He said it, time & again until his last grenade was unpinned, and another came to grab his gun and continue on as all those Minute Men behind him had told him to do. But it became so common as to be unheard. One more sitcom in the matrix of disinformation.

    Ten years on with the new version of the same forward post, doing the same thing, saying the same thing. Leveraged by the comfortable outsourced products of the most awesome empire ever known. It is always better to remain lost in the uncertainty of knowing what to believe or how long to believe it. Ten years is a good frame of reference. But the dance is far from the beging nor being over.

    In short notice we’ll all get that chance to have the right to be involved. We’ll have that choice to get off the sideline and act, or be acted upon. Survival of the savvy, nevermind the fittest.

    Kill it all with American guns and microwave popcorn.

    Sweap the leg.

  11. I have been using my brothers for inspiration whenever I start to feel sorry for my ass riding a bike. I am the oldest of 3 boys that were raised very close together but the two younger of us are both ground pounders for the US Army. Each has spent more than their share of time away from home. I see climbing a Mountain on a bicycle is nothing compared to leaving behind your wife, kids, brothers, parents, beer and the freedom to visit gentlemen s clubs…so I stfu and pedal.

  12. …glad you’re back ‘at it’, dirty b…

    …as far as the rest of it, it’s just kinda sad that we’re the kind of species that allows for such a waste of human lives…

    …that being said, i’m grateful to those willing to risk life & limb to protect our freedoms…

    …from the heart, i thank you…may all of you have the opportunity to enjoy life when you return & not be treated poorly by those ‘in charge’

  13. In the immortal words of Dwight D. Muthafuckin’ Eisenhower:

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. … Is there no other way the world may live?”

    That is all.

  14. It’s the part about the fifty miles of concrete pavement that I like. Shit if you made it 6 feet wide it’s probably go 150 miles. “bike lane.”

    The rest is, well, “meh.”

    Ha.

  15. PS DB – glad you’re back at it. Shoulda said that first.

    Too many people hurt these days, full stop.

  16. Dwight was also the last president to balance the federal budget. He probably carried a wallet that said, “BAMF.”

  17. King: Hey, Taylor, how in the fuck you get here anyway? You look educated.
    Chris Taylor: I volunteered for it.
    King: You did what?
    Chris Taylor: I volunteered. I dropped out of college, told ‘em I wanted the infantry, combat, Vietnam.
    Crawford: You volunteered for this shit, man?
    Chris Taylor: Believe that?
    King: You’s a crazy fucker, giving up college?
    Chris Taylor: Didn’t make much sense, I wasn’t learning anything. I figured why should just the poor kids go off to war and the rich kids always get away with it.
    King: Oh, I see, what we got here is a crusader.
    Crawford: Sounds like it.
    King: Shiiit, you gotta be rich in the first place to think like that. Ever’body know, the poor are always being fucked over by the rich. Always have, always will.

  18. Good post man- can’t wait to see the sticker placement. get well, and take it slow for a bit, if your hurt.

  19. Wound up on the hood of a car the other day myself… again… hate it when that happens. Sounds like you took a hard hit. Glad yer upright.
    Thanks for the perspective DB. Love yer posts. Needed perspective just now. Thanks.

  20. Reverend dick, what keeps this war going is our government. I agree that this has taken way, way to long and cost the lives of many many Americans as well as people from other countries . We should have left after the first two years. The problems now are much different from ten years ago. Today there are thousands of fighters from surrounding countries, (Pakistan/Iran)and all they came here to do is fight and kill. They intimidate and threaten the locals who, for the most part, are simple farmers and people who are just trying to get by. If we were to just up and leave these innocent people would without a doubt be killed and this country would become a safe heaven for every “bad guy” on the planet. Most people back home only know what the news channels tell them or want them to know. Everyone of them has a twist or an angle. You very rarely see a story that doesn’t involve some sort of violence. They don’t talk about how the people can move around their cities freely and go to the market to buy food. And they definitely don’t talk about how the people constantly thank you for keeping them safe and literally kiss the flag on a soldiers right shoulder.
    I choose to be a soldier. I knew that’s what I wanted to do since the sixth grade. Everyone here wants to be a solider. If no one chose to be a solider, then everything you hear on the news would be there in your backyard.

  21. afghan bmxer-
    REspect. I agree, it is our corporate interests- er,uh government- perpetuating this engagement. We could have taken a lesson from long-term Soviet involvement there.
    Yes, I can only “know” what I see, and you are on the ground where I am not. I hope we are some kind of good guys. I just don’t understand why we are there in the first place. I REALLY don’t understand why we are still there.
    Why are fighters coming from other spots to be there? So they can bring the front to US soldiers? Opium cash? Precious metals? It makes no sense.

    Respectfully, I disagree on the issue of choosing to be a soldier. If no one chose it, and it were in my backyard I would be shooting some assholes…but I don’t think that would be the case. Locals know what’s up. There aren’t literal tons of combat grade weaponry floating through our local scene (although maybe in Salinas, CA) for one thing…

    This is a bigger problem than we can hash out here- have dirtybiker get us on bikes together when you come home and it will be worth talking anyhow- but it boils down to economics somehow.Somebody is getting paid. Ghandi hoed a tough row, and I think it’s the only rational option…but I only have 2 cheeks to turn and we won’t get started on my kids because then rationality is done.

    Sorry so long. Legalize drugs, take away the slush funds from illicit “government” agencies in that way while ADDING to the tax revenues (used to build/maintain infrastructure) and we all win.

  22. you truly speak from the heart, never change my friend. God bless our troops…..come home safe so we can all pedal together again and raise our glasses to the trails ahead.

  23. I could totally go for some trails about now. An AZ trip is in the works for sometime after april!

  24. Confused, wasn’t this post about HTFU and Pedal. Not a post about why the war is still going on or what not. Fuck why do your politics always got to fuck up my bicycle blog. So in line with the post STFU, HTFU and go pedal. I did after reading this post and I’m going to go do it again today because there are people out there that just want to and can’t.

  25. No offense meant db.

    But you know this crew. We could turn a post about Mother Teresa in to a porno.

    That’s what makes us special.

    OK. Granted that’s special as in the little bus variety but we are special none the less.

  26. yay Virgil, I got 52 miles on asphalt yesterday and 20 on gravel today, gonna ride tomorrow too, get some while u still can.

  27. Virgil-
    The post is about riding, but it’s also about being deployed and not being able to pedal. That pic above is the first time i have been on a bike in months. you talk about riding so many miles a day. and that is awesome! im glad you get to enjoy something we all hold near and dear to our hearts. i only got to ride about 100 feet, but it was the best 100 feet of the deployment!!!!

  28. …afghan bmxer…that 100ft was more than just a tease…it was life’s way of saying “pay attention, don’t drop your guard & get your ass back stateside safe n’ sound where you can really get back into this riding stuff !!!”

  29. afghan BMXer-

    What I got from the post is that all of us should harden the fuck up and go pedal because people like you who want to but can’t, wether it be deployed, paralyzed, incarcerated , or whatever. When I pedal two thoughts run through my head a) smile, you could be paralyzed. b) I’m riding a bike, man, my life is better than your vacation. (not you personally). So when DB posted this it just reinforced my idea that I should be grateful for the time and smiles I get in the saddle. Hurry up and get your ass back here safely. When I get home tonight I will raise a glass to you getting more than just 100 ft in the saddle.

  30. Hey BMXer,

    I’m working security at the US embassy in Kabul and CJ from Revolution Cycles just shipped my newly S&S coupled Surly Karate Monkey to me here. Stop on by when you’re in town and take it for a spin…

  31. …craazyjoe…that, sir, is as cool as it fucking gets, in what i see as the ultimate in the spirit of this blog-site…

    …you two ‘bike guys’, miles from home on the other side of the world & both under conditions of duty, duress & danger in a war zone & you are awesome enough to say “i’ve got my cool bike here in the middle of the shitstorm…Stop on by when you’re in town and take it for a spin…”

    …more fucking cool than i can imagine…

    …i’ve never been soldier material, i hate all these fucking long drawn out ‘conflicts’ but, i, like so many of us here stateside, have such great respect for the courage all you men & women show through your active duty…

    …your invitation to afghan bmxer is not only awesomely cool but for me at least, it adds a great personal touch to reminding me just how much you guys are our brothers n’ sisters…

    …get home safe n’ sound, amigo…don’t think i have to remind you the riding is so much better here…

  32. Craazyjoe-
    I am totally down for that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i will be in kabul the first half of december. we will have to figure out a way to make this happen, i will be living at camp pinniacle before i head out on leave . i would have had my bike shipped here but everything on my FOB is covered in giant rocks and as you can imagine there isnt much riding going on outside the FOB!

    bikesgonewild-
    Well said sir!