Thursday, April 30, 2009

Its not the years, its the mileage

I'll be saying goodbye to an old and very dear friend next week. In 2001 TREK introduced the FUEL full suspension bike to be had in different groupo combo's, at the time I bought the middle of the pack FUEL 90. My first real bike in almost 20 years. And what an awesome bike, it made me a rider again, it compelled me to actually RACE and compete in a very tough sport. It has transformed my body and spirit, like a lever action RED-RYDER BB gun at Christmas, I dreamed about XC greatness, and when I'm not riding it faithfully I can feel it in my soul. The only component left from the original bike I bought in 2001 was the seat post, and only then because it has permanently welded itself inside the carbon seat tube on my current frame. Too many high powered car washes I guess (always keep your shaft greased they say). TREK has been kind to me as well, as I have broken two main triangles in both aluminum and carbon and two swing arms, I've replaced them with the latest TREK had to offer, primarily SEXY carbon fiber goodies. Three front shocks, two frame shocks, six seats, four handle bar and grip combos, five different cranks, six cassettes, two sets of shifters, brakes, and God knows how many tires filled with GALLONS of STANS. But alas, TREK can not undo what almost 20,000 miles of abuse has wrought on ten year old full suspension swing arm technology, EVERY pivot point on this bike is wallowed out in both the frame and swing-arm, almost every stress point is now showing little stress fractures where the top coat of carbon weave is flaking off. If I turn left, the back half of my bike now leans right, creaking and groaning with the strain. There are literally coke can shims installed to take up the slack on the main pivot, whose slide bushings long ago have joined together and eaten into the aluminum inserts on the main triangle. Where today they use sealed cartridge bearings, ten years ago TREK used plastic bushings (I've replaced them all at least five times that I can remember). I've had first place finishes and last places finishes, I've pulled off some amazing saves and had some absolutely horrendous wrecks. This bike has been ridden in the mountains, in the desert, fast, slow, dry, sloppy, cold, hot and every condition in between, and I'm guessing over 1,000 laps (at least) of Dehn's woods. It has earned its retirement and then some, but I've said before I am a predictable creature of habit and change is something I despise so this frame will remain on my wall not as merely a bike, but as an example of real art, a sculpture formed in carbon from yesteryear...Next week Mr. FED-EX should be delivering a replacement frame from a different manufacturer, we'll see how much bike tech. has changed in a decade, cause its got some mighty big shoes to fill...Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


M I S S I S S I P P I spells relaxation

Thursday, April 02, 2009

And just what do YOU do?

Its a question I've had to answer before. If you've ever experienced the joy of interviewing for the job you already have you'll know what I'm talking about. In our current economic climate its to be expected I guess, but the first one was a surreal nightmare. I have the feeling I'm going to do it all over again next week so I thought I'd have a little fun with it. Feel free to help me edit the following job description, I look forward to any helpful comments or constructive criticism(s). Lets see...At any given time I may be occupied with customer service, engineering, reception, purchasing, selling, quality, psychiatry, truancy, discipline, training or buying outdoor crap off e-bay. I administer pay, I dock pay. Simultaneously understanding and overpowering, I could be delivering or driving, directing or designing, decreeing or deciding, debating or denying, detached, engaged, enraged, enlightened, enthused or completely oblivious to everything or anyone within the building. I talk fast, I work fast, I take my time, I hurry up, and yes once in awhile yes means no and vice versa. I'm a communicator, a fabricator, a moderator and prognosticator, pliable, rigid and open to suggestion know matter how stupid it sounds. I program, promise, pander, push, plead, parade, parlay, promote, placate, pacify, provide, plan, and sometimes piss people off. I'm powerful and powerless pivoting on pointless if you'll pardon the pun. I've screwed stuff in, I've screwed stuff out, down and definitely up, at the very least I'm consistent. I'm grounded on a high perch. I have to sense the senseless, help the hopeless, guide the godless, buy the worthless, live off the kindness, and even use the useless if absolutely necessary. I'm all about safety too, don't stick your other hand in the machinery "Lefty", do not use a fork in the toaster "Electra", right foot gas, right foot brake, its the same one right? Watch your step, look up and live, look out below. Keep an eye out really doesn't mean that. The life you save may be your own, buckle up, lock out tag out unless of course we need it. Poison will poison you even if its only a little poisonous, don't play Russian roulette during break time; especially with an auto-loader, please don't stare at the arc welder, pretend that was your head, what do you mean what do I mean pretend? Band-aids may not staunch arterial bleeding. I have the equivalent of, and the experience to get certified as an MD, PHD, CPR, FR, CIA, SPC, ESQ, RX, DOT, USDA, OSHA, SAE, BBC, MSNBC, XP, MP, VD, BFD, WTF, and OMFG put together(LOL). As you have already surmised I truly am a unique individual just like everybody else, and I am the perfect candidate for my own position, and I can assure you this paradigm of behaviour will continue throughout my tenure, if you so choose to keep me in your employ. P.S. Wheres my bone-us?