Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Still Inspiring

This piece of spoken word and film from Eric Darby still chokes me up. Makes me feel good about what I do even when I'm just chopping up bicycles.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I ride a bike not a bandwagon.

This picture is from 5+ years ago, not long after I found this frame and fork at Citybikes for $75. One recently went on ePay for $530, ridiculous if you ask me.

A long time ago, like right after Quicksilver came out, I lost my desk job. I thought I would give being a bike courier a shot. I got a job with Choice Courier in Post Office Square in Boston, Mass. It was February at the time so I was biking in the snow and slush. I was using my MTB, a Trek 970 with some wheels I built: Bullseye hubs laced to Araya RM-20's. After some anxiety about losing my expensive wheelset I borrowed a friend's road bike, a Raleigh Technium. I liked the light weight and speed of it, and it was fairly comfortable. The only road bike I had before this was my Schwinn Varsity back in 8th grade.

There were some messengers in Harvard Square that rode track bikes. I knew this one girl messenger named Helena, she had blonde dreads, was slender, and as tall as me. I tried her bike out, and man was fixed gear weird compared to what I was used to, mostly BMX at the time. Just sitting while pedaling was almost a foreign concept that I had barely gotten used to in the short time I had owned the Trek. Needless to say that despite the pure beauty of a lugged track bike with Campagnolo/Cinelli everything, and knowing of a shop that could assist me in building one (Columbian Square Bicycle Shop, Weymouth, Mass.) they just freaked me out. I wasn't as open-minded back then, even though I thought I was, I was too fucking punk rock. I enjoyed punching and coasting and jumping off shit too much to give it up (or learn something different). I would have had to give up the Trek to get a track bike anyhow and I wasn't about to do that.

I lasted about two weeks doing this. I wasn't making enough money, mainly because I was out of shape and slow. I got another desk job and that was the end of that. I can't help to think how different my life would have been if I had got into track bikes back then. Bike-wise it would have taken me in a whole different direction. I wonder if I would have kept riding BMX (street-oriented freestyle) or if I would have gotten into riding fixed. At the time the two seemed very incongruous even though these days they are hopelessly intertwined. Just think how far ahead of the times I would have been.