Today was a big day as I have a few more folks to visit, and I had no time for distractions.
Right out of the chute I had an actual, honest to god meeting with GoPro. The details of this might pan out this week. If there is a post up here on Friday, our plans didn’t work out.
Anyway, I met up with my old friend Toshi who has long filled some kind of marketing duties there, and among other topics, we discussed why I’m so retarded that I can never seem to figure out how to properly use my camera. Taking pity, he pulled out a bunch of hardware, and foisted it upon me;
It’s gonna take a bit of doing, but I think I kinda figured out out.
As a matter of fact, I did a two hour time lapse of the Underbike party, but I put the camera up too early, and got basically 3000 photos of the bar filling up.
I’m committed to wrapping my pea brain around that little technological piece of wonderment however so we can maybe one day enjoy a whole new form of media up here on this site.
Pulling up stakes from that joint, we meandered away, and while taking in the sites, bumped into a friend of Toshi’s named Michael who happened to be adorned with Steve Caballero’s first tattoo;
The fella was covered from the tip of his head to the bottom of his feet and promptly invited me upstairs to go under his machine if I got a wild hair. Not having a penchant for pain on that day, I thanked him for his offer, and got to stepping.
If I remember correctly, the following stop was with the dear hearts at Portland Design Works, who put in a quality effort showing me their goods, and putting up with my short attention span;
As I parted ways with them, I felt something looking at me.
I turned around and saw the supremely graceful lines of the Coast Goliath FS;
I previously didn’t know anything about this company, and frankly don’t still. The little bit I gleaned off their website is that they’re based in Singapore, and that from their shop to their cafe, they have a pretty damned sharp aesthetic.
I don’t quite know in what capacity one would ride a full suspension fat bike, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t at least want to give one the old reach around for a while.
What’s that joke about ‘a lotta fun to ride, but you wouldn’t want your friends to see you on it?’
It’s like that.
As time was slipping away, I then made a move to Giro to see what was what in their neck of the woods.
It turns out, a lot;
It just so happens that the coolest thing I saw at the show was right there in the Giro booth. It seems as though they have finally done the impossible and made a fully recyclable/compostable helmet;
You read that right. The Silo’s shell is number nine recyclable plastic, the foam is made from corn, and the webbing is bamboo fiber.
This is akin to Patagonia’s Yulex wetsuits. I asked if they were going to make the material openly source-able for all helmet manufacturers, and was told that it’s a process that’s been developed by the company who is actually making it for them. Hopefully more helmet manufacturers will adopt this technology, (not to mention any company who uses the stuff for packing materials), thereby lessening the piles of Styrofoam and plastic going into the ground.
It’s certainly exciting either way, and I was thrilled by the prospect.
Time was getting short so I headed to The Banjo Brothers to see what was cracking, but on my way ran into more people;
Those two people are still really fast on the bikecycles.
Once within the Brothers’ domain, I was greeted by the Skipper and Little Buddy;
And I got a load of a bit of new product;
This one is waxed cotton with a cordura liner, and they have another that’s similar to their commuter backpack, both of which are slightly smaller, to accommodate smaller people.
I took a photo of that but it looks like my lens was covered in tears, which may have been the case.
Because they care about the needless waste of thousands of sandwich bags, they’ve also just recently released a pretty cool phone case;
We will be partnering on a AHTBM case soon, emblazoned with Michael Pfaltzgraff’s ‘KVLT’ graphic;
Time will tell when these will see the light of day, but the magic eight ball says soonish.
It was at this point Sally reached out to me to see if we’d like to get lunch, which naturally turned into this;
And then Toshi circled back around and had a glass of wine;
And then I met this guy, who used to play soccer with Joe Strummer;
But I was exhausted from the first night in town and had to go get cleaned up and eat a bit of food before heading across town to assist in the set up for Underbike Number Seven;
As I mentioned sometime last week, The NORA Cup awards were happening right next door, and Cranpa from FBM was emceeing the event, so he came over and grabbed me and took me backstage;
We then went into the green room, where I met this guy;
Which was, if you’ll excuse my french, fucking awesome.
For those who might not know, this fellow’s name is Tim ‘Fuzzy’ Hall, and he’s a legend.
Right out of the gate I said “hey, I was with Kevin Wilkins a few weeks ago and he said he’s still got the sweater.”
Fuzzy’s eyes just about popped from their sockets, because I suspect we’re two of perhaps a hundred people in the world who knew to what I was referring;
Before returning to my own party, I then met Dave Mirra, and momentarily tricked him into thinking I was a triathlete.
So far the night was off to a good start.
Getting back to The Mixer®, the bar was beginning to fill, and the one single bartender was slammed. I asked if I could go bar back for her, when a second finally arrived on the scene to take some of the load off. People got their drinks on, and prepared, or came prepared in a suitable fashion;
And just in case anyone was curious about how comitted these four attendees were;
Your answer to that would be ‘real damned’.
The time was about right for the music to start, so I took the mic;
Photo courtesy Jeff Thrasher.
-introducing Ritte Bicycles, Swobo, and Paul Component Engineering. I then thanked Ruben the booking guy, DJ Fish, The Backstage Bar for hosting us, and then finally made way for the reason everyone was there, Lady Sinatra who unleashed their particular brand of sonic mayhem with abandon;
As the chaos tapered off, and supplies of any beer worth drinking fully exhausted, I helped clean up a bit and joined the remaining ne’er-do-wells in the bar/out of the bar/behind the bar for a regrouping;
At this stage, it was late, and we were on the hunt for a hotdog. We found not only that, but this guy, who was having a way rougher night than we were;
We all hit the sacks at 4:00 in the morning, with about a half a day left of work to do.
Rolling back into the land of the living a few hours later, I got a text from Jenn of
People For Bikes reminding me of a photo project they’d proposed for this year’s booth.
The concept was they sent disposable cameras out to a selection of random people, and had them fire off a roll of whatever it was they might have come across while out and about in the world;
I’ll be damned if my camera wasn’t submitted on time, and the photos from which surprisingly weren’t terrible;
There was even some photos of and by this guy;
It was a super cool concept, and I thank People For Bikes for thinking of me when sending cameras out.
We wrapped up all of the shenanigans shortly there after with a bit of time at the pool, and discussions regarding why we do this to ourselves year after year.
The answer of course being that we do because we’re unemployable in any other industry;
Photo by Marley.
Secondly, we do this because no one else is capable.
We might be a rolling shitshow of discombobulation who doesn’t know how to drink from a glass, but it’s our rolling shitshow who doesn’t know how to drink from a glass, and for that I’m eternally grateful.