Thursday, June 20, 2013

Art Offensive

I have said before that I am a sucker for a good art department, and well it's true. I am a classically trained photographer and art school drop out. While I have used my education at some parts of my life, for the most part I've always worked with my hands. Everything from short order cook to helping map the human genome. At times I wonder what my life would have been like if i had pursed commercial art and design work. However, that usually only last long enough to remember awful assignments of design classes past.
With all of that said, I love it when a bike company or record label or anything for that matter has the ability to make a nice product and marry it with awesome design and ad work. 

Yes, my stature and measurements place me in the 'AVERAGE' segment for bike frames and fit. Yet, I do love handcrafted bikes. In my time I have be blessed to ride and race an Original Fat Chance 'Yo Eddy' made in Sommerville, MA and an equally righteous Independent Fabrications 'Steel Deluxe'. Even my current Santa Cruz 'Highball' has a custom paint treatment. I really like not being the white sheep and having something unique and somewhat different from the status quo. 
Lets just say if I had money to burn I would be calling 44 Bikes in a heartbeat.
Built to shred...check.  Awesome design and art department...Check. 
Bitchin' shop and cute shop dog...check. Soft spot for Punk Rock...check.
Whats not to like?
Oh and then there is this. I stumbled upon a piece of 44 Bikes propaganda that reads
"I'm painting my bike black, until they make something darker..."

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Nervous Breakdown

Well as luck would have it my dreams of 6hr solo racing at Indian Camp Creek will have to wait yet another year. It seems I sort of overlooked a previous engagement in my not so busy social calender. I will be attending a punk rock show the evening before. I'm sure I could swing both of the physically... But, what will probably wreck my good time is planning and preparation for the solo ride. It is no secret my anxiety level hovers around max most of the time. I know myself well enough to know that if I can't focus all my energy on Friday night towards packing the car and what not, I will be a wreck on Saturday trying to race. Yes, it's sort of crazy and nonsensical. However, that is what happens when your brain likes to work overtime all the time. Believe me when I tell you my anxiety is much better now than it was a few years ago, yet it still is something i deal with daily. So what could be so great to mess up my racing plans?

A chance to see the mighty Black Flag. While not the 'classic' era for the band. It's still a chance to see Greg Ginn who has been the only constant member since the band formed. He also serves as the primary song writer and lyricist of the band. While I will never know it was like to see them in the 'Salad Days' of the 80's. I couldn't miss the chance to see this piece of history. Black Flag is one of those bands that is just hard to deny. They just might have the best logo and art department in the history of Punk Rock. Not to mention some of the most intense riffs and lyrics. The album 'Damaged' is by far one of the heaviest records ever. Musically and lyrically it's soul crushing at times. It's got one of the best B. sides on music history. When everything in the world sucks, I always tend to cue it up and watch the world burn for awhile. If only in my mind.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hold True

It was a rare treat today to spend a few hours chatting and tearing up the tight twisty stuff with Pauli a.k.a. m.rider. He needed to burn some vacation hours and I didn't have to be at the salt mines until the afternoon so we hooked up bright and early. I finally got to hand out his very own death riders kit and make it official. He threw on the new togs and off to Castlewood we went. I don't think I've ridden with him since a Bonktoberfest some years back... like 8 or 9 years maybe??? 
Can that even be right? Ah whatever it was just great to chat it up and spend some time on two wheels with him again. He can still draw smooth lines and descend strong as ever.
I just hope we can make this a regular type of thing.

Getting to catch up with him today I was reminded yet again how some of my oldest and best friends have come from punk rock, skateboards or both. Mike and I met some twenty plus years ago at all things a Hardcore show.  As luck would have it our girlfriends at the time were close friends and we met via the gals. Our local heroes Short Cut were playing along with some band I knew nothing about from Louisville KY. 
Two awesome things happened that night. 
I got introduced to a band and a guy who as Pauli himself would say are 'solid'

The band would be Endpoint and the 'solid dude' Pauli

I have a pretty good memory for whatever reason and I can remember where I heard certain records for the first time, people I met at which show etc. One of those things that has always stood out about that first meeting was the t-shirt. Pauli was wearing. None other than a  'Wide Awake' shirt. You know, that other Connecticut Straight Edge band. Being a 'youth crew' member myself I was in awe. A great lesser known band of it's day and a pretty rad shirt. So in a fitting tribute to our first meeting.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Not a ton of stuff to report the last week. We here in the midwest have been dodging tornadoes and flood waters. I keep waiting for locust and pestilence, so far so good.  It's been trying to get in some saddle time between raindrops and mega storms. I have only been caught out in one on the bike so far. However, it seems most of my rides have ended with me hustling my gear into the E as the rain begins to fall. 
J.rider is being the family man at Disney and will be out of touch for a few more days.
So to pass the time I have been looking at many hub options for the whip. So far in feeling sort of English and leaning toward Hope seems to meet most of needs and not require a loan to acquire. Other than that I'm just licking my wounds for being an idiot and forgetting to get our of work early tonight.

No catching up with my pal Ryan Patterson and the mighty Coliseum 
or getting a chance to see Baroness either. 
Stupid jobs.