Or maybe I was just talking to myself.
Whatever the case, we’d built some momentum, and I reckon it’ll benefit us to maintain a little bit of it.
Before that though, I have two really quick items of business to note.
The first being that I just got the word from my screen printer that they got a bit slammed right after I submitted the order for the Respect Women hoodies and Ts;
I’m due to pick them up this coming Thursday, and will get them shipped on Saturday the fifth.
Thank you to everyone who ordered one and I appreciate everybody’s patience.
Secondly, I wanted to let folks know who might care, that this Sunday I’m fixing to have a little skateboard taco party;
I’ll have a couple of boxes of planks available, (each deck comes with a couple of stickers and an issue of the new zine) if you wanna forgo shipping costs.
Come by, grab a deck, eat a taco, and fall down. I can almost promise that it’ll be good for your soul.
Now then- Let’s get back to the saga. Immediately upon walking up on day two, I chatted with some kids camping next-door, a few of whom were mobbing down the hill on an array of tiny bikes they’d brought along with them;
I then promptly showed them the photo of Berg doing the same thing some eighteen years earlier;
While seemingly somewhat impressed, our exchange mostly smacked of why the hell the old guy from next door was talking to them.
Just the same, I felt a pang of pride knowing that no matter what, it would seem as though the derelict torch had been passed.
So after my first night’s sleep on the hard, cold earth, I dragged myself back to the venue where as if directed by Dog’s own hand, I immediately came across Klymit, and promptly dropped some hard earned scratch on one of these;
I have a few sleeping pads in my box of outdoorsy gear, but because I’m a master of bad planning, brought none of them along with me.
With this squishy beast in my corner, I was going to at least have a couple of nights rest not feeling like I was being crushed in a vice;
Thanking the good people from Klymit, I continued on my way to see what else was what.
As always, and as sure as heck, (besides the people who populate it) one of the coolest things at the bike event was a car;
The ten year old me climbed up onto a box and gave the 47 year old me a solid chest bump.
Moving on, I made my way over to Lezyne where I shared a good old fashioned hug with my old editor from Dirt Rag Magazine, Cush, who from this point forward will be known as Captain Tanktop;
We looked at a few of their offerings, and I peeped this cool little tubeless plug deal;
-complete with an etched picto-graphic right smack dab on the canister;
Pull the thing out, push the thing in and twist, push the other thing in, and everybody’s happy.
It’s like a remedial guide to sex.
Peeling out from there, I stepped on to see more friendly faces.
Like for example, Jeff of All City;
Coach Bobo of NICA
Writer extraordinaire, Jen See;
Mo from Dirt Rag Magazine;
And Chelsea from Terevail;
With all hands sufficiently slapped, I then stuck my nose into the Panaracer tent to see Jeff;
It was there I got a load of their 29er version of the best mountain bike tire combo in history, the Dirt and Smoke;
If memory serves, it was explained to me that the 29er version was slightly different than the origional, so maybe I just took a photo of the 26er set, and got confused.
It won’t be either the first or last time that occurs.
Naturally, no trip through the trenches would be complete without a bit of jibber jabber with Giro’s own Mr. Blacksocks;
He is one of the wisest sages in the biz, and at the very least, any interaction I have with him leaves me feeling incrementally better about the world.
There was an unsanctioned goof off dirt bike event set to occur that evening at which I’d had every good intention to get aboard a Lowside and do some highsides, but as they say, the road to Hell is paved with them, and alas, my relationship with the bike remains at a distance.
One of these days, we’ll do a skid together.
I did one of those Kid-n-Play, front kick, back kick things with the Surly derels when who should walk past, but a young woman wearing a Germs shirt;
Real quickly we commiserated about our mutual love for the band, I told her about recently finding my old Germs shirt that I bought in 1987, how guitarist Pat Smear has to wake up every day wondering how he hell he got to where he is, how the movie about the band that came out a few years ago wasn’t nearly as good as we’d hoped, and finally, how neither of us had a Germs burn.
Oh, the people you meet at the bike thing.
And speaking of them, I then saw some more.
Like the legendary Steve Boehmke;
-who presented this card with an image that Dave Epperson shot of him and his buddy Kai racing Repack on a sidehack approximately one million years ago;
Not long after, I ran into former Bianchi product manager, current manager of all things Shinola, and all around legend her own damn self, Sky Yaeger;
Now, ours was an interesting exchange.
Folks might recall the saga I detailed from last year of running into Missy Giove. In the midst of all the flags, bikes, commotion, and mayhem, she and I had the most heart-felt and intimate exchange I could have imagined to take place in such an environment.
I suppose on the heels of that, I was primed to have another, and strangely, that’s exactly what occurred with Sky. We caught up, had some chit chat, and immediately launched into a discussion that broke my dam. Together, we’ve lost some indescribably important figures in our lives over the course of the last year, and here, surrounded by the industry that supports us, we commiserated, and paid tribute to them all.
So as it turns out, having at least one wholly sincere conversation with a dear friend that leaves me in tears is the thing I need in order to get through these events.
Of course a bit of occasional eye candy doesn’t hurt either;
At this chapter of the weekend’s sights and sounds, it felt most proper to then go and heckle a gaggle of able-bodied nimrods riding e-bikes;
And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Like Beetlejuice, if you speak of them repeatedly, one shows up in your presence.
Then I hung out at the dirt volcanoes for a bit and watched a couple of strapping young fellows do aerial acrobatics;
Feeling bad about myself, I then shuffled over to see Paul and the Squid kids do what they do;
After having a beer with them, and messing up the Squid time-lapse video they were shooting, I had one duty to fulfill, and that was to track down Sally;
-and deliver a replacement wristband;
Because his existing ones were real gross.
The sun was fixing to drop to the horizon, and I needed to scoot around to catch up with a few more folks before losing marbles, and getting the hell out of dodge. In no particular order, and to the best of my addled recollection, the remaining humans and things I saw looked something like this;
The lovely and talented Jocelyn Gaudi Quarrell of Portland Design Works;
The lovely and talented Brian Butler and Ed Nasjleti of SRAM;
The lovely and talented whatever the hell this thing is;
The lovely and talented celebrity chef, Chris Cosentino who’s just launched a new energy bar called the Pavé Bar, and who also looks like I owe him money;
And then those damned Tepui tents that I still kinda want one of so bad I can taste it;
Unfortunately, I can’t taste any of the funds necessary to make such a purchase, so it’ll be another long while.
At least I have a nice sleeping pad.
Finally, my time to get getting was at hand. We loaded up the whip, and hauled ass away from everything I just described.