Youth gone mild.
As I sit here and begin the beginning of today’s post, I’m thinking about Skid Row.
Truthfully I’m never not thinking about Skid Row, because of all the rock and roll bands the eighties provided us, never was there one with a hotter singer;
Man, she was a total babe.
But here in the middle of my 40s, I also think about youth a lot, or more specifically mine. I won’t say that I’ve lost it exactly, but more that I occasionally misplace it.
Nobody wants to come here and listen to an old man lament his lost vigor, or ‘where it all went wrong’, but I gotta say, since pinning this ode to skateboarding, and actually putting my money where my mouth was, I haven’t been able to walk right since.
I won’t say that I am a naturally gifted cyclist, but over the decades, I have at least become reasonably proficient at it. Challenging myself both physically and mentally in the act of pushing oneself around a skatepark/parking lot/basement homemade bank has been the most fun I’ve had in years, but Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, has it taken a physical toll on me.
I try not to get too deep into my head in wondering why I’m not as good as I once was, or how many months will pass (if that’s even possible) until I am. I simply am trying to remain present and enjoy the here and now, as well as the periodic earth shattering slam, of which I’ve already had a few.
Since my return, I’ve come to learn of a world wide weekend tradition called ‘Slappy Sunday’, on which old and young people alike converge in parking lots, and have their way with whatever curbs are available, and engage in a maneuver called the Slappy. For those not in the know, a Slappy is a simple, and elemental skateboard trick, in which the pilot throws themselves against a curb and grinds along the lip;
In my time away, a myriad of variations have been developed, all of which leaves me scratching my head, and rubbing my swollen ankles;
Dennis Busenitz clearly knows a thing or two that I don’t.
Just the same, my last few Sundays have been filed with beer, laughter, snacks, girl watching, hanging out with friends;
-And slamming so epically, my soul got bruised.
Like riding singletrack, some people will always be better and some people will be worse, but it’s the path that lead them there that’s exactly the same. It’s the pursuit of peace, and self discovery, and challenge and though that, the gain that drives us to do what we do.
Ironically, my reemergence in skateboarding and its community has added fuel to my love of being on a bike, which in turn has reminded me of my love of skateboarding, and ’round and ’round it goes.
Granted, one thing that you don’t often see while dorking it up in a parking lot are the discarded fruits of dog walker’s efforts;
I’d like to note that this pile was collected by me in a preposterously short distance, on a recent sojourn into the woods.
And again, while I do appreciate people taking their four legged companions on walks and treating them to a taste of the great outdoors, if I should ever happen to come across an individual leaving one of these behind, I’ll go on record by saying I plan on completely losing my marbles.
Thankfully however, Yafro made contact with evidence of, for lack of a better title, a dog shit Bigfoot;
We were walking around on the local trails yesterday and as we’re coming down (retracted) toward the bottom of the park a guy scrambled across the creek valley and headed down the trail in front of us.
My better half pointed out that he might be the poop fairy because he was carrying a clear plastic bag with a bunch of colored plastic bags inside of it yet he had no dog with him.
He was hustling down the trail so this is the only picture I was able to get. You can kind of see the red bag in his right hand;
Good on him. There’s a special place in the Heavens for this fella, and I hope that he knows the depth of my appreciation.
Besides that saintly individual, another one of the things I gladly come across whilst engaged in the mountainbikecycling however, are likeminded and happy peeps, not unlike those featured in a new video that was shared with me by Peter;
Peter (sutro shred creator) here with a new video! I just made a video for my
high school mountain biking team, San Francisco Composite (maker of corn dog parody video). The video is a great introduction and also depicts the spirit of high school mountain bike racing, one of the fastest growing sports across the U.S.
It would be super rad if you posted it.
(High School Junior, Video Creator)”
Peter’s proof that the kids are alright, and based on his use of a camera, and video editing software, approximately 185% smarter than I am.
Peter and his compatriots are keeping the good time fires burning, and are clearly appropriate guards of the gate until their youth goes the way that nature sometimes intends.
pretty good post today, especially for an old fart.
Old Fart? OLD FART?
Man’s still got several decades to live through before he can officially be known as an Old Fart.
Here’s the thing about Youth, Stevil, you never lose it, it just goes deep undercover for a while until it finally says ‘fuck this’ & comes out to play again.
The really cool thing is that now that the meat sack that it’s in is so seriously battered & scarred it blows people’s minds.
I’m 4 months away from 60, I bomb around the company car park on my board early in the mornings, grey hair, white beard, freaks people out & then I go ride bikes at lunch time.
Never had a board when I was young, (times were tough), I taught myself to ride one 2 years ago when I decided that I wasn’t checking out of this life without having a skateboard.
I need to start skating again. I am staring at my board right now.
I like that the average board size is back up over 8″s. (TWSS)
Raise your hand if you’ve ever ridden your bike to work and thought about ‘not taking that left into the parking lot’. I’m sure there are a lot of us that miss our 1985 Haro Master with peregrine mags, ACS rotor, AME’ grips, stadium tires… Man I used to shred that coping! Keep on keepin’ on you old fart! -AC
Jesus… Yesterday BikeSnob mentioned Cro Mags and getting old. I was wearing a Cro Mags tshirt. Then today, your old fart ramblings about aging. And i just had yet another birthday recently… Oh well. TEA BAGGIN!!
SF Composite kids are pretty RAD!
In the mid eighties, when my friend and I rode our mountain bikes home from Lowell (public nerd high school), we would pass by St. Ignatius (expensive Jesuit high school), where the rich kid jocks would call us “bike fags” and tell us to buy a car. And now they have the SF Composite mountain bike team. My how the times have changed…
Between the Fondon’t guy posting Rebecca’s vid yesterday, and your guys, today, . . . I’m starting to feel . . . I dunno . . . hopeful? Optimistic? I’m not sure, ’cause I haven’t felt this before . . .
the day before yesterday, Ian was doing a manual down a hill on his new 29″ version of the Pk Ripper. The brakes were soggy and when he tried to feather them, nothing happened. He started to fall back and basically landed running, flintstone style. All day yesterday he was moaning and stretching and icing, and then commented that he doesn’t remember riding a bike hurting so badly. He too was dealing with the limitations of age. I was the jerk that reminded him how hard it is to be a warehouse manager when you can barely stand… So he grabbed his deck and and rolled around on that instead. 15 minutes later, he returned, head down, deck in hand, and asked if I could apply a layer of tiger balm to his entire body.
Both of you are trying to tackle this age thing and it brings a smile to my face and some warmth to my frigid little heart.
Also, that kids mtb team looks cool. I wish that existed at my high school. Everyone drove tractors or fancy collector’s muscle cars.
I keep all four wheels on the ground these days. My 42 year old self is much more about flow than acrobatics. Carving big arcs… Not falling down… Any “trick” that can’t be done while holding a beer (and not spilling it) is probably not going to get done.
I body slammed my self so good on Sunday.. I had to pull the plug and leave the park.. Went home and got on the bike trying to find a balance. Back for more tomorrow night.. Head over heals in my mid life sk8 crisis.. Four wheels two wheels join the revaluation..
The Skid Row intro reminded me of this incident “In what is referred to as “The Bottle Incident” by fans of the band…Bach threw the bottle back, hitting a girl (not the thrower)”. That girl was my babysitter.
Glad to see the kids moving on to bigger and better things. Nice post today. I kind of miss you. Sea Otter/lobotomy (same diff)?