You smell that?

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I had another post I was working on, but then… well…

You wanna know what’s going on? Yeah, we all do. But if you don’t know, or can’t figure it out, you are part of the problem.

You see, when these big conglomerate shit bags buy up the local cool kids, guess what goes with them? The soul. The community. The sitting in the parking lot drinking a beer, smoking a bowl, chewing on a cold burrito while sweat runs down your cheek after an absolute ripping ride where everything was on point; and you are proud of your accomplishment… and you fucking earned it.

These corporate fucking assholes have ZERO idea what it is like to physicallyintillectuallyemotionally push through fear, pain, blood, sweat, tears, anxiety, and every other thing it takes to get to a point where you and your bike are AS ONE, and as one you become one with the terrain, with the flow, with every undulation of the trail/gravel road/pavement. That’s why they hock ebikes like slimy used car salesmen, but I’ve already said my peace about those stupid fucking things.

Any of you have Trek buy your local shop? Yeah, that’s what it looks like. That shop that was the soul of the community, where you would walk in and know the people who took care of you, see them at trail work days, local fundraisers, or the bar… look how that worked out. Hopefully the people who worked there got to keep their jobs if they actually wanted them.

(I would like to thank Trek and Mr. Burke for the shining public example)

Let me tell you a little story:

It was like 1998 or so, I hadn’t had a bike a few years (and it was always BMX) and a buddy had bugged me for months to get a mountain bike and go for a ride. I went to my local shop and picked up an entry level mountain bike, one size too small because it felt like my old 20.

That first weekend of new bike ownership I decided I was going to ride to the park two miles away. My mind reeled back to the years of ripping around allfuckingday all over town, never stopping for anything other than to throw rocks, break bottles, and all the other shit you do when you are a little punk ass motherfucker who pissed mountain dew because hydration wasn’t thought of. I beamed with excitement, anticipation, and with my first pedal stroke my psyche shot back to my youth and the entire world opened up before me.

I dug in and started the haul to the park. Goddamn it was hard. Nothing like when I was a kid, but I wanted it and I was going to have it.

A mile later I was leaned over the handlebars throwing up, the realization that I was not that 14 year old donned in the handed down JT Leathers hitting doubles with the inspiration of RAD leading my charge.

I was fat, out of shape, and it was a really ugly scene.

The next weekend, I kept the tachometer below red, and made it to the park where I sat on a bench under the shade of a large oak sucking down water like mother’s milk chatting with some hiker who shared my story and inspired me more. After the engine cooled I made my way back home. Fast forward one and half decades and I am finishing the TDR on a single speed.

You know what, not one single one of those suit and tie wearing mother fuckers understands this story. They don’t understand the passion, emotion, drive, desire, want, yearn, and pain required to make it to that point.

And yeah, not everyone makes it to the level I had, but friends of mine who bought a bike just last year – and are making videos of themselves eating shit trying to ride over a log only to finally make it… that feeling is EXACTLY the same. That feeling of accomplishment, of overcoming, of perseverance. That feeling of looking at an obstacle towering over you, the other side a distant vision, the fear of failing over and over, and the absolute resounding joy of seeing the other side. And it does not matter the size of the mountain you climb, what matters is you did it. YOU did it all by yourself. That is the passion those execs eat, and it comes out a giant corn laden gravy-esque sloppy pile of shit.

That right there, that… is why the mighty will fall. They have absolutely no idea. They have no passion other than buying the latest airplane to fly around in their air conditioned life paid for by your hard earned dollars spent buying their boring fucking turd of a bike. They wow you with visions of pro racers summiting, winning without a chain, clean white clothes striped in rainbows… they show you the end result with never knowing what it takes to get there, and the millions who have tried with everything they have only to fall short for reasons outside of their control. They use that fuel to get you to buy the next greatest thing, the newest tech, the flashiest colour, and all that has nothing to do with the exhilaration and joy that can come from riding any bike, even the biggest rusty pile of shit. They don’t understand because they don’t care.

Tom Ritchey gets it. Buy stuff from Ritchey.

Now, in most venues I am not the orator of choice. I’m a irritant more than anything, especially after the third whiskey. So to help me drive home what I am talking about with far more intelligence, intellectualism, education, and art, I give you the Mighty Mr. Zappa.

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About Danimal

it's all bullshit, all of it.

5 Replies to “You smell that?”

  1. “the real treasure is the friends you made along the way” sounds trite, but it is true. There is beauty and truth in the struggle, and that is the problem with e-bikes, ChatGPT, and other short cuts. I’m not saying that those things can’t be useful in the right situation e.g. commuting, refining code, etc. but they are not an all-purpose suitable replacement for the learning and fitness that comes from the unaided effort.
    Helicoptering to the top of Everest is totally different from learning true mountaineering skills. The location is the same, but the path is very different. (Yes, I know you can’t really take a choppa up there)

  2. good post buddy. RIP to Kona one of the best brands to create bicycles ever. this industry is exhausting and heart wrenching.