This will ramble. Bear with it. It’s a second start (more than that, actually) and I need a baseline. This will be that origin.
My name is David Herbold. I am a lifelong cyclists. I have written much on this page in the far past. Things are different now, but here’s some quick background on where I was when I left this place, and where I’ve been for the 10 years since.
I was coined the Angry Garden Gnome sometime in the early 2000’s by Bruce Stauffer who was pissed that I got the girl. It stuck and I believed it, and the aftermath of that belief became real and widespread. in concert with that nickname, I met Big Jonny and the rest of the OG DC crew while working at Domenic’s Cycling in Tempe, AZ. It was a family I needed. It seemed to solve ever uncertainty I had, to be able to hang with those amazing homies but little did I know how powerful my fury would become, and how I would destroy most of those friendships and much more until I finally awoke.
I am now a new version of that Gnome, resurrected these 20+ years down the road. I have risen from ashes of my own destruction and I deserve the right to characterize who my persona is… I am a homie. I am Homie Gnomie and I have returned from a long journey of mind, body and spirit.
My last post here was 10 years ago, nearly to the month. Reflecting on that is strange. I had worked hard to forget about this yellow page. Drunkcyclist was my world for 10 years before that last post, but then I began to destroy it and I had to disappear. Before going to shit, I remember so much potential and good times. I remember swerving with Big Jonny in Vegas. The 2003 Interbike was on, and we were loaded. Double Down, punk rock, fixies and the Angry Hippie. I remember Dirty’s onboarding. His fuel was significant. He would go far. There were many friends and many parties. We clowned for years, rambling down life’s road not seeming to care about anything else but beers and bikes and… I had drawn the logo, reworked the site a few times, took it over for a spell, ended the porn and felt despair for no good reason at the same time. My world was dark and grim and full of hate and confusion, but with a pen, I simply continued to burn shit down not realizing I was the catalyst, rather I always thought and validated that I was the victim instead. That lasted for too long.
Two Wheels, One Dark Lord. I took is seriously, and I learned fury was the way, and I nearly lost everything as it fueled destruction for another ten years, kept me burdened with too much fury. When I slow down and really have time to think this all through, I will drop verse here about what it means to be a survivor in this world and what devices we have to facilitate being a survivor as opposed to a victim. Are you breathing? Then you’re a survivor. I don’t care what your step is, you are surviving this life. I hope you don’t forget to pedal. It is therapy. The fact that I’m still alive and pedaling is evermore pronounced. I am grateful.
During the hiatus, I ascended the ranks of money. From the stained floor of a bike shop I crawled with my own perseverance to attain middle income. I thought it was my path but it never set right. And of course, I crashed hard. Corporate life was mandatory for the money, and then I walked away from it all, drifted through Mexico for many months, never got as far as I wanted. Then I returned. I’ve been reworking the cut of my jib for a long time now, and in doing so, I am again back to shoplife full time, finding my place in it. Finding joy. It was always there. I am now the service manager of a powerhouse bike shop. That’s my day job and I love it mostly because of the homies I work with.
Fast Forward: The big introspection becomes this – what am I going to do now, here, on this yellow page? Dirty asked me to write, that’s my intro, and what can I make of it? I owe him just like many of you, for his power and his grace and his occasional stink-eye because he knows he’s on point. So now I’m doing this again. I am picking up the pen. I have something good to say. I am going to go deep. How will I work to inspire? I can tell you my wit will be reserved to the rides, wrenching, and the thoughts that derive from those deep factors.
But it isn’t about shop life entirely. More important to me is the travel. Daily, I ride on the fringes of work in an mtb paradise. It goes to preserve my resilience from the endless questions and the endless kooks and their life stories of how their flat tire that we installed has ruined everything. When I can, I sojourn for as many days as I can afford and it has done me well in the mind. I have taken some long pulls down dirty assed roads over the past decade for the sake of sanity and therapy and self care. the biggest of which was Baja this past winter. A 1500 mile journey of not only place, but of presence. 50 days of toil over rock and washboard and sand and an occasional motel . I will speak of this tour much. Should you care now, you can see remnants of this journey from Flagstaff to La Paz on my instagram @homie.gnomie, a private affair but if you like, request attendance and I will let you in. It’s a bike good time.by