This incredibly happy kid, is my youngest son's friend Jarrod. He is a really nice kid, in spite of some tough living conditions. His Mom is a single parent, that works nights as a nurse. Jarrod goes to school every day and then when he gets home, he takes care of his sister. She has seizures and requires constant observation and medication. Jarrod looks after her from five in the afternoon, til his Mom gets home at five in the morning. The one bright spot in his day is: riding his bike to and from school.
Lil W.B. made me aware that he had a flat, and my wife told his Mom, that I would fix it in a jiff. When I got a look at the bike, it was clear it was headed for the junk heap. Nothing worked, everything was rusted, and both wheels were out of true. I did what everyone else in town does when they reach dead ends that involve bicycles, I called Big Worm.
One thing I really love about the big man is: he gives good assessments minus the emotional and sociopolitical baggage that keep most of us from making accurate surveys of the landscape. If you have never read this waste of Internet space, you may not know the Worm is the best bike mechanic, in this quadrant of the solar system. He is the guy mechanics bring their bikes to when they can't fix them. To have him fix your bike is like, seeing the swallows come back to Capistrano, like running with the Bulls, like seeing an eclipse in Nova Scotia, it is a thing you must do before you kick off this rock. If you ride a bike and live here, you are a bovine idiot for not having him tune your bike. You are deprived of a sublime pleasure, and I must insist that you stop reading and never come back, until you rectify this gross error in judgement. Now that you are properly informed, you can imagine the punch in the stomach I felt when he raised his eyebrows and said:
"I dunno man. I'll check it out but, it don't look good."
Short story is: Worm took this bike into his mystic shed of alchemy and after cavorting with supernatural forces (that mere mortals dare not speak of) he emerged with a bike that not only worked, but worked damn well. That's why the kid is smiling. We gave him a helmet for good measure.
Thanks Big Man, I owe you an entree' of Mexican goodness and a margarita grin.
Back when I was a manager (I'll wait til you all let out a collective moan...BASTARDS!) I used to tell the boys:
"If it was easy, anyone could do it."
This sums up how I feel about most of the activities in my life. I like to do stuff that is hard. Stuff that makes normal folks shake their heads, and move a few steps away from me. This is why I ride mountain bikes. I like unruly, root riddled climbs, that offer fifty, fifty odds. I like to ride Tom Brown, because it pisses you off when you ride it badly. When ride it well, it is something that makes you feel special, and proud. Why? Because not everyone can do it. Cadillac used to be that way, but now it has been tamed with nice, groomed single track, devoid of the roots, obstacles and wildness. It is manicured, and easily negotiated by strollers and multiple dogs, frolicking wildly off leashes. The trail is about as fringe as a shopping spree at Target, or riding a Harley Davidson. The danger is controlled and the thrill is there, but like tattoos, it's mainstream, (and sorry dude) it ain't as cool.
I am not so naive as to believe things never change. Most of our trails were once Motocross trails, that caved to mountain bikes, which split off into hiking, horse, and multi use pedestrian paths, where almost no one is one hundred percent happy. We have a lot of folks that quit smoking, lost weight and can't wait to get in the woods and cast incredulous stares at the most hated of all trail users.......mountain cyclists.
In the midst of all this chaos, good hearted souls are doing their best to balance all the interests in this ever changing world we ride in. Next week the decisions will be made on how, and what is done to Cadillac, and Tom Brown. I urge you to get involved, unless you want the whole thing covered with gazebos, and flower beds. Do the research, and find a link you lazy, uninvolved, bike riding.... BASTARDS!
Lastly (thanks for staying, please tip your bartenders and waitresses) the reason that everyone in this town, and some people out of town, have a bike blog ....JUANCHO! is in the grips of a literary crisis. I could expound on the many reasons for this low spot in his curve, but I will abstain, and jump right to the point. This guy makes my day more with an average vague post, than most people do at their absolute best, in Olympic form. Blogs like his, remind us that there is a dividing line between the McDonald's eating, Walmart shopping, pro wrestling watching, unwashed Cretans and us, his unworthy readers. He is a ray of hope, that makes it possible to wade through the mediocre bullshit filled trenches, of which most of my days are composed. Please go over and implore him, to continue throwing pearls to all of us swine. I just can't weather another loss to my routine. I've already lost Northern Exposure and The West Wing, I'VE GOT NO PLACE ELSE TO GO!!!!!! To ride/read with him and become the object of his well honed wit/blog is..... well.... like getting Worm to tune up your bike. It is an institution that must be preserved at all costs, human and monetary. Go over there and throw your pathetic blog bodies on his altar, or I swear to (Deity of choice) I will hunt you all down like DOGS!
That is all.....now get out of here, and do GOOD!