End of the month cop-out part one.

For a few weeks I’ve been mulling over various ideas of new and potentially more betterer concepts for content on the AHTBM website project blog thing, and one prospect that crossed my mind was to periodically do a feature with a stand alone post containing the articles I wrote for the now defunct PAVED Magazine. It was my first ‘regular’ writing gig, and one that I was very proud of, given the fact that I don’t hold my own intellect, or ability to do anything aside from hold grudges in very high regard.

So for the final Friday, for however many weeks there are until I run out of articles, or until the publisher hits me with a cease and desist order, I will be posting here the pre-edited features I wrote for Paved Magazine, as well as the article’s accompanying photos for the two and a half years or so that it was in existence. I hope you enjoy it. If you don’t, you always can change the channel.

Issue number one
Photo by Brian Vernor
Those bikes have such skinny tires. How do you stay upright?” was what my dad said to a family friend who was a tirelessly committed roadie. “I manage” he smiled, as he was off riding his umpteenth time to Vail, which to me at my young age seemed an insurmountable task. The place was Colorado’s Front Range and the time was one filled with visions of The Coors Classic, and ‘Breaking Away’. Of course like most kids my age, I was head over heels into BMX, yet I was still mesmerized by his bike’s graceful lines, and elegant detail.

Fast forward to the mid nineties, and a scene consisting of me wrenching in some random bike shop or another. I remember specifically being a Cannondale dealer, because at the time we were offering an incentive program in which an individual could bring us their old road bike frame set in exchange for a deal on a new one.

One day a fellow sauntered in carrying a beat up orange Ritchey and was ready to give it over. Immediately I could tell that it was just about my size. I think he took note of the desire in my eyes. “I have a few other pretty nice steel bikes, and I don’t mind trading this one in” he said. “If you have one that you could send in in its place, you can take this one off my hands.” It just so happened that the bike I had previously messengered on was hanging just feet from where we stood, broken at the bottom of the seat tube.

We shook hands, and the switcheroo took place. At the time an old friend of mine was working in Colorado Springs at Spectrum Powder Works, and I had long admired the work that came out of their shop. I figured the best thing to do in order to give my steed a new lease on life was to gussy it up.

When it came back to me it was deep blue metal flake, with some goofball hot rod flames, and in the location where pros generally have their names, it said simply ‘I’m a drunk’. This bike was my newly reclaimed love, and no sooner did I have it built, was I out the door amassing hundreds of miles. Finally when the odometer clicked over to 10,000, I had my eyes set in newer and shinier directions. Several years earlier Scot Nicol from Ibis had traded me a road bike tube set for a painting I had done which for some months that followed, sadly collected dust in various corners of my house.

Eventually during a reception for an art show, Mo Rebolledo (who at that time was welding bikes for the Sycip brothers) had inquired if I would be interested in trading a painting for a Fiat he had stashed away in his garage. This inquiry was immediately puzzling to me, but at the time I saw it as a perfect opportunity to make use of that nearly forgotten set of tubes. “No” I said. “I would not, but how about a road bike, if I supply the materials?” A deal was made and after a fitting and several phone conversations, I took delivery of my very own custom cobalt blue Sycip road bike frame.

Again, I begged, borrowed and stole all of the necessary parts to get my bike built, and when the final setscrew was turned, and cable crimped, I found myself exploring what at this point has once again almost culminated in another 10,000 miles.

Not unlike my personal relationships, my bike is multifaceted in its commitments to me. We have an unspoken understanding, and if that means a solo forty-mile mud splattered fire road grind to celebrate the Spring classics, or a century along a seemingly endless ribbon of jet black tarmac, together we are one. I quietly point it in the direction of punishment and pleasure, and without exception, it always returns the favor.

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Leave a Reply

21 Responses to “End of the month cop-out part one.”

  1. Yam September 26, 2014 at 4:46 am #

    I approve of Management’s decision to fire up the Way Back Machine, keep it coming. Thank you.

  2. Matt September 26, 2014 at 5:19 am #

    Not a cop-out at all. Hope you get it all out there before someone stops you.

  3. Adam September 26, 2014 at 5:22 am #

    I fackin’ love this.

  4. Juan Chavez September 26, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    You, Joe P. and the rest of the guys and gals that put that magazine together did a great job. It was inspirational. I was sorry to see it wrap up. My favorite magazine ever has a cherished spot on my bookshelves.

  5. JP September 26, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    I really miss Paved even though I hate road bikes in general, thanks for putting these back out there in the world

  6. B. Butler September 26, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    Bring it. And don’t stop.

  7. JP September 26, 2014 at 6:29 am #

    Wait; hate is a strong word. I just require knobbier and dirt in my life and don’t like rides that require I keep focus on some guy’s butt in lycra right in front of me.

  8. Dan September 26, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    Good shit… This was an enjoyable read. Thanks.

  9. vinc September 26, 2014 at 6:47 am #

    turning the channel, road bikes are about as interesting as a U2 song.

  10. timothyday September 26, 2014 at 7:23 am #

    Paved was a great mag and I always enjoyed your corner of it. Keep ’em comin’.

  11. Josh RVA September 26, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    It is good to remember the things that are meaningful. Keep the good memories coming!

  12. somedudeinFLA September 26, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    Bravo! I really enjoyed that and thought it was well written and inspiring. Keep it coming! …on fridays. Just make sure the rest of the week i get my fill of dirty words and punk rock lol

  13. Joey P September 26, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    If this is copping out then I recommend you cop out early and often. Great read.

  14. billy September 26, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    love it. keep ’em coming!

  15. monkeynutz September 26, 2014 at 11:22 am #

    excellent prose. We all have been there when we give up most anything to get a bike out the door

  16. Cricket September 26, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

    I don’t have any recollection or memory that I think I recall of remembering that you told me that you once mentioned that you had at one time been a messenger …at least as far as I recall from my memory of thinking back to previous conversations of being messengers and of previously having been messengers in the world of messengering. I’ve fallen on my head a few times, as far as I can recall remembering.

  17. Ulyssesronquillo September 26, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    Seriously, who wrote that?

  18. Dwighte Trashe September 27, 2014 at 5:56 am #

    In high school I did the most awesome book report about J.R.R. Tolkien “the hobbit”- Will you repost that for me?

  19. Lewis likes skids September 27, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    What a wonderful story. Thank you.

  20. Hurl Eversonic September 29, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    chapeau! Perhaps you’ll get paid now?

  21. blacksocks September 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    you’re a great writer. embrace every opportunity to share your words… (providing you get paid…).