Beast of the East

Just got back from the east coast swing, during which the rain fell the entire time. When I returned here to CO, it snowed. I think storms are following me around the country.

I didn’t get to ride when I went back east, but I did get a chance to visit my favorite shop anywhere, Rose Bike Shop in Orono, Maine. I hadn’t been back in a few years, and it was great to see the work area where I spent so much time developing as a bike mechanic and as a person…the owner, Jim, is a man of infinite patience and kindness, and he stuck with me through some tough times of that development.

My Roots. Before I was D2, I was some dumb college kid turning wrenches at this bench. The bench was a bit more organized and clean when I worked at it...

Rose Bike was not the first shop I worked in, but it was the most important. Anyone who has worked as a wrench before can probably pinpoint those shops that were far more special than others, not because of the stock on the floor, but because of the people in the back. Rose Bike was that place for me. When I walked through the doors, what I felt was not nostalgia, but instead relief: what would have happened to me if I hadn’t worked there? Who would I be now?

Maine is an amazing place. I think it might be my muse…I camped at Acadia National Park for the night, and to hear the ocean only a few hundred yards away sure as hell beats hearing an alarm clock going off to warn you it’s time for work.

The Maine woods will fucking eat you.

Car camping is not pretty.

Since I didn’t have a bike, I did a fair amount of running. I ran up the park loop road in the rain at night when I first got there, and I happened upon this little rocky beach. I decided I’d wake up early the next morning to catch the sunrise from that spot and take some photos, and while the sunrise was pretty unspectacular, I ran down to the beach again the next morning and took some time lapse photos.

I took this shot at 5:30 a.m. The beach was empty. The tide was in. It may have been the most peaceful moment of my life.

 

When I got back to CO this week, I immediately got sick, so I’ve still been off the bike, but I’m planning on riding tomorrow, and I tell you this because the only reason I have a working bike to ride is because of the kick ass customer service from FSA. I can’t tell you how awesome these guys have been, especially the man they call “Bianchi”, who sent a new post out to me right away. It’s refreshing to find good customer service like that, especially after having such a (continually) bad experience with my frame manufacturer.

The other excitement, for me anyway, is the fact that I now have a work area in my garage. Those of you who visited me in Flagstaff know I lived in a 425 square foot “house” (it was bright purple. I shit you not), and had no room to fart without knocking something over, so having a garage is a pretty huge novelty for me.

It's got all the essentials: pegboard for tools, doggy bed for dog, newly repaired Gunnar mountain bike, hot poster of naked April Lawyer on the wall, bottle opener courtesy of "El Jefe" Miller, and enough space to hang lots o bikes. Fucking Heaven.

She’s a work in progress, but I love her.

 

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About D2

I am a writer and a photographer. I never killed a man in Reno, but I once rode a bike through a casino in Vegas. Bikes are cool, huevos rancheros are for breakfast, whiskey is for dinner. Denver, Colorado, USA

18 thoughts on “Beast of the East

  1. D2 – absolutely stunning photo! I also have fond memories of a bench like that…from this afternoon. Just another day. Cheers.

  2. Please kind sir, if it’s within your purview, link that time lapse beach photo in full res, I want it on my desktop to calm me down. I’ve received bad news this evening. If you’d rather not, I understand.

  3. “to hear the ocean only a few hundred yards away sure as hell beats hearing an alarm clock going off to warn you it’s time for work.” I do believe that is a universal truth, and it may sound sacrilegious but also even if you dont have a bike in tow. Amen.

  4. Workshops are always a work in progress.

    They evolve & end up being an extension of you.

    Mine is now officially known as my Growlery after I can across this gem,

    “The new edition of the Oxford Concise Dictionary is dropping the word “growlery”, meaning “the private den of a man”"

  5. From beginning to end, this was a great post.

    For some reason I enjoy viewing pictures of people’s bike workshops almost as much as pictures of actual bikes. I just moved mine into a storage building. Bought a Park double arm repair stand off clist for nothing, hooked up electricity, moved in a stereo and a mini fridge.

    The place definitely has a “growlery” feel to it.

  6. Nice write. When i first saw the heading i though this was going to be about gunnar shogren or the old cannondale model…

  7. Glad y’all like the photo…you should have seen the real thing.

    I dig the Growlery label. Perhaps mine should be called that as well.

  8. “I tell you this because the only reason I have a working bike to ride is because of the kick ass customer service from FSA. I can’t tell you how awesome these guys have been, especially the man they call “Bianchi”,…”

    I have dealt with FSA myself and met and talked with the same guy, their customer service and knowledge is awesome. We are a small community and word about how these companies treat us gets round. Wish some of these other companies would lean. But, we must remember that good customer service is not cheap, although shitty customer service may well cost a company more.

    Great photo as well, and no I am not talking about the one of your garage.

  9. Yeah, and good bear at that. Picked me up some Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale which, despite its fruity name, is pretty damn badass. As backup, I had some Coors stowed away…a good standby shitty beer.

  10. Cool to see a post on Rose Bike, also my favorite shop and also where I worked as a dumb high school kid. Jim is the the man – he used to ride 300 miles from Orono to Burlington, Vermont every year. Not sure if he still does. I did that ride at 18 years and its still one of my proudest accomplishments. D2 – come up to the high country and I’ll show ya around.

  11. Yes, Jim put on RATS–ride across three states. One year I think he passed out on his bike.

    Cameron, I’ll be up in the mountains this winter. We should get some turns in.