I’ve long contended that when making new year’s resolutions, you generally are just setting yourself up for failure. I understand the premise behind starting fresh at the beginning of a 365 day span, but instead of committing to losing weight/hugging your kids more/learning algebra/fine tuning your rad-getting/etc., on this day in particular, I am of the opinion that picking any other day will ultimately lead to more success.
That being said, and always the contradiction, I’ve gone against my own rule and have promised myself to engage in a single activity with far more frequency.
And no, I’m not talking about bathing. You have to crawl before you can walk after all.
There was a time in the not so distant past where I found myself in a very committed community of postcard writers. As time went by however, the lot of us found ourselves spending more time behind a computer and less time behind a pen. The immediacy of an email to acknowledge the other’s existence, to say hello, or to simply send a link about a lamb born with a human face is just too convenient, and my time spent sending off these proverbial bottled messages began to wane.
Well, shortly after the first of the year, I parked myself at my desk with my train wreck of an address book open, furiously scribbling to any and all whose residential locations were scrawled within. Recently during one of these sessions I was fingering through a box of random postcards I’ve collected over the years while scanning the faint list of names and addresses. Suddenly my eyes stopped on none other than Mr. Bob Roll himself. Without looking, I peeled a card out of the stack and was shocked to see which one fate had picked for me;
Of course everything about this card smacks of Mr. Roll’s personal aesthetic, but upon further inspection, I got a chill when realizing that this was actually an illustration of the man in question himself;
(I added the gap between his teeth for good measure.)
This card was for a 2002 exhibition of a body of work by artist Sandow Birk titled “The Great War of The Californias”.
As has happened with so many other cards over the years, I received this one from the gallery where the show was occurring, and promptly stuffed it in a box with a myriad of others, soon to be forgotten.
Suffice it to say, I was partially shocked, mildly surprised, and even marginally weirded out when this set of coincidences flittered down from the heavens and landed square in my lap.
So to answer your question, yeah, my life really is so mundane that this would make an impression..
Between whiling away my days writing cards to people, and laying on my floor reflecting on the fact that space doesn’t ever end, (“I mean it just keeps on going, maaaann”) I have gotten to ride a bike. Now as anyone with windows knows, the weather has turned frightful, but what better an environment to go out and pretend to be a tough guy? Sadly, on Wednesday’s sojourn, I opted to leave my camera at home for fear of complete saturation. As I made my way over hill and dale I was met by no fewer than six road blocks and road crew after road crew replacing fallen power poles. Of course being small and stealthy I was waved through by the workers with a smile and shared a mere fraction of my time on the road with motor vehicles.
As I was heading home, the skies in the distance were looking angrier and angrier, until finally arriving home, they looked like this;
This is a bit of an exaggeration on my part, but moments after I walked in the front door, the heavens opened up and we were immediately issued a real-live tornado warning.
I felt as though I’d dodged a substantial bullet and stripped off my wet and cold layers feeling something like a hero.
“Ahhhh..” I thought. “This must be how Andrei Tchmil’s little toe feels every day.”
Fortunately I am able to almost flawlessly segue from that point to my next one using using Mr. Tchmil as the transition. I would like to take the opportunity to wish the monster a very happy 47th birthday today.
It’s no accident that the Cycle Sport centerfold of his 1994 Roubaix win has been one of the few possessions I’ve carried with me all of these years;
Yep.. If there was any question about it, I’m that kind of nerd.
The day I found this poster, I was sitting in the living room of a house in Denver that I shared with Mark D, 685, a guy named Pete who had a nicer bike than any of us, but never rode it, and an obscene collection of empty King Cobra bottles.
I opened the magazine up and first took notice of his face, followed by his bandaged wounds.
At the time I was only vaguely familiar with the man depicted, but everything about this photograph spoke to me.
I realized at that point that no matter how much I might find myself suffering while on a bike, I would never know the same level of agony that this fella was experiencing.
As it turns out, many years later while strapped down to a hospital bed with I.V. bag after I.V. bag being plugged into my arm, this image remained tight in my head ultimately translated into a little bit of inspiration for me.
“No matter how bad things get, at least I’m not that guy.”
Sometimes you find encouragement in the most unexpected places.
On that note, with a rain slicker, and a stack of postcards in hand, here’s wishing that you good people have great weekends, and we’ll catch you on the flipped side.