It was just last week (or the week before. I can’t remember anymore), when Hollywood Jeff graciously sent me two passes for the fancy pants start tent at stage two of California’s Tour of California for Amgen. Moving into our spot, Demonika and I took in all of the site and sounds that a $200.00 pass will afford you. And we drank free coffee.
I placed myself directly across from my old friend, and ‘Voice of American Cycling®’, Mr. Dave Towle, and promptly sent him a text notifying him that his fly was down, which he ignored as he was interviewing stage one’s ‘Most Aggressive Rider’ jersey holder and even older friend Ben Jaques-Maynes;
I know I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I sure am proud of Ben and his brother Andy. I’ve known these two since they were fourteen or fifteen years old, buzzing around the bike shop telling everyone who would listen how they were going to be professional cyclists when they grew up.
“Yeah, yeah kid. Now get out of here… You’re bothering me” was generally the reply. But after all of this time has passed and to see them individually as well as jointly lining up with some of the best cyclists in the world simultaneously makes me burst with pride and also feel horrible about how little I’ve achieved with my own life.
I’m just lucky that both Ben and Andy’s coattails are long ones.
Anyway, while I was busy not taking any photos, drinking free coffee and jabber-jawing with this guy;
Jon Suzuki was all over the place snapping photos which he thankfully allowed me the use of here;
I have a talented crew in my corner indeed.
While all eyes were focused exclusively on the bikecycle racing action, no one saw the superstar in our midst. Thanks to Jon’s unwavering eye for details, he caught Robert Downey Jr., who was sitting conspicuously nearby, doing research for his upcoming role as the guy who sits near Crissy Field and introduces pigeons to one another;
Demonika and I had all intentions to return to our former home to catch the finish, and were even on the road en route, but the opportunity to get new shoes came along and the day got derailed.
Apathy is a fickle beast like that.
Speaking of the Tour, Jim from Maximo Supremo residents Spy Optics sent me a heads up regarding some promotional material they have that is flirting with the badassness;
“What’s up Stevil?
If you’re following the ToC, you’ve probably seen our rad (insert other rad like adjective here) new commercial featuring M. Busche and Mike Montgomery. Wanted to see if there was any shot at getting some run on your page. Sure, it’s a gratuitous product/company/brand promotion but the imagery is pretty cool and yes, he did stick the back flip on a road bike. We’ll be releasing a behind the scenes version shortly which will show some of the other tricks as well as misses that went on during the shoot.
Let me know what you think.”
What do I think? Jim knows I love the right bike for the wrong job, so it only stands to reason that this video would capture my heart.
Moving on… It was on Tuesday when Demonika and I took to the woods for a mountain bikecycle ride when who should I nearly run headlong into but Pat from Watch Them Die;
Not only is young Pat a beast of a vocalist, but he has had a long romance with all things two wheeled. Back in the mid 90s we spent a great deal of time on the backyard pump track of a guy named Jason who, at the risk of dropping names, happens to play drums in a band called Neurosis.
And speaking of eyes, a guy who has two is Ian and he emailed me with a bit of a plea;
“Up here in Minneapolis West, The home to quite a few Wizard Staff Contenders, we could use some help.
Our Velodrome is in need of a serious overhaul. Part of it has been done, but we need to raise 50k for the work to be finished in the fall;
You can make a donation, but you can also buy this jersey that helps the cause.”
With a purchase of a jersey you can ensure that kids can continue to safely ride in circles, and that your efforts will result in looking handsome. It’s a small price to pay, really.
Moving along with the ample business at hand, Hurl from both Cars-r-Coffins as well as One On One Bicycle Studio got in touch some time ago regarding an upcoming swap meet that the shop is hosting. Being on top of my game as usual, I promptly lost it and had to request a re-send which he complied with graciously;
If you happen to reside in or around the Twin Cities, swing through for the deals, and stay for the mayhem.
In closing I will include a query in the form of a transmission from Matt;
Since I started reading your blog I have noticed that you have a secret beer stash that you hoard beer at near one of your frequented (or maybe formerly frequented) mountain biking spots. You have referenced this in several posts, maybe on purpose or maybe just through photo evidence.
I am interested in learning the skill of stashing beer to enjoy later i.e. after work when I am riding home. How do you do it? What do you do to keep the coveted beer at an enjoyable temperature? Do you offer a ‘Beer Stashing 101’ course?
Teach us your ways, oh wise Stevil!
Thanks dude, stay rad.
Matt from Central Minnesota”
This might be the newest segment on this site. Some kind of advice column but where people pose questions of the banal, and I answer them incorrectly.
I’ll talk to my people about it.
Anyway, as I told Matt, ocasionally when traveling into the woods, I will bring along a six pack with me, leave four for later and drink two for now. The best spot to leave a can, or two, or more is under a downed tree, or anywhere that might act as a suitable landmark. I have cans of beer stashed all over Santa Cruz County that I will never be able to find again because I didn’t follow the landmark rule. The other benefit of keeping them buried is that no matter how high the temps rise, the canned goodness will always stay chilled;
A third and final advantage of stashing beer is that when riding with friends, when emerging from the bushes with cold beer for everyone, you might as well put a crown on your head, because at that point there is no one more awesome on the planet.
I will conclude this lesson with a funny, albeit cautionary tale. Several winters ago I picked a big redwood log just off of a well frequented trail. When I returned to the spot the following spring, I was dismayed to find that a legion of army ants had built a huge hill upon my stash spot. While I knew that these little beasts protected my booty, I also knew that they weren’t discriminating about who they would swarm when disturbed. I very carefully dug out my treasure with a long stick, and did my best to return their home to its original condition when I was finished. I thanked them for their services by leaving a piece of my sandwich for them to destroy and forever after hid my stash at the opposite end of their log.