As I finished reading Joe Parkin H.N.H.’s latest offering on Monday, I slowly closed the book, removed my three pairs of bi-focals, and sat quietly as I reflected on its contents. Much like his previous saga, A Dog In a Hat, Joe makes no effort to candy coat his experiences, chronicling every high and low as he eked out a living on his bike.
One part heartbreak, and two parts inspiration, his description of life in the trenches provides a glaringly honest perspective of every detail through the transition from one discipline of riding to another. It flawlessly conveys the myriad of emotions he felt, as if you were his sole confidant through the twilight of his career as a professional cyclist.
Yeah,that’s Joe leading out the great Johhny Tomac, as well as others taken from the cinematic masterpiece ‘Full Metal Status’.
I was left wondering how, after so many setbacks, one could continually muster the motivation to get back up and dust themselves off. Then again, it is this quality that sets an elite level bike racer apart from the rest of us. The drive and unsnuffable desire to soldier on, regardless of what obstacles life threw at him was nothing short of masochism, and an aspect of Joe’s DNA that is second to none.
You might be curious what the title of this post or the opening image have to do with any of this, and I can only say not much. Joe graciously provided a copy of his book to me during our last meeting, and upon my return home found that the good people at Velo Press thought to do the same. I was inspired enough to decide to use my second copy as a prize in a contest, though not inspired enough to actually decide on what that contest would be.
I finally settled on an idea that would make the most committed Post Modernist proud; the first person that comes up with a good idea for a contest actually wins, and for their efforts will be presented with a personalized signed copy of the book for their very own.
Email submissions to stevil@allhailtheblackmarket and within a week or so, I will choose a winner. After that I will chase Joe around with a pen and make him write something clever.
While the topic of Post Modernism is fresh on my mind, here is an image I took while in San Diego of Ditta taking a photo of me taking a photo of Sean taking a photo of Ditta taking a photo of me. The term ‘photojournalistic daily chain’ comes to mind;
It was like an M.C. Escher drawing with a mile of ass crack;
As I mentioned on Monday, I am once again in possession of a whole new batch of AHTBM cycling caps made domestically by the good people at Pace Sportswear. I’ve put my own personal hat through its paces (not pun intended) and I can say without hesitation that it is holding up beautifully.
Assuming your perspiration is nowhere nearly as caustic as mine, I suspect they should do the trick for you very easily.
Robert from Bunnyhawk sent me an email describing as much;
“Your hat has been holding up well for me. I rode 421K over 24 hours starting Friday afternoon with about 10 of those in hours in the rain. I drank multiple beers. It still smells okay.
Here is a pre-ride picture before we climbed about a thousand feet to get out of Portland;
I hope you are magical these days.
How could I be anything but magical, what with as committed and tireless a street team as I have? People like Robert look good so I don’t have to.
Speaking of looking good, the first, and only ever Ritte Racing/AHTBM team pro contacted me to let us know how his season is shaping up;
“Imagine a cruel 125k road race on flat farmland with 30 mph winds that smell like Cowshit
(5 25k laps)
Then add in 40% of the course is on loose gravel..
Every corner offers a new and interesting wind direction.
Crushing headwinds, destructive crosswinds and the only tailwind is on one of the 2 gravel sections, so of course we’re doing well over 30;
Bouncing and praying in the drops, hoping the dude in front of you is making wise choices….
felt like I was sitting on a hatchet by the 5th and final lap.
welcome to the “Leland Kermesse”.
The 1/2’s and 3’s rolled together.
2nd Cat 3
solid attrition rate
you woulda loved it!!
I can’t help but notice that next to Newt’s name in the results, his sponsor is listed as ‘unattached’, which leaves me concerned. All of those cases of spray cheese Lanolin and I sent him didn’t grow on trees, and I expect that for the next race, this error will be corrected.
‘Arybody got they own kind of race food.
On Monday morning, I spent the better part of three hours recounting the hundreds of kit orders for the 16th, 17th and 18th time to make absolutely sure I had all of the numbers correct before sending it in. I am 99.89% sure I have things sorted out, but as I have existed within the confines of my own skin for long enough, I am well aware that the remaining .11% margin will assuredly come up and bite me in the ass. For any of you who fall foul within that slight percentage, please let me to apologize in advance and know that I will do whatever it takes to make things right.
Second to that, I might ask you to remind me, should I ever have a fool idea like this again, to take a step back and reflect on just how absolutely insane it would be for me to ever re-engage in such an undertaking.
If I hadn’t just swept it all onto the floor, I would conclude this plea with a photo of the huge pile of hair that has just fallen from my head and onto the desk in front of me.
To make things simple for the next explosion of product, I’m toying with the idea of small run of Jughead hats;
The food and butler service will cost you extra.
There now is even a Facebook group that has been formed to light a fire under my ass. I just may actually have to do it.
Interestingly, (or not, depending on your perspective of such things) I never gave the ‘Jughead hat’ much thought, but upon doing a little bit of sleuthing, I’ve come to find that they were originally fashionable headwear for blue collar workers of the early 20th century who wore these hats after recycling them from their worn out fedoras. If you care to enlighten yourselves on such random bits of trivia, I’ve discovered an entire page dedicated to the history of the hat here.
Funny thing is I still can’t remember my own zip code, but at least the little room that was left in my brain for learning and such is now filled with information on old-timy chapeaus.
On that note, I bid you all a fine Wednesday and with any luck will still be around for our next meeting.
High fives save lives.