Bikes are hard.

Though when you don’t actually know how to ride, it’s the crashing part that’s easy.

So, uh.. Hello there. Welcome to Monday and stuff.

Just so we’re all on the same page, today’s post is about what I did this weekend, which was awesome and also horrible.

All told, I spent something like 23 hours of total travel time so that I had the opportunity to spend five hours in the speck of a town called Kennett down there in the boot heel of south east Missouri. And the reason I did this was to pay my final respects to my dear aunt.

If you watched this upon its initial release;

And took note of the following;
That was her, and she was a peach.

Anyway, my mom and I made the long trip to Little Rock, where I initially noted the minds behind the Bill and Hillary Clinton International Airport, Architectural Alliance International;
-wanted little more than for me to ride a skateboard all over their building;
After doing the Lenny and Squiggy palm-bite for a few minutes;
(For those too young to remember, or perhaps living in a place without American television in the late 70s, Lenny and Squiggy were characters on ‘Laverne and Shirley’, which was a spin off from ‘Happy days’, and whenever a pretty girl would walk by, they’d bite their hand. At the time of posting, I’m not sure if they ever did in regard to skateable spot but it seemed like a reasonable enough gesture.)- I eventually greeted my mom and we made our way to our hotel for a bite of food and a night’s rest.

Now this is a pretty trippy part of the story- In 1998 Hurl from Cars-R-Coffins was wrenching for a mountain bike team who was sponsored by the (then) new Cadillac Catera. After having been pen pals for some time, Hurl and I ended up crossing paths in Canmore, Alberta, and he extended an invitation to continue on with his journey. As the NORBA circuit zig-zagged all over America, we drove all across it that summer, and at one point as we made our way through Little Rock, we peeled off the side of the road to get lunch at a random hotel restaurant called ‘Bobbisox’, (that played 50s music, had a ’57 Chevy parked in the middle of the room, and had waitresses that if memory serves, who were dressed as cheerleaders, or wore poodle skirts or something.)

Fast forward to ten years later, and my dad and I were on a road trip back to Arkansas to float the Spring River, and eat a bunch of fried things. Lo and behold, of all the restaurants in all of Little Rock, where should we happen to stop again, but Bobbisox?

Well, that’s quite a coincidence“, I thought to myself back then in 2007. So I was kinda out of my mind when upon entering an eatery off the freeway two days ago called Boston’s, I asked the waitress if this place happened to used to be called something else when she pipped up and said “YEAH! BOBBISOX! I heard things used to get pretty wild in here….

So for some reason, every eight years or so, I randomly wind up in the same restaurant off the side of the freeway in Little Rock. When I die, sprinkle my ashes there.

Or dip your pizza in them and eat me.

With that request being made, let’s continue on.

We bailed out early the next morning without ever having a chance to lounge in the hotel’s, er… Lounge;
I’d also like to mention that the ‘airport carpet sock project‘ has nothing on my forthcoming ‘hotel carpet sock project’;
It was a drunk’s nightmare.

After a solid three hours of road time, we made it to my mom’s hometown, and after a Waffle House re-fueling with my uncle, my cousin, and his impossibly beautiful family, my mom and I killed some time before the memorial to take in a few random sites.

The bank my grandfather ran;
The church where my folks were married, and I was baptized (yeah, you read that right);
As well as the house where my great, great grandfather lived then;
And the house where he lives now;
We made it to the memorial in time for me to catch up with cousins I haven’t seen in 30 years, and for little old ladies to tell me how much I look like both my dad and my grandfather. We listened to stories about my aunt, and I reflected on how much she truly loved to laugh. There was a lot of hugging and laughing and crying and more laughing, and as my mom and I emerged from the air conditioned environs of the memorial, she said “I need a drink.

We met up with her brother (my uncle) who happens to also be the husband of my dad’s sister (my aunt), plus my cousins, and we shared stories, and drinks, and hugs until finally it was time to hit the road again to take in more of this;
And this;
And this;
and this;
It was brilliant, tragic, and affirming, and with hours and hours of travel under my belt, very little sleep, and my nostalgia kicking into overdrive, I thank you for your time, as I will now ready myself for a crash of an entry different kind.

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10 Responses to “Bikes are hard.”

  1. Jeremiah August 18, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    Missouri — my state. Oh, and wow. Will Johnson’s your cousin. Crazy.

  2. Howard Williams August 18, 2014 at 8:51 am #

    Thanks man, I have always though of me and my friends as “good hearted” derelicts…….. That phrase has a future!

  3. bobby August 18, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    “Shameal, Shamozzle, Hops n Pepper Incorporated…” Something that ends with ” We’re gonna do it our waaaay…” Applicable in your case Mr Knieval, to say the least. Memory lane, every time I go home to Redding Cal.

  4. Largo August 18, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    If aero bars are outlawed, only outlaws will use aero bars. They’ll be easy to spot though.

  5. Ghostship Matt August 18, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    Not to defend the tri-bike set, but did anyone else notice that in the tri-bike gif up there the bike is apparently set up moto-style? Maybe the dude was riding a borrowed bike? And why on earth would you borrow a tri bike?

    • B August 20, 2014 at 6:38 am #

      Yes i did notice that. Good eye. all my tri’s are on an aluminum roadbike. maybe that’s why other triathletes won’t high-five me?

  6. Hurl Eversonic August 19, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    Man, that trip down south remains one of the highlights of my, uh, “career.” Thanks for not mentioning the ‘Kentucky Ditch Hopper’ maneuver I pulled with the Suburban while you slept soundly in the passenger seat. Didn’t we also buy a truckload of fireworks on that trip?


    • Stevil August 19, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

      You mean the ‘We Almost Died In An Explosion Of Pea Gravel’ move? Yeah, that. And Vruit. And explosives.

  7. Dirty Cyclist August 19, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    best bike gif ever?

  8. beetarded August 19, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

    hey, in a convoluted kinda way, i got your story and its epic-ness.
    I’m about to use the new “New York Times Machine” to archive our ancestors, sans Kevin Bacon, ancestral slave-owners, and how Jen ended up being our sister-wife. Seriously, alongside the Mormon archives, the NY Times recently launched archive of the last 200 years is cray. Everybody’s ancestors owned slaves, so I’m writing checks, deducting what I do for a living. hoping to break even and cool the bro karma