Monday, December 01, 2008
My friend Manny shot a bunch of nice photos at Saturday's Stud Slutz Criterium on Goose Lake. But this one was my favorite, because it shows another friend, Rob, out there riding on behalf of the denim industry and old-school mountain biking.
Check him out there on the right side of the photo. Rob's rockin' his work gloves, his Merrell mocs, and some blue jeans with one leg rolled up to keep his pants out of the drivetrain. He seems to have forgotten his race number. If I know Rob, he probably showed up just as the race was starting, and was too busy assembling his bike to bother with details.
A few years ago, Rob and I made up half of Team Megasorass in the 24 Hours of Kincaid. When we decided to hold a team "training ride" that spring, Rob arrived with his wife's bike, put tires on it in my garage, then did the ride wearing sandals and using platform pedals.
The guy's no gear snob. He's just a bike junkie with a wicked sense of humor. He's a reminder of what mountain biking is—or at least used to be—really about. And that's a fine thing to be these days, when the Frigid Bits field contains a smattering of local team jerseys.
Not that there's anything wrong with being a sponsored rider, but I don't remember ever seeing someone show up in team kit and then hanging around for a post-race tailgate party. Those guys probably have to hurry home to drink Cytomax and upload their heart-rate data to spreadsheets.
As far as I'm concerned, anyone who shows up wearing colors should have to buy beer for everyone else.
And there should always be some guys like Rob around to drink it.