I hope that everyone had a safe and sane Fourth, which of course had something to do with the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, though I suspect if you were to ask 75% of the people in this country, they would say it somehow involves this guy;
Anyway, Amerikuh’s general ignorance aside, on any given day I can be found spending an inordinate amount of time scanning the internet for web content. The technical term for this content is ‘stuff’. I don’t have alarms, or tools to assist me in this (with the exception of the people who occasionally send me items that they’ve come across, but I would hardly ever refer to them as ‘tools’);
Last week I came across a veritable bonanza of quality fodder, which made me so excited to put together today’s post, I did it like, four days ago.
The first item I have for your consideration was one I found at Tati, and again a short time later at Landlords Cycling;
For many years I have followed John Tomac’s career. Why, I was even present at his retirement race in Mammoth, California in 2000. He has never not been the epitome of grace and skill, though it wasn’t until I saw this photo that my entire life and his place in it made sense to me.
Was Tomac the best rider of all time?
Yeah.. I think so.
So here is where we go from shouting accolades to the heavens, to spitting venom and shipping random boxes of disease ridden filth at random.
Unless you have spent the last several years under a rock, you are no doubt aware of the saga surrounding one Michael Vick formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, currently of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The short version is he is a very gifted athlete, but a total crap human being;
Not that it was much of a stretch, but proving once and for all that they are the soulless, multinational garbage machine everyone knew them to be, Nike went ahead and recently renewed their previously canceled sponsorship contract with him.
I’m not a letter writing type. I mean, if a ticket agent goes above and beyond the call of duty and helps me make my flight or a Toys “R” Us clerk climbs to the top of the highest shelf to get me that elusive Beanie Baby I was looking for, I will certainly let his or her superiors know, but in terms of getting angry on paper, it never happens.
This case happened to be the exception in which I expressed myself to Nike Corporate thusly;
“To whom it may concern,
I wanted to take a second to drop you a line regarding your company’s recent decision to re-sponsor Michael Vick.
Though I may be a single individual, I thought you might care to know that because of this decision, as of right now, and forever, you as a company are dead to me.
I mean, granted, I haven’t owned any Nike product since the t-shirt my mom and dad bought for me in Junction City, Kansas in 1980, but ElCorpo didn’t need to know that.
If you’d like to drop your thoughts in the mail, I encourage you to do so.
Nike World Headquarters
One Bowerman Drive
Beaverton, OR. 97005
And speaking of spreading bad cheer to people who generally are dicks, it was through the lovely and talented Ms. Kristen Ferrell that I discovered this;
That right there are a selection of phone numbers of The Westboro Church.
You should probably reach out and touch someone right now. Let them know that you hate stuff as much as God does, or at the very least you make an occasional effort to keep women out of cycling.
One place where there is tons of stuff that God hates is in Minneapolis West.
In fact, there are not only gays there, but shoes (which the gays sometimes wear), and bridges, and tennis courts, and gas stations.. Anyway, among all of the stuff God hates, one of her favorites is the racing of speed cycles. This coming weekend Ironclad Cycling is behind a megalothrowdown, at which there will be bunches of people in stretchy pants all fighting for their shot at glory;
The mere thought of which makes me want to do all kinds of things hateful things.
Finally, I will leave you with a couple pretty sweet interactions I had in the midst of recent rides. Last week as Hunter and I headed out of town, we saw a fellow riding his bike South, towing behind him what looked to be a homemade Airstream type of trailer.
Days later, as I closed in on my secret lair, I crossed paths with the fellow we had seen, and chatted him up a bit about his creation;
His name is Jeff, and has spent a few weeks traveling from his home of Willits in Northern California down the coast. He said that all told this construction weighs in at about 150 pounds, which actually helps with its transport, as according to him, if it were any lighter, it would get squirrely. He also mentioned that he was interested in finding an investor to help him possibly see the eventual production of these.
I told him that one place where he might be able to make some contacts would be the Interbike trade show, which of course is happening in September. I also said that if he left now, he might get to Las Vegas just in time.
Secondly, during a recent jaunt away, as I was playing by myself (that’s by myself, not with myself mind you) in the woods, I met up with this fellow who’s name is also Jeff;
He was on vacation with his wife and three young children, but had taken some time out to engage in a bit of lone exploring. Among other things we discussed while we were rolling, and not, he described his job as a prison guard, and a few of the pluses and minuses attached to that particular vocation.
As we talked I reflected on the occasional benefits of simply saying hello to another person while on a ride, which as anyone who spends much time on a bike can attest to, can be a rare occurrence indeed.
Meeting the Jeffs and hearing their stories was simple serendipity that I needed no tools to access.
I suppose except for the tool that is me.