Called an Audible

Got up to go ride with Titus, had planned on riding the Cross Check, but during pre-ride check I noticed a broken chain-link. I couldn’t get it fixed and was running out of time to meet up, so rode the Karate Monkey instead. Once I met up with Titus, he flatted twice in a 1/2 hour and used all his spare tubes, so we sat at a cafe and drank coffee till his Team Car picked him up. Then I took the long way home. Changes in plans are just that, changes in plans.

On the way home stopped by the LBS to get a new chain, also picked up a fancy bear bell with an ‘on/off’ switch. What a time to be alive.

Hollandaise

The Missus mentioned last night that we needed english muffins for eggs benedict today so I offered to get some on my ride this morning. As such, when I left this AM, I [1] headed in the exact opposite direction of the store. My rough plan was to ‘find a loop’ or worst case scenario bail to an out-and-back. [2] Found some nice sights I hadn’t been seen in awhile. [3] Took a road that I’d never been on, had no idea how far it went, and only a vague idea of the direction it headed. [4] As is often the case, when I headed off in an unknown direction, I found myself. And a highway. Someone once said ‘Life is a highway.’ As long as the corner store is on this highway, I’m good. [5] Highway views are so much nicer at bike-speed. [6] Procured english muffins, accomplishing one of many missions for the day.

Don’t sell bikes. Most of the time.

In 1998 I was living at the Lapensee Youth Hostel (those who know, know) and my buddy @uhlsbrewingco had landed me a gig as a wrench at Belleview Bikes in Alexandria, VA. It is while working there that – save for possibly my 1985 neon green Haro Master – I bought ‘the bike that started it all’. The 1998 Gary Fisher Ziggurat. I was actually gunning for the full suspension Joshua-1, but got impatient about saving money and wanting a new bike and at the time this was a really nicely appointed hardtail. OH MY DOG EM I EVER GLAD I DIDN’T GET THAT JOSHUA. Totally lucked out there. I got so much more ride out of this one.

I’ve still got the receipt. Original Price $1349 retail – the boss (our friend, Steve? Dave? I forget) actually wrangled it so I got both $100 off AND my $343 pro-deal. Then the first thing I did was swap the flat bar for an Azonic Riser bar that was the butter – what a great bar…. This bike was the link that tied everything back to the bmx days and building bikes in the garage. When I moved to Canada to live with my future wife, I brought everything I owned with me – literally. You could do that back then. I took a flight to Montreal and then caught a train to Bathurst with 2 bike boxes, 2 giant hockey bags and a backpack. Just typing this out is starting to get to me because I sold the damn Ziggurat in 2017. Sigh.

I don’t even have any pictures of it from before I painted it. How is THAT possible? Oh yeah, it was PRE-smartphones. And those Azonic bars, man, I totally should have at least kept those. Double sigh. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. I just sold another bike. The Giant XTC. It’s been magical as well. First high-end carbon hardtail. Zing. We’ve been ‘some places’. How dumb am I gonna feel in 10 years? Selling the Giant has facilitated the Birth of the Karate Monkey though. So that’s the next chapter. When I hear other people talking about selling bikes I always say “don’t sell it, you’ll regret it!” And then I sell one – but that one is always THE LAST ONE I’M GOING TO SELL EVER.

The glimpse of to come, the Karate Monkey