Several important matters.

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;
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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’);
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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;
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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;
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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.
Bad choice,
S. Kinevil”

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;
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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;
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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;
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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;
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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.
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34 Responses to “Several important matters.”

  1. Nick July 6, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    Yeah, folks in CA do not like to talk when you ride up to them. I learned this is LA this year. So i dropped the dude in PV.

  2. Tony Bullard July 6, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Hey Stevil. Long time reader, second time commenter.
    In regards to the Phelps: Just leave them alone. If it helps, don’t think about it as leaving them alone, think about it as ignoring them. They are not worth your time, no matter how bored you may be.
    Those people feed off of negativity. There’s nothing you can say to them that won’t ultimately just fuel them to do more of what they do. They believe your persecution of this is just proof that they are doing God’s work. The sooner we stop giving them our attention, the sooner they disappear.

  3. Stevil July 6, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Tony,
    You have made a thoughtful and well-articulated point, but just the same, I will probably still give them a call to see if their refrigerator is running.

  4. Corey Keizer July 6, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Great Post! I’ll do work with those addresses and phone numbers. I hate the Westboro Baptist Church as much as their beloved God does.
    To Nick: If you ride in L.A. again I’ll say hi. I say hi or at least give the “‘sup” nod to everyone on a bike.

  5. pablo picknostral July 6, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Thoroughly enraged @ 8:30 AM, thanks. Make a postcard of the poor dog with the “Just Do It” and swoosh. Nike really sucks.

  6. brent marshall July 6, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    Tomes looks like JHK’s dad, don’t he? JHK need to get with the beer drinkin’

  7. Jim July 6, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    I didn’t really know much about Johnny T until recently – just knew he was a pioneering MTB racer.
    Then I read his palmares, and a little about how he used to ride. Holy fuck. The dude was the Doctor J. of bike racing. He didn’t win as much as a lot of the more focused champs, but he won in more disciplines, and did more spectacular, how’d he do that type of shit than anybody else, in more disciplines. Road drops while placing 4th at Downhill Worlds? WT F’ety F? Gold in XC, silver in World DH, followed up by seconds to guys like Frischknect? National Crit and TT champ? Huh? National BMX champ? Solid results at P-R and the Ronde?
    Not the winningest bike rider ever, just one of the greatest.

  8. Doglover July 6, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    Responsible bloggers put a *WARNING* at the top of an entry if there is a photo or content that may be upsetting to some readers.
    Some of us avoided all media regarding that Vick piece of shit so as to not have to see images of the brutalized dogs that were floating around and used for “entertainment” purposes.
    Stevil, you could have made your point without using the image.
    In the least, you should have included a warning of what follows.

  9. Stevil July 6, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Firstly, and I say this with all due respect to you and your point, but I am far from a responsible anything, let alone blogger, and secondly, I have included this same image at least three times in the past when referencing specific aspects of this story. Not for shock value, but to attempt to drive the cruelty of Vick’s actions home.
    I’m not sure where you have found the use of such images for ‘entertainment purposes’, but in this instance I included it in hopes that it would incite suitable outrage towards Nike.
    I appologize for offending you, but the fact that not only do the fans continue to support him, but sponsors continue to pay him what I can only guess to be astronomical figures is far more offensive to me than any image I dare to dredge up.

  10. rhetoricdying July 6, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Two Kansas references in one post? I don’t even think people from Kansas can do that. I just moved to Junction City and will be starting law school in Topeka this fall (at the Phelps’ alma mater). Hopefully I’ll get the chance to find out first hand how much God hates everything.

  11. Doglover July 6, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    I don’t read your blog often enough to recall you posted it three times before, but often enough to know you certainly do go for shock value. Three times around with this image is absolutely sensationalistic. ANd you keep posting the horrific image of his victims because the crime is far more offensive? That logic makes no sense. The image is not necessary to reinforce what a piece of shit Vick is, it only makes people have a shitty day because they inadvertently saw a picture of an abused animal, without any warning. I know you think he’s a piece of shit, and I know you’re trying to do the right thing. But this doesn’t make me want to boycott Nike, it makes me want to not read AHTBM anymore if dude can’t put a warning on top so I know he’s looking out for me as a valued reader.
    But whatever, it’s your blog and you never claimed to be responsible. If your audience doesn’t like it, tough shit, they don’t have to read it, right?
    Take the suggestion for what it is.

  12. Stevil July 6, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    To me, this not making you want to boycott Nike is the most puzzling aspect of all considering that they are partly funding his lifestyle, but otherwise I hear you loud and clear and will be aware that I might should tread more lightly in the future.
    I appreciate you taking the time to make your point known.

  13. Jason Metter July 6, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Doglover, Please face reality. Sometimes it sucks, but you’re best off looking it right in the face. What’s wrong with shock value? We should be shocked by behavior like Vick’s.

  14. Jim July 6, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    Stevil Kinevil, I find your blog shocking in how it portrays animal cruelty, beer handups, semi- and near-full frontal nudity, alley cats (the animals), alley cats (the bike races), politicians, shooting sports (some of which involve scary guns, which kill people and scare me as well as sometimes killing the kinds of people who scare me) and ridicule of race promoters from Boulder.
    I find that you are ruining it for everybody, and abusing your First Amendment rights by stating things in the strongest and clearest of possible ways, letting your opinions be known, and spouting off about stuff in general.
    Therefore I ask you in the future to avoid posting things that might possibly offend me. Given that my employer keeps me strapped in a Clockwork Orange chair all day, eyes held open with little metal hooks and staring at unwanted images from your website, a little bit of consideration on your part would be welcome. I don’t have a choice about viewing your website, you know!
    After all, the First Amendment is a sacred right. As the Supreme Court recently demonstrated in the Fred Phelps Marine Funeral Protest case, God may indeed hate fags, the USA and the parents of Marines who died valiantly defending our great nation (it’s an open question anyhow, God hasn’t really said definitively), but He clearly *loooooves* him some First Amendment, or at least he made 8 Supreme Court Justices raise their hands and say “aye” when Mr. Phelps asked, “so who loves em some First Amendment?” So be nice to your rights – they aren’t something that’s just out there for every Tom, Dick and Harry to use to just, you know, go spouting off their opinions and saying things that might offend people. It wouldn’t be much of a right, in fact, if people like you could use it to post gruesome evidence of crimes as part of your efforts to critique politics, business, and sports. So keep the First Amendment safe and sound and preserved for what it’s really there to protect – animals rights protestors, and naked dance exhibitions.
    /s
    A Helpless Viewer Nastily Ambushed Repeatedly by This Blog Yet Still Inexplicably Clicking “Refresh” daily in between updates.

  15. rik July 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    did you get to see inside the trailer ?

  16. jlvota July 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    Doglover, I love dogs just as much as the next guy, but if a picture on a blog ruins the rest of your day then you need to stay off the internet; the picture wouldn’t make my list of top 100 most offensive images I’ve seen posted on the web.
    When life hands you lemons, grow a set of fucking balls.

  17. curtis July 6, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    As someone who considers Stevil a friend, I can vouch for him in saying that he is wholly irresponsible. I mean, let’s be honest, he maintains a blog for a living.
    I’d also like to say that in this one instance, I think Stevil is being far MORE responsible than others who are covering this story, simply for showing the reality behind Vick’s actions. All the assholes on television who are running segments of Vick’s highlight reel like he came back from retirement… THOSE are the fuckheads who I deem irresponsible in the coverage of this story.
    “this doesn’t make me want to boycott Nike, it makes me want to not read AHTBM”
    Sorry doglover, but this is the dumbest thing I have ever read on this blog. And considering that it’s written by Stevil… that’s saying quite a lot.

  18. Stevil July 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Rik,
    I did see inside of it, but it wasn’t all flat screen televisions and aquariums filled with exotic fish as I expected. There is a cot, and a little shelving unit on which to place your boots, but I can say with honesty, I wouldn’t want to be in there with Jeff’s boots.

  19. nowheels July 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    I love Jim’s comment at 11:46am.

  20. Sky Blu Ballz July 6, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    I saw that dude towing his trailer in Santa Cruz yesterday on East Cliff & !7th and was admiring his sense of freedom.

  21. Slosh July 6, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    I’ll make this quick(I think) That is first time I saw a pic of Vicks’ dog. I stared at it for a good minute before I scrolled down to the share this link thingymagiggy. I am not a big Nike consumer(some socks or somethin’), but fuck that. Who does that to any animal? I mean a terrorist or politician, yeah. Not an animal. I seriously believe they have lost their moral compass, and the possible bottom line from the sponsorship of Vick has them strutting around the office with big boners. I hope they go down in flames.

  22. curtisbaby July 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    In defense of the Stevil
    While I am generally no longer shocked that it is uniquely A’murcan to believe that what threatens ones sense of propriety should be an affront to all and therefore it is ones divine right to espouse that and correct or deride others that are acting out their own beliefs in the privacy of their own blog-room, I was amazed even still that one “offended” commenter would even go so far as to implicitly and tacitly choose not to boycott a multibillion dollar company that has done nothing in the last twenty years but outsource jobs in order to further support the depraved habits of some of the most truly vapid, egotistical and perverse detriments to this shame factory we call A’murca. Be it Vick’s animal cruelty, Roethlisberger’s accused rape (twice), Tiger’s philandering or “King” James Hindenburg-sized ego, Nike has stuck with some of the most vile in our society, sadly, because of pansies that are so offended as to flay a messenger of terrible news rather than actually take a stand about something.
    It’s kind of like bitching about how much your parents just don’t understand you as you pan-handle on the hill in Boulder, but won’t give them their credit card back because you need gas for the Audi they bought you in high school. I’m sure that it could be put into prose by William Carlos Williams or Bukowski in order to not trod on you petal-like naiveté, but the world is a brutal place and if actual evidence of real crimes against humanity cannot be displayed before us in all their “mellow” harshing-ness, it will continue to be because the milquetoasts will be too busy hiding in the corner to stand up to bastards like Vick and Nike.
    So I congratulate you Stevil and will, at any time, stand with you before the Bastards to crush them with our mighty wizard staffs.
    Ride hard, drink beer, fight the bastards.

  23. chad July 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    Doglover, you are correct. No one should ever have to look at a picture of Michael Vick. As for the dog, it’s a real picture, some people never see the reality of the effects of dogfighting and this leads to that piece of shit still being allowed to breathe. Personally if I ever saw MV in public I’d do everything in my power to make him feel the pain that that dog and all the others felt.
    Oh, and FUCK NIKE!

  24. gerard777 July 6, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    seriously… nike has been and will continue to be a POS. don’t buy their stuff… it’s that simple. seen it in skate snow bikes etc. the awesome thing is Cav killing it today… don’t care about his “arrogance”… i just want to see all the AWESOMENESS of the Grand Tours!!!

  25. Dave-O-! (not that one, but the Dave-O-!) July 6, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    SO I didn’t really look at the picture of Vick and his handy work. I just skimmed over it (I was at work and I did not want to get weepy). My wife and I rescue Greyhounds, we have 3, one of our dogs is dangerous. He was trained to kill, thought being he would be faster, but he was not. When we adopted him his hind feet were broken, he is missing an ear and his teeth are bad and by bad I mean rotten. Part of me thinks vick should be used as a chew toy. part of me thinks vick should work at a emergency vet clinic, dealing with people that care about their pets.

  26. Doom joe July 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Drink beer, ride bikes, and go fuck yourselves.

  27. Crank July 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    And Nike can be found right mutherfuckin here, http://help-us.nike.com/app/ask/session/L3RpbWUvMTMxMDA3ODAxMS9zaWQvQ09RZlJweWs%3D God damn. Is there no sense between right and profit these days?

  28. cary July 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    Mike Vick is deep in the Plantation Mentality.

  29. chinsey July 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Stevil, thank you for posting this about Michael Vick. i’ve carefully avoided reading the particulars of his totally fucked, sociopathic and soulless dog torture and murder because I’m a dog lover & adopter who can’t even go into an SPCA to help friends adopt pets without crying so hard that i can barely see my way through the veil of tears to the bunny section to calm myself down (no offense, bunnies). so i hear Doglover about the shock & disgust that an image like this produces.
    that said, i don’t think it’s irresponsible to post the gruesome image of that brutalized pit bull. it makes me sick to my stomach to hear the NFL commentators market Vick as some amazing comeback story, because he’s “paid his dues” and worked so hard since his prison stint. i think what’s most irresponsible is to pretend that Vick is worthy of applause for “getting his life back on track”/throwing the football real real good. to do this kind of violence to an animal, willingly, for fun, and then be treated by the NFL, media, and nike as if that’s just any old run of the mill crime and hey, it was a few years ago, is sick. i don’t think showing this dog’s abused body is disaster porn, or needs defense. i think it’s a good kick-in-the-stomach reminder that it’s fine to love animals and therefore avoid reading/seeing gory details of their abuse, as i’ve chosen to do, but that sometimes, further action is required.
    juxtaposing this dog and the nike swoosh has renewed my lapsed boycott of nike products, and reminded me that sometimes you just have to get really, really uncomfortable to get motivated to change something. so thanks for this, Stevil, amidst a chorus of “fuck everything, let’s just ride bikes” responders on the one hand and the moral vacuum of corporate-athletic partnerships on the other.

  30. Derby Dude July 8, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    WOW….

  31. daniel July 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    point taken stevil. I’ll go get a coat hanger

  32. sarah July 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    dang stevil, the race for everybody; cycling for women; now the nike boycott for doglover…is there nothing you can’t ruin?
    do michele bachmann’s presidential campaign next, please.

  33. Brij July 11, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Wow, so many comments Stevil. Thanks for the story with the trailer dude. We saw him on 101 about 4 weeks ago. At the top of a long grade no less.
    Re: the pic of the poor dog–it sure drove the point home for me, even if I could only look at it for a fraction of a second.

  34. derbydude July 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    That dog pic makes a great screen saver, thanks man!!