Here we go again.

Ready to repeat the repeat.

After having attended the Sea Otter Classic, Celebration Of The Bicycle™©® for over two decades, what is the one constant that I’ve noted here time and time again?

The thing that always catches my eye at the bike things are cars;

Perhaps my appreciation for such vehicles stems from the fact that I spend at least 98% of my waking hours fantasizing about how the hell I’m going to run away forever, never to be heard of again.

The remaining 2% covers my financial reality.

But not all of the internal combustion on display inspired dreams of disappearing. This one in particular just inspired dreams of hauling ass to nowhere in particular;

I asked the fella who owned it about it, and he told me a pretty interesting story. It seems that it was originally owned by an Australian engineer, who was living over here on a work visa in the employ of Tesla. At some point, his superiors at the company asked him to do something other than the job that was listed on his visa. Knowing this would jeopardize his stay, he refused, at which time, his bosses, as well as Elon Musk himself got real damned uppity. He said ‘screw you’ and filed a formal complaint with the USCIS. This resulted in his visa getting yanked, and he had to bail out to his next job in China or something, so he called his buddy (the guy I was talking with) and asked if he wanted to buy his bug. He’d noted that is was in a storage facility and if could swing it, dude would let it go for six grand.

Which is about what one of those rear shocks retails for, (that I just realized that in my infinite wisdom, I didn’t even get a photo of.)

So more or less, save for the guy who had to quick sell his baby, the story has a happy ending.

But back to getting out of dodge for a second- The apple of my eye, the crown jewell of my fantasies, that which one day might be mine was present- Being the fine wares of Four Wheel Campers;

Most recently, I offered an introduction to the company in this post, but I’ve longed for one of these since first discovering the company at the Mammoth mountain bike Nationals in 1997.

I also saw this car, which was pretty cool;

But since I was at a bike thing, I reckoned I should at least document a couple of bike thing related things that caught my eye.

A few such things are as follows in no particular order.

Happening by the Bike Magazine booth, I was ecstatic to see that the Shitbike had made its triumphant return;

Some folks might recall when I had the privilege of piloting said bike in a local outlaw race many years ago, and penning an article about it for the monthly feature about the burgundy anomoly;

Photo by Pamela Palma.
Alas, they killed the feature as mine was submitted and my words about the old beast never saw the light of day.

Marin Bicycles had an adventure bike on display that had the only thing one would need for a few days in the woods;

Ritchey Bicycles had a replica Swiss Cross just like Thomas Frischneckt’s, but with some updated bells and whistles;

Panaracer unveiled their Romero (left) and Aliso (right);

These meats are available in 27.5 as well as 29er sizes, and as I understand work optimally on dry, rocky trails, but have been getting ridiculously high marks in all conditions.

Having long been a fan of Panaracer (the Dart/Smoke combo in particular), I never waste an opportunity to see what they have cooking, and I’m never disappointed.

Why, they even have a pretty fine looking gravel/cross offering with the GravelKing Mud;

Since I ride my skinny tired bike like most folks ride a mountain bike, I prefer something with a knob. However the center tread (much like that on the Bruce Gordon Rock and Road tires) gives a bit of a centerline, reducing rolling resistance.

I just bought two camping chairs to replace one that’s been broken for two years, and one that got misplaced at last summer’s Grinduro race, so once I get a little bit extra scratch, you can bet I’m gonna splurge on a pair of these skins.

Of course no trip to the season opener would be complete without a gander of new XTR widgets;

They’re always just so pretty.

Besides the stuff, there were also people, who I quite enjoy, like for example Blind Bobby;

Do you know about Bobby?

For all that is good and right, you should;

The guy is a legend.

Moving on, I further documented folks who make the bicycle world special, for without them, I’d have no interest left in it;

As far as my actual stay in the venue went, unlike last year, this time around I remembered a tent and sleeping pad;

I did however, seem to leave my house with no jacket.

Luckily for me, Junker happened to have found a official issue Sea Otter Classic Celebration Of The Bicycle®©™ jacket laying on the road, which he loaned to me for the duration of my stay;

I say ‘loaned’ and ‘duration of my stay’, but truth be told, I still have it. In fact, I brought it home and washed it.

Should the actual owner of the jacket see this, and would perhaps like it back, reach out to me. It kept me from freezing to death on Thursday, and for that I have to give thanks. If I don’t hear from anyone, there’s a good chance I’ll use it to smuggle beer into the venue and erroneously answer random people’s questions again next year.

At some point while wandering around the expansive venue this year, it occurred to me that for the first time in all of my years attending this event, I watched exactly zero seconds of bike racing, which besides actually racing myself, when I started going way back a long time ago, was the primary draw.

Alas, I did take some time to watch some little skutters cruise around and have fun, that at the end of the day made a greater impression on me anyway;

I suppose there will always be next year to watch some of the bikecycle racistings, after which time, just like this time, we can say as we always say, “here we go again“, again.

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6 Responses to “Here we go again.”

  1. Largo April 16, 2019 at 8:15 am #

    The money required to get into one of those fancy-schmancy Sprinter camper vans is just stoopid. I mean, who can actually pay for that glitz? I know it’s The Thing these days on instagram etc, fancy vans in nice places, but isn’t it all about simple and cheap?
    Or maybe I’m just poor and dum.
    I dunno.

    • eb April 17, 2019 at 6:34 am #

      I’m not on instagrams, so I don’t know much more than when somebody says “hashtag vanlife” it makes me want to punch them. It’s a pound sign, assholes.

      Anyhoo, the first generation (2003-2006) Sprinters are getting more affordable, especially when compared to a Four Wheel Camper and a truck that can handle one. The first gens also have a far more bomber engine than the newer Sprinters, too with a simpler emissions system.

      The newer vans with the fancy build-outs will come down in price in a few years when the trendy trendsters trend over to a new trend. The biggest challenge will be getting the smell of the incense and patchouli out of the upholstery.

  2. CD April 16, 2019 at 9:11 am #

    You know what we figured out 25 years ago? Cars R Coffins. Look it up.

    • VR April 16, 2019 at 2:25 pm #

      Cars might be Coffins, but I’d rather die by #frontbutt

  3. Awful Falafel April 17, 2019 at 6:48 pm #

    I’m so glad to hear that someone else dreams of running away and never being heard from again.

  4. Tony Two Times April 23, 2019 at 2:24 pm #

    For me, owning a mobile escape pod means that ditching all the claustrophobic madness of life and heading out for good is possible at any given moment.

    The knowledge of which seems to be just enough keep the actual doing of it at bay.

    So far anyway. It’s only 7:23AM after all.