My mother said there’d be days like this.

Steve needs bail money.

Steve’s dying of cancer was a falsehood. Truth be told, he’s (handsomely) sitting in a jail cell in Ely, Nevada for the simple crime of looking too damn good. So what are you waiting for? Help contribute to his bail monies and pick yourself up some smart goods at the same time.
While we are on topic of said smart goods, satisfied customer Mark sent an email letting me know just how powerful AHTBM product really is;
The hat and stickers were waiting for me on my desk upon my return today and they are all great…In fact I took the hat for its maiden voyage today to the grocery store where upon checkout the clerk immediately started to cry and gave me all of my groceries for free…keep being rad & let me know if you ever need some kicks.

Apparently Mark loves his hat so much that he’s offered to kick me in celebration.
Also, I attempted a similar ruse at my own local grocery store, but was denied anything from the clerk short of inane conversation about bicycles. However the power was still strong with me as I returned to the post office to pick up my forgotten Voler clothing order confirmation packet, and the woman behind the counter allowed me use of their official USPS fax machine.
This may very well be the only nice thing any postal employee has ever done for anyone, ever.
And speaking of kicks, how is this for one right in the pants? The other day as I was attempting to gain entry on the interwebs so as to watch stage whatever in the Tour Of California, I caught an ever so brief glimpse of an ad spot featuring first Levi Leipheimer saying something about how he chooses SRAM. Then just for a fraction of a second I look up to see Meredith Miller expounding similarly. I mean, it was a flash. A blip in my eye. Now understand I’ve seen this ad already a few times, and moreover, I’ve seen Meredith herself for years, but there was something about the brief glimpse of her face that I realized I think I knew her. Not in passing, but this was the same person I worked with in a bike shop a decade or more ago.
I emailed a friend who worked at the same shop, and he confirmed that yes, this Meredith is one in the same;
Photo by Tom Olesnevich
This was the same girl who used to be a pretty bad ass road racer in her own right, but who I had since lost track of. She had gotten married and changed her maiden name, and somewhere along the way had won the 2009 US National Road Championship;
Photo by Carson Blume
And gotten 12th at the 2010 World’s Cyclocross Championship, as well as a whole slew of other truly incredible accomplishments.
… And I never made the connection.
The only way I can describe it is thusly;
Say a person were to read the same ‘BRIDGE OUT’ sign over and over, day in and day out for years, but for some reason the person in question’s brain refused to ever acknowledge the ‘G’ and just ever slightly wondered why the bride was always gone, (or for that matter why there was a sign stating as much) only finally realizing years later while on the brink of the drink what the sign actually said.
I’ve never overestimated my cognitive processes, but this was one for the record books. Some days it’s amazing that I can even get out of my own way.
For someone who prides themselves on being observant, an awful lot bounces off my radar.
It makes me wonder what else has slipped my attention.
Like the following clip for example, sent to me from Dayton, and MCd by the estimable Steve Crandall;

Those boys should be careful. They could get the tetanus out there.
In other news entirely, as I lay awake in the wee hours of Tuesday morning pondering the situation along the Gulf Coast, various thoughts began formulating. I have seen a developing trend in a broad smattering of media channels wherein people are outraged at BP’s seemingly lackadaisical attitude towards the developing environmental catastrophe in that region, and rightfully so. The U.S. government points its finger at British Petroleum, British Petroleum points its finger at Halliburton, Halliburton points its finger at the US government, and so the sickening daisy chain goes.
Meanwhile, the shit has long since hit the fan.
At the risk of preaching to the choir, what I am realizing is that this country, (average Joes who don’t think twice before filling up at the pump once a week, the American government, and so fourth) as well as the petrol industry at large has long been in need of a wake up call in regard to an increased focus on sustainable alternatives to what has existed for so many decades.
Across the entire Eastern Seaboard things are going to get far worse before they get any better, and unfortunately it took a disaster of this size and magnitude to perhaps realign the general consciousness. Might people think twice before chanting “drill baby, drill” at the next meeting concerning opening wildlife refuges to oil exploration? Moreover, might the industry at large have less enthusiastic backing when proposing such an idea? Even the dimmest bulb (with which America is filled) can no longer deny the association with the oil industry and environmental annihilation.
I have no false illusions, and I understand that it boils down to the almighty dollar. I very seriously doubt that Dick Cheney or Tony Hayward are having too much trouble sleeping these days, but in the long term if it takes something as epically horrible as this to change the way we as a whole think in regard to maintaining our unquenchable thirst for oil, then at the very least, this story might eventually have a bright side.
No sooner had that thought passed though my head, was it replaced with the fact that I have a developing hatred with what frequency the term ‘pain cave’ is used as of late.
Is everyone’s pain cave the same? No, of course not. Andrei Tchmil’s Pain cave would probably kill most of us, and likewise, my own personal pain cave could very well lead to the undoing of a ten year old girl, so when one mentions that in passing conversation, it means absolutely nothing.
How about we all just settle on ‘foxhole of mild discomfort’ and be done with it?
In far more serious news of what has crawled beneath my skin and keeps me bound of the brink of fury is the recent case of Michael Bryant.
The short version is that Bryant intentionally hit and killed 33 year old messenger Darcy Allan Sheppard, fled the scene and now has had any criminal charges dropped.
The moral of this story? If you want to get away with murder, hit and kill a cyclist.
What hits home most profoundly is that this hardly surprises me anymore.
So with that we pretty much have covered all bases.
Buy some goods and keep me from living in a refrigerator box beneath and overpass? Check.
Long lost friends being not so long lost? Check.
Playing in garbage can sometimes be more fun than not playing in garbage? Check.
Impending environmental decimation possibly serving as a long overdue wake up call? Check.
General classifications and stupid catch phrases for ones own level of discomfort while riding a bicycle are now outlawed? Check.
Glaring injustices and the fact that we as cyclists are across the board considered less than second class citizens? Check and check.
Watch your backs. Apparently we are the only ones who will.

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19 Responses to “My mother said there’d be days like this.”

  1. Ghostship Matt May 26, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    Stevil, reality seems like it’s bringing you down a bit. I agree with pretty much all of the the points you drew. This is no way to start your Wednesday. So here’s a video of a cat.

  2. pedalman May 26, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Suffering at the front, I went to dig deep into my ‘suitcase of courage’ but found that all I had was a ‘handbag of wuss’.

  3. Jim May 26, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    I share your hatred of trite phrases, and think you really hit it out of the park on this entry with your out of the box thinking. I felt lucky to be here to witness that, Howard…
    As for my suffering metaphor… No Pain Cave for me. Nope. I do it in the Frying Pan of Pain. There are a lot of popping and crackling noises, there is some question as to whether this is healthy, and some have also reported smelling a faint odor of bacon.

  4. Erik May 26, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    I would love to have only a ‘handbag of wuss’. As of now I have a ‘coinpurse of courage’ and a ‘mission workshop of wuss’ (That’s a LOT of wuss)

  5. TimothyDay May 26, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    Nothing hurts here on the Summer’s Eve Bicycle Racing Team.
    Smell the rainbows.

  6. Nick May 26, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    I have had it too. match buring – pain cave – suffer fest – it all relates to epic assholes. Please stop pretending you ride bikes because you’re a masochist, you do it cause it’s fun. And if you don’t… fuck off.

  7. Nick May 26, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    Oh yeah one more thing. ladies, stop wearing tall striped ugly socks. You look like clowns. Like actual clowns who dress this way to create laughter.

  8. Karl Hungus May 26, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    Nick…I’m with you on the first comment…can we bury “no worries” with “pain cave”?…but I rather enjoy tall striped ugly socks on girls.

  9. Zimmerman May 26, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Step into my Pain Cave and I’ll bludgeon you.

  10. Stevil May 26, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    I’m for omitting ‘right on’ (with the inflection at the end of both ‘right’ and on’, not to be confused with Marvin Gaye’s version) from the lexicon as well.

  11. MikeH May 26, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Since we’re all rounding up the Top 10 entries in your average douchebag’s lexicon; I’d like to add the “it is what it is” phrase to the list. This verbal copout is beloved by both sack-less middle managers and aviator wearing jar heads. The very sound of it makes me cringe like 90!

  12. Corey the Courier May 26, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    Ely Nevada? To be incarcerated in a town 80 miles from the next town in any direction sounds like a problem. How they hell is anyone gonna bail a friend out on the “Loneliest Road in America” if’n they can’t even get there? They do have some good elk burgers at the diner when you get out though.

  13. anti-stu May 26, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Stevil-The seriousness of your post and rigid points are well received. I live 30 miles north of the Gulf, SW of New Orleans, been through hurricanes, etc. but this shit scares the fuck out of me. Think the economy was bad months ago? Just wait. Katrina will be nothing by the time this blows over.
    Fuck the government and fuck BP. I’m going ride my bike.

  14. Teamfubar May 26, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    BP isn’t in any kind of rush as they are British and prefer their sardines packed in oil.
    Go ahead and throw “brain-storming session”, anything “Xtreme” and “my bad” into the list of phrases and words that can suck my nuts.

  15. clay May 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    the thing about michael bryant and the internet is this…. im pissed as fuck, whats my outlet? so i get the information to be pissed off then what? search the attorney MR peck send him a what for, and anyone else i can find e-mails for…. but i would like to get behind some other dudes/dudesses and punch michael bryant in the head somehows…. literally or figuratively… dont care which…bah!

  16. ben May 27, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    I prefer the epic pain cave personally.

  17. Jb May 28, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    Stevil, Regarding the BP disaster and the potential for a wake up call for this country, I like yourself am trying to be optimistic, however, have relized shit like this has been going down for decades with no such change. Check out this KML file on the largest recorded oil spill events around this globular rock we call home. Rather mind numbing.

  18. joe doom May 28, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    three from me:
    1. Steve McQueen is beyond rad. if you’ve not seen On Any Sunday… you should. He’s in it as himself lying to his movie production company about racing motorcycles.
    2. “Pain Cave” sounds mildly (or INCREDIBLY) homo-erotic… also, is it bad if I ride till it hurts, then I stop?
    3. That cat who stands on it’s hind legs linked in the previous comment is proof that they will rise and kill us all (the house cats). They are now but a couple pounds and a thumb away from ending humanity.
    …. totally brah

  19. Simon Carr May 31, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Just to follow up from a local perspective; the Bryant thing seemingly hasn’t “emboldened the enemy” so to speak. Toronto drivers are still only almost killing me during my commutes and aren’t going for the full 10-point bonus quite yet.
    I’m let down but not at all surprised by the outcome. Bryant is the very definition of “connected”.
    It’s nice country up this way but we still have our fill of incredibly dysfunctional behaviors from our leadership on every level. He’s not even the worst killer associated with our governing bodies (we have had a major military commander who is, in fact, a serial killer. No shit.)