Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An open letter to Andy

I had a very enthusiastic comment from an Andy yesterday. Which was odd. I thought my last post was about as bland and noncontroversial as a post can get.

Anyway, from the man himself:

"The industry will be better off when it rids itself of whiny, self entitled little bitches like yourself, who think that because you ride a bicycle fast, people buy bikes and parts because of you. Sorry to burst your bubble. Maybe it would mean better wages for "real" shop rats if there were no more Montana Millers. I think it would." 

Andy's comment was silly enough to warrant a response.

"The industry will be better off when it rids itself"

I guess in Andy's mind the bike industry is like a big dog that needs to scooter poop around the living room and leave racers stuck to the carpet. Then the industry will get up and shake itself, finally free of those parasitic, itchy racer dingle-berries.

"whiny little bitches like yourself"

Valid. I wear small t-shirts, and I do some complaining. I whine about running into deers and breaking cars, I whine about race courses with too much gravel, I whine about people who whine too much, and I whine about Ohio. I'm not sorry about it.

"self entitled"

My friends let me sleep on their floors, give me rides to races, and occasionally feed me. Some companies have given me deals on stuff. Niner has helped me with frames, Ergon with grips, and Twin Six with metal shirts. The guys at Industry 9 have been so supportive that they get their own sentence. I'm lucky enough to work for people that are happy to see me race, and always give me time off.

But I've never demanded anything (other than a good scooter-poop on a friend's carpet from time to time.)

Sponsorships are voluntary. I'm really grateful that people feel like I'm worth it.

"who think that because you ride a bicycle fast, people buy bikes and parts because of you"

If bikes and parts 'run real good' (as they say on the craigslists), I write and talk about them. Nobody buys stuff because I ride a bicycle fast (on good days). But they might consider my experience when they're buying something. Riding a bunch and racing every weekend gives my content some credibility.

I found out about I9 wheels from reading Dicky's blog, tried a dropper post because Harlan told me to, and bought my first One9 because Dejay and Fuzzy had a funny beards. Sponsorships in action.

Or, I actually do sell the stuff I race on:

"Maybe it would mean better wages for real shop rats if there were no more Montana Millers. I think it would."

I can't help it. I need to steal from the authentic shop rats to support my lavish lifestyle.

That's right. I have a pine tree. And a platform. I though it might be excessive to level my platform with some rocks, but then I was like, 'Screw it, I'm one of the Montana Millers. I can afford to do whatever I want while the rest of the Montana Millers are out robbing dinner tables and shutting off people's heat. I'm gonna go get some rocks.' And I did.

I rent the dirt under my tent to real shop rats after I take their wages.

Next post I'll be back to ruining the bike industry with my not-so-widely-read blogging.

There's a sweet new gnar shredding machine to talk about:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Unlike a pig, the Little Ball of Hate will put lipstick and a thong on himself.
It takes a special person to be the fastest XC racer in Ohio.  

Anyway, a few important announcements:

-I'll be at Breck Epic, and I'll be writing things about Breck Epic. You should be there too. There might be lipstick and thongs (I'm trying to get the Little Ball of Hate to register.)

-I'm not riding for Speedgoat anymore. Those guys were great, but I really need somebody local as shop support. So Cycle Symphony in Adamsburg, Pa. is going to help me handle the big scary industry types

If you're in the Pittsburgh area, it's definitely worth stopping in the shop. Rob has some really cool high-end stuff in there, and he's just a few minutes off the turnpike. I saw a Niner RDO for the first time in person when I was in there. It was pretty, but it didn't taste as good as I thought it would.

Grant Mathews, if you're reading, I'm sorry I licked your new bike.   

-After licking Grant's bike, I picked up the primary race machine for 2012:
How much more black this could be?  

-The guys at Industry 9 fixed my wheels again. And they sent me a t-shirt. They're so nice.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hast thou seen the white whale? Hast thou seen the white whale?

No? Great. Me either.

I took my final whaling test yesterday, so I’m done with class for a month. Yay.

On Friday night, after I finished filling my truck tires with a bike pump (150 pumps per tire,) I decided to drive four hours to my least favorite place in the world.

Unexpectedly, Ohio didn’t make me want to kill myself this time. The sun was out all weekend. It was cold, so the dirt was frozen solid.

I rode Vulture’s Knob, then Mohican, then Vultures Knob again.
The first rides were perfect. The third, not so much. I waited until 2:00, and by that time the trail was thawed. Vulture’s Knob is shit if there’s any wetness in the dirt.

The clay is simultaneously slipper than a marble floor covered in fish, and sticks to a bike better than concrete mixed with marshmallow fluff.

Still, not a bad last weekend in the Sausage State. I won’t be back there much since my reason to visit is 
going to New Zealand next semester. Wish I could visit that place every couple weeks. I’d love to meet the hobbits. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Punk Bike Enduro 2011

I need to post about crushing Old Man Shogren's gearing record in the Dirty Dozen, but first I'm talking about Punk Bike.

Otherwise know as The Day Don Powers was too Drunk to Walk Uphill.

Or downhill:

When I got into my truck Sunday morning, I had three voice-mails from 1:30 am.

"Gruhha you douche bag we're gonna make sure you don't win anything tomorrow" said a someone with a West Virginian accent. I could hear Rich Dillen's maniacal elf cackle in the background. Bunch of cool guys.

I got to the rugby field 30 minutes late, but since it was Punk Bike, I was still 30 minutes early. I pulled on my banana suit and started making cruising around the parking lot.

Cinder Bloch Lochner was already pretty loose, and he had a backpack full of fireworks. Good combination. Dicky was making his debut as a Team 7-Up rider, and this guy's impersonation of a teen pop star wasn't scary at all:

Nice bike tinsel.

We started the derby. I ran into Dicky's back wheel and fell over. Chris Beech was crushing everything with his monkey paw. Then he was shoved by some angry hipster on the sideline.

He was depressed by his defeat for the rest of the day:

Poor sad Beer Monkey.

I missed the start of the next few stages, and won nothing. Cinder Bloch, still feeling loose, sprinted around me and crashed into a mud puddle. His denim short shorts filled with smelly dirt.

Jordan told me that he could unhinge his jaw and ride with a beer can in his mouth. Then he told me the story again. And again. Apparently he has no short term memory when he's drunk.

Then he noticed some mud in his dreadlocks. Somebody asked if he washes them, and he sighed.

"Man, it's sooo hard being punk and dirty all the time," he said.

There was a hill climb. I didn't want to go fast, but I did want to beat Dicky, so I kept reaching over and pulling his brake levers. The little elf man kept falling back then trying to sprint around me. We got into the woods, and he found a punk.

Angry that he had a punk and I didn't, I stepped on his bike, and refused to move until about a dozen people had passed us.

Then we found some mud, which smelled like a stew horse manure and everything in the world that has ever died. So Erika and Kelsi wrastled in it:

*the wrastlin wasn't filmed. shame.

After that, Cinder Bloch Lochner had to poop. He crawled over a hillside at the quarry, and settled down. I gave him time to get comfortable, then kept over the edge of the quarry with a firecracker. I lit the fuse, lobbed it, and ran.

It landed next to his foot and started blowing up.

"Ah! Man that's fucked up," he yelled. We were cracking up, then someone came over and scolded us for giving their dog a mental breakdown. So we put the bottle rockets and other explosives away.

Meanwhile, Andy Forron was making rounds with a mason jar of whiskey, which he bought from a guy in WV who was deer hunting on a porch with a cat in his lap.

And the speakers in Andy's backpack continued to play Scraper Bike. That song is at its best played on loop for six hours.

Then we rode through some more mud. Only one person had to get a helicopter ride to the hospital. Good day.