I am in another level of depression this evening as the weight of my bike being stolen is beginning to sink in with its grey finality. This post will be entirely self-serving, wordy and probably a little hard to follow, but I feel like I have to make it, if for no one but her and I.
I’ve received a lot of scars over the years. Anyone who has seen me naked (I’m sorry) can attest to this. I think my favorite is the large v-shaped scar on my chin. It is thick and you can only see it when my beard is trimmed. I never minded it, I earned that. I got this scar at the tail end of an east coast BMX trip with some of my best friends. I met some of those who would become life-long friends on that trip and I made some memories I’ll never forget. At roughly 19 years old, when we looped up from Southern Florida and finally arrived outside of Philadelphia, I almost threw up knowing that I was about to ride the Little Devil Clothing warehouse. We got in a lot of laps that afternoon, and in standard fashion, at the tail end I came up short trying to take the spine/hip wide and caught my chin on my stem. It tore me open and I had to get my face stitched back together. I never frowned in the emergency room, I was grinning ear to ear. I had earned this and I would never forget it. There was a little piece of skin that had several ginger beard hairs stuck into that Shadow Conspiracy stem I had been given while visiting that company’s warehouse while down south. I never scooped that out, I left it there. I had earned that.
Both of my shoulders arch up wildly halfway to my neck. Over the years–and all from riding–I have torn each rotator cuff, broken each collarbone and separated each shoulder 3 times apiece. I look lopsided and funny and when I play guitar or wear a backpack, the strap/s fall off. I never cared, I had earned that. I called them my angel wings and would laugh as hard as I could whenever someone brought it up. To this day I will get these weird phantom pains and have trouble if I move them quickly, but it was always worth it. The last time I separated my shoulder was from riding that frame you took from me, I got caught at the top of a vert wall and fell a little more than a story to my head and side. The EMT in the ambulance that kept me conscious on the way to the hospital told me he had never had such a high-spirited patient and we talked about tattoos. I asked if my friends got my bike. I still see spots from that concussion, one that came after a half dozen others while I rode that frame. But, I didn’t care and every time my vision goes blurry, or I get dizzy, or can’t remember something, I laugh. I earned that.
My favorite movies have always been the Evil Dead trilogy. Since falling in love with the first movie in High School, I was obsessed with Bruce Campbell. I followed every movie he ever made and watched “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” obsessively. From my sophomore year, I always said I would name my first born son “Ash” as an homage to his character. I never made up my mind as to if I would use his full name and risk ostracizing this poor unborn little guy. A few years ago I had one of my best friends tattoo a leg sleeve filled with Evil Dead trilogy references. My favorite part was the laughing, mounted, deer head from Evil Dead 2. I overshot a jump at our trails last summer and those gold pedals this stranger is standing on right now tore a deep gash from my achilles up to my knee-pit. The skin heeled crooked and there is a thick line that looks like fleshy smoke that runs about eight inches. But, I was never once sad about that. I didn’t care, I earned that.
I could tell one million more stories about that bike, but I won’t because I’ll get too sappy. Very few people will get the connection that 21.25” frame and I had, but to whoever took her from me, I hope you truly enjoy her. We had a lot of great memories, but if I can’t have her back, give her a good home. Take her out in the woods and spend a lifetime learning how to lay her over and years building something out of dirt and sweat to ride her over. If nothing else, she’s earned that.