It seems like it was a mere three decades ago when I was here lamenting what assuredly was going to be among the most tumoltious in contemporary American history. Alas, it was but four, in which we packed more dystopian reality than Cormac McCarthy could shake a stick at.
Alas, here we are on what hopefully is a smooth cruise for at least a little while. I honestly don’t think my nervous system can take anymore of what the last four years have served.
But I can’t let it be said that I think the new administration is an ideal one. We’ve replaced a giant platter of shit, with dozens of plates of garbage. After months of protesting police over-reach, we went and doubled down by electing a cop as a vice president. Yes, Kamala Harris is a strong, brilliant, brown woman, (from Oakland, no less) and I’m barely able to contain my excitement about all of these facts, but what I’ve watched her do as California’s Attorney General leaves boatloads to be desired. Are they better than T and P? Lightyears, but they’re still punk ass politicians who I will happily continue to hold over the fire.
Just the same, I feel like I’m able to breathe full breaths, and not trapped in an inescapable inferno for the first time since 2016, and for that simple fact alone, at least for now I’m grateful. We lashed our busted-ass little dinghies together, and survived, and that ain’t nothing.
Having said that, I think I’d like to talk about bikes for a quick second. Specifically, two (plus one) metal fully suspended bikes, both of which have struck a fancy deep within my heart. The first one is the powerfully handsome Myth Cycles out of Colorado;
Previous to today, I hadn’t heard of Myth, but seeing that somebody is making what by all appearances is a totally capable full suspension bikes inspire echos of the words Ferrentino pinned so many years ago regarding the notion that if steel were discovered today, it would truly be the new wonder material.
Personally, I have a real soft spot for steel bikes, and I’d be lying if I said the Zodiac didn’t give any soul a bit of a tickle.
Shortly after stumbling across that beaut, I caught wind that Ibis has gone and released the aluminum Ripley AF;
They both are capable XC/trail bikes that (if I’m reading the specs correctly) offer 140/150 and 120/130mm of travel respectively.
Certainly, at $6,000 for the Zodiac, and $3,300 for the Ripley (as shown), those of us treading water financially hold no hope of swinging a leg over either of those for the foreseeable future, but at least in the big picture of the here and now, I’m excited to see these two offerings, both of which make me feel inspired to engage in some woodland rad-getting.
Related, in that it’s an even smaller batch frame than either of the two I just mentioned, and at this point for the time being are not even available, (the initial run’s all been spoken for), Rick Hunter has been working furiously on his own steel boinger out there in the cuts to where he’s relocated since bailing from the Santa Cruz mountains a year or two ago;
I couldn’t get a proper glam shot as when I contacted him, (“non drive side shots show off the frame more, that’s my deal“), plus, he was buried under his baby daughter reading books about dogs, but you get the idea.
Bikes are cool, and metal bikes are cooler, but steel bikes are the coolest.
Perhaps I should expand my horizons, but the Virgo in me isn’t much for change.
Moving on from cool bikes, to a sneak peek of some upcoming AHTBM merch, I’m proud to announce that after many months of dragging my feet, I’m finally pulled the trigger on a long anticipated partnership with Giro in which we release our branded glove, the ‘Low Five’;
Because this is just a two dimensional mock up, a few changes have already been addressed- (font, turning the ‘W’ over, etc.) I think I began talking with Mr. Blacksocks about the notion of this project somewhere in the neighborhood of six years ago, and because I don’t do anything very quickly, the back burner is where it’s sat. Having been a long-committed devotee of Iron Clad gloves, (because Captain Dave worked for them, and gave me stuff), I never tried out anything new until I was in Moab a year ago this past summer with Joe and Laura from Soulrun. I happened into Poison Spider bike shop, and bought some Giro gloves for myself.
I was worried about the Giro’s minimal padding (the Iron Clads are doubly padded, so I’m used to all that thickness), but they quickly have become my go-to.
I’ll be getting a pre-production pair for preliminary use/photos/loss of one this coming week, and the full production run should land within a month to six weeks of that. If you happen to be in the market for some gloves, hold on just a little while and let me see if Giro and I can’t fulfill that need.
In news of other AHTBM related product, this past weekend I spent a fair amount of time listening to that Who Rides The Tiger record I put out a few years ago, and though I’m clearly biased, not only does it still hold up, it remains one of my favorite records to date. I don’t have very many copies left, so if you like pissed off rock music, records, lyric sheets, stickers, 180 gram vinyl, and digital downloads that should always come with every vinyl release forever and ever, amen, then get to the store and snag yourself a copy;
I have excellent taste in music, and I guarantee that you won’t be sorry.
Finally, I’d like to make note of the following photos that I shot a year ago this past fall/summer, and finally got around to collaging;
I’d been intending to put these together for a minute, but you know- Between my life and the world at large both hitting the fan, I never got around to it.
There’s something about this image that brings me calm. The thought of the sound of rushing water from a wintertime deluge, or the rustling leaves in a summer time afternoon breeze…