And I’m back.
Sorry for the lag here. As the (soul) employee of this rolling shit show, I drop the ball constantly, and this instance was no different.
So I’m back from Portland’s first ever Made custom bicycle show with tales to tell. I was planning on being there from tip to tail but then I got the news that The Bronx was set to headline one of our own tiny little venues right here in Doodlingham, so instead of going to waste away in bikearitaville, I punked the hell out;
Charles Peterson I am most certainly not.
I would also like to say that I don’t care for using a flash when a smoke machine is employed.
Oh, and in my ongoing one-question band interviews, I wanted to ask Bronx guitarist (and Colorado native) Joby Ford which on Thrasher Magazine’s 1984 ‘Blazing Wheels And Barking Trucks Vol.2‘ skate rock compilation was his standout track.
I would say anything by Los Olvidados– I got turned onto them (and the whole San Jose sound) also – I have never met anyone that ever saw ’em either.
Watching the schizphonics makes me want to go to the chiropractor. Such a rad band.
I then went on to tell him a story about one time when I was standing in line behind a guy wearing a Los Olvidados shirt, and upon asking him about it, finding out that he was actually the singer. I ended up seeing them, Free Beer, and the Drunk Injuns about a year later.
So score a point for old Stevil.
Anyhoo, I woke up at the ass crack of the following day, skampered off to pick up Joe, and we beat feet to the city of roses were we were met by 90 degree temps, and a 45 minute sprint from our host’s house to the venue where we arrived just in time for my poster signing at King Components;
I signed those for about 90 minutes or so, and then stood up to make the rounds. I saw some cool stuff which I haphazardly snapped quick, poorly-lit images of, before pulling the cord, and getting the hell out of there.
The people are always what makes shows for me, and because I was seeing a number of these people for the first time since the last NAHBS (2017, I think?) and for the first time since Covid/my entire life was uprooted and flung northward, to say I was overwhelmed would be a tremendous understatement.
Just the same, I tried to do my duty and for better or worse, the are some of the things, and people that I saw;
As a matter of fact, thew only person I’d seen was Curtis Inglis, when I’d happened to randomly bump into him while camping by myself in 2020.
So to say bicycles were the first thing I had on my mind would be wholly untrue.
The first thing on my mind was to get into some cold air, and find some cold beer, which we did with quickness;
I couldn’t bring myself to return to the show for a second day, so I had a late breakfast with some friends and spent the day riding around the city looking at things, and reflecting on life.
I’d hoped to link up with some out of town people following the show, but it seemed like everyone pulled up stakes and hit the road immediately.
One thing I did finally make good on was reaching out to Rudy at Black Magic Paint, and getting onto of a shop visit, which I’d only been threatening to do for years. Thankfully, he was available, and we spent an hour drinking coffee, looking around at projects, talking about his history, professional process, punk rock, his band Jade Dust, skateboarding, physical ailments/therapy, and the degree of absolute perfectionism to which individuals in his particular line of work have to commit;
Like Spectrum, and Bellingham’s own Made Rad, Black Magic is one of a very few and rare companies that has the enviable skill of making your rolling work of art, an even more beautiful one.
So let’s see… What else happened?
Apparently Shimano was present and was being (wo)manned by my old Gravel ace Kirsten Legan, but in my haste of getting TFO of there, I couldn’t swing by and slap hands.
I did get a heads up about some pretty badass goings-on in their camp however which I think I’m now at liberty to discuss, which of course is the new GRX 12 speed;
I asked her for an easy breakdown as opposed to one of the stock, wordy press releases that are attached to stuff like this and she emailed me the following;
GRX RX820 Mechanical – It’s rooted in simplicity and reliably so we can get out and adventure without overthinking it all. With three unique drivetrain options, there’s more gearing options for the way you want to ride. The new goods have dropped and they are super badass 🙂
If you have a hankering to get a far more detailed scoop than just that, you can head to Shimano USA for the breakdown on the shakedown.
I have a bunch more fodder which I reckon I’ll get cracking on in next Tuesday’s post so let’s put a pin in this for now, and I’ll direct your opinion to the brand newest episode of Revolting;
Clearly there’s more than enough love for everybody.