A random smattering of randomness, V.266.

Today we will broach a handful of topics ranging from kids on bikes to adults acting like kids on bikes to finding happiness where you can;

Photo credit Decatur Metro.

First up, Katie from Project Bike Trip got in touch with news regarding some shaking as well as some moving within the confines of her camp;

“Hi Stevil!

I hope all is well with your new home in your new hometown! I know you don’t live in SC anymore, so you probably don’t really care about what we’re doing here… but, I thought I’d take a chance and see if you want to spread the word about The Two Wheeled Drive. I told you about this a while ago in a Facebook message. Well, it’s been launched!

I’ve attached a press release with more info, the campaign flyer, and the sponsor flyer (there are over $12,000 in prizes to give out to people for raising funds!).


Let me know what you think! Thanks, Stevil!

kt”

The Project Bike Trippers are some of the most committed and hard working individuals you can find, and Katie has been leading the charge since the beginning. Helping spread their word is the least I can do.

Then from over there in Wisconsin, David got in touch regarding some other stuff about stuff;

“Hey Stevil,

We’ve got another excuse to ride your bike and get loose coming up on May 12 here in Eau Claire WI. This is the 6th annual Valleycat and if previous years are any indication it’s going to be a blast. It would be awesome if you could give a quick shout out so we can get more of these suckers hard earned cash.
You can check out a short promo here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ityBreHL50Y

And/or nab the flyer here;

We also have spacebook here.

Thanks and take care,
David”

Bikes, fire and hysterical laughter are all things I can very much get behind.

Now let’s move on from business a story about getting drunk at a memorial;

Image courtesy of According 2G.

No, seriously… Do you know how hard it is to find a photo that correlates with that introduction?

It’s a damn shame too, because that’s exactly what I did on Monday. Those who have followed my exploits on the interwebbings for a while might recall the following tale, but for the rest of yinz, let me refresh. It was the morning of April 30th, 1999 when my friend Sammy and I were doing a mountain bike ride before we had to clock in at the bike shop where we were both employed. Upon peeling off onto a side trail, I took notice of a fellow slumped back over a tree stump. Laughing to myself, assuming he had wandered away from a party the night before, I moved in to make sure he was ok. First I noticed that his mouth was full of blood, which made me think that he possibly had been beat up and dumped. Just then I saw the gun under his leg. I stumbled back and told Sammy to secure the area and not let anyone else pass through. I rode off to a pay phone that was located nearby and dialed 911.

Police, and EMTs and fire personnel all converged on the area and questioned Sammy and me separately from one another. Finally we were released and we went on our way to work, which at this point in the morning, we were extremely late to.

The following day I woke up to go on another ride but after arriving at the predetermined meeting spot, threw in the towel out of exhaustion.

I fought losing consciousness all the way home until the very moment I pulled my front door key out of my jersey pocket and I hit the deck, succumbing to a grand mal seizure. From this point forward, the following year was a roller coaster of tests, a few runs of anti-seizure medication (which sucked balls), a revoked driver’s license, and a meandering confusion regarding just why the nameless fellow in the woods did what he did.

In the thirteen years since, I’ve gotten some answers from friends of the man I found and through that, certainly put some of my own personal demons to rest. However, for the first time since that day, I returned on the anniversary and paid my respects by getting drunk.

Lucky for me, my compatriot Jimmy James was all about it as well, and while aboard our Hunter brand cyclocross styled bicycles, we headed over hill, dale and singletrack trail en route to the memorial;


It was a beautiful day, and not terribly unlike that one in 1999. Sunny, and warm with a cool breeze… A perfect day for doing almost anything.

As the morning turned into mid-day, the conversation went from renegade camping to wedding planning and everything in between, and we cashed out the case of beer that had been stowed safely in my backpack. A nice way to honor the dead.

Rest in peace, sir. You bummed me out in a serious way, but conversely have given me many years of a lot to think about. I hope wherever you are, things are better for you than they were here;

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Leave a Reply

17 Responses to “A random smattering of randomness, V.266.”

  1. plum May 2, 2012 at 5:51 am #

    The best part about all of this technology bullshit – the things we discover about one another. You’re an alright dude Stevil.

  2. andy May 2, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    Y is a crooked letter and it can’t be straightened. If you did, it wouldn’t be Y.

    Wisdom from my Grandpa.

  3. Jon Suzuki May 2, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    Steve, I remember you going through that very well, and I’ve even stopped at that spot and wondered. I don’t know If I every told you, but I had also stumbled upon a similar scene many years ago, probably another (ten) years prior to your experience. I’m thankful I wasn’t on my bike at the time, and only glanced briefly at the unfortunate person that decided to take his own life in a coin-op laundry mat.

    Messy.

    Glad you’ve chased those demons away,

    JS

  4. Bmark May 2, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Thanks for making me cry at work. Jerk.

  5. Bbo May 2, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    You drank a 12 each and rode home? That’s what I call walking the talk.

  6. TOmB May 2, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    As a Paramedic, I can say that some of the most haunting scenes are of this nature.
    We cannot know what set someone on the path to that point, but we can only hope that we never find the same end.

    Much peace to you Stevil.

  7. Velorambling May 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Wow! Now that is heavy. I am glad you got your seizures under control and your demons somewhat under control in order to entertain and make us infinitely more sexy with your wares.

  8. hellbelly May 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    One of the cliche’s in heath care is that the best surgeons are misanthropes. I mention this as your discussion of returning to the memorial site for the suicide victim you found reminded me of my own loss of “death virginity”. In college I scored a summer job as a burn tech/nursing assistant on a burn/trauma unit. I was interested in becoming a surgeon one day and had some family that pulled some strings to get me the job despite having zero experience. Immediately, I was faced with the most gruesome of situations (including plenty of deaths) everyday you could imagine and some you probably cannot. About a week into it, I was walking to lunch with my mentor, Charles. Charles, a lifer was a blinged-out black guy before the descriptor “bling” existed. I sheepishly asked him if any of this stuff ever got to him, reflecting on having cleaned up a patient moments before that would make most lose their appetite. He exclaimed without a pause, “Don’t think I am a ghoul or nuthin, but I could eat my favorite sandwich on a pile of dead bodies. You just got to let it all go.” I have never forgotten those words and went on to see and be involved in real life horrors day after day; year after year. I did become a surgeon; a dental surgeon and while I do not hate everyone, Charles’ words of detachment have served me well. Now go ride.

  9. Steve May 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Much respect.

  10. NOOM May 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    always down to help out a friend especially when it involves street and/or woods drinkin. it was a good day for sure even with heavy tones.

  11. Mike B May 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    That’s some crazy shit right there. Just out of curiosity, had you experienced seizures before?

    • Stevil May 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

      Nope, and haven’t since. Perhaps it was coincidence, or a result of the trauma, or just plain old exhaustion. I’ve read that one in five people will experience a large seizure at least once in their lives. Maybe my number was up.

      • Mike B May 4, 2012 at 11:31 am #

        Well that’s even crazier. One of my co-workers has epilepsy, and I know it can be exacerbated by stress, so I guess extreme stress/trauma can lead to some strange stuff.

  12. curtisbaby May 2, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    I, too, cried at work. Ya jerk.
    It’s nice to know that with all the hatin’ going around these days there are still people who realize that we’re all just dust from stars that exploded billions of years ago floating around in what’s left of what had to be the coolest freakin’ explosion ever and live life as such.
    It’s also nice to know we ain’t like them haters.
    Thanks Stevil.

  13. Sue May 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    While I’m glad to have more details from that time long ago, I am gladder yet that the experience and the subsequent “difficulties” after your seizure did not define you. I think, instead, that they contributed to the compassionate, sensitive, wonderful man that you have become.
    No bias at all!
    Momsue

  14. Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer May 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    All this bathos makes me want to get out of my BMW and…whatever. Yes its tragic that a life ends like that, but seriously he made sure that someone had to look at it. Dick.

  15. Crank April 29, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    Almost every culture but the WASP’s celebrate death. They accept, do not mourn it. I have been around the globe slowly, and have found that “we” as Murikans are taught to fight against, rail against, avoid the discussion of, and make up mystical over death. Hunter S. Thompson did it best. Your friend’s choice is not, nor should it ever be your bummer. If it causes you to reflect, that’s your own thing. He probably didn’t know you even existed, might not have even liked you. Go hug Demonika.