Ah yes. As I was discussing only yesterday, I had just returned from the fourth (or fifth) Grinduro event, hadn’t showered in days, had a truck packed to the rafters in with stickers emblazoned with bad words, as well as a smattering of them ‘Worship Satan, Respect Women’ shirts (a whole size run of which just landed in the above linked store), and was about to cave in from hunger.
So now that I’m sorta unpacked, definitely showered, and mostly fed, I will continue.
As I’ve explained a few times in person, and perhaps once or twice on the internets, I had but a tentative plan to make it to the event, but once Mr. Blacksocks asked if I’d like to have a little pop up store of my own, I couldn’t refuse.
“So who died in order for me to get this offer?” I asked.
The query was never answered.
Whoever they were, I’m sorry for their family’s loss. It ended up being my gain however, as I emerged from the weekend with three solid days of riding under my belt, and at least a couple of Benjamins more in my pocket than I started with.
Not me, I guess.
Anyway, it was a fruitful trip, during which I got to slap hands and share hugs with folks I’ve known for twenty five years, folks I’d just met, and all shades of humans in-between.
Time will tell if the event will just get better (again, I have nothing to compare it to as I’ve successfully avoided going up until now), if it will eventually go the way of The Fonz, singlespeeding, and punk rock, or if by some strange twist of fate, it remains true to its original vision, which from my perspective is simply to eat good food, ride fun trails, enjoy quality humans, and if time allows, freeze your genitals off in an alpine swimming hole.
What follows are a random smattering of images. Most are pretty self explanatory, but there will be a few which I feel compelled to describe. Otherwise, let your eyeballs do the walking and decide for yourself if perhaps the 2019 Grinduro might be a thing for you;
While it might look like I just tacked a bunch of garbage to a couple of pieces of plywood, the fact of the matter is that I disassembled the walls of my studio for my pop up. The collection possessed smalls scraps that have in some cases adorned my studio walls for up to thirty years.
The adage goes that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, and that is clearly no truer than in this very instance;
Just beyond where I spent a bulk of my days, there were much prettier things (not to mention, prettier people) to gaze upon than my random scraps of detritus;
Later on during the first official evening in town, upon recognizing that none other than Tony Alva himself was making a surprise appearance with The Mattson Two;
-art guy to the stars, Chris McNally looked exactly like this;
I was shell shocked, and eventually got to meet the legend myself. He couldn’t have been nicer, despite the fact that I was a stammering idiot. Somewhere out there, there might be photographic evidence of the exchange, but based on what I’d imagine was a record breaking slack jaw on my face, I won’t be saddened if they never see the light.
The following day, the race got underway, so Intern C and I made with the bike riding, and then spent a bit of time at the final rest stop;
Once back at the venue, I milled around awaiting the return of the bikecycle racers, and made my way to see this beautiful beast. This here rig down below is made by a company called Four Wheel Campers;
Would you like to see the guts? Well, thanks to modern technology, now you can;
I first came across their company in 1998 at that year’s running of the NORBA Mammoth mountain bike race. I was transfixed. I talked to the representative well beyond what they most likely had patience for, and as I walked away, had visions of outfitting one with a little drawing table, getting a cat, throwing a bike on the back and hitting the road, slam dancing in my head.
In the years since, those visions haven’t slowed down, and when I saw they were scheduled to exhibit at this year’s event, they were one of the primary vendors I planned on visiting.
I did the math and figured at the rate I’m working, I could probably afford a gutted one in about two years.
No telling what might transpire, because if I’d begun saving when I first crossed the company’s path, I could have paid for one by now. (Granted, at the time I had neither a truck, or a cat, so clearly I had my work cut out for me.)
I eventually pulled myself away from my dreams, and got back to jibberjabbering;
The evening following the race’s conclusion, there were award ceremonies, DJs, and hi-jinx galore, but I opted to return to camp where we ate a bit of food, drank some drinks, and got lost in the dancing flames of our propane fueled camp fire.
With my departure nearing, on my last day in town, Chris, Jessica and I beat feet back into the woods where we chatted, goofed around, and baptized ourselves;
At the end of it all, any doubts I had regarding the quality of an event this size were erased.
Tons of shiny, happy people returned to where they came even shinier, and happier, a few people won the various stages, and according to CD, everyone else got second, and most importantly, The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship made a respectable chunk of change with which they will continue to develop and maintain a world class network of trails in the region.
Now it’s with that, I thank you for your time. I see the proverbial campfire’s flames begin to dwindle, and the time to pull the plug on this installment of story telling has come, 99% of which I can nearly promise to be true.