Friday, July 4, 2014

Owner of a Lonely Heart

From the Desk of the Trailer Park Cyclist
Hey, guys.  Are all of you reading Cycling In the South Bay?  Authored by Seth Davidson, Esq. it is almost the anti-Trailer Park Cyclist blog.  He's a decent human who pretends not to be, a successful attorney and a racing-type cyclist.  Like I said, kind of a Bizarro World TPC.  Plus he's skinny.

Whatever the case, I DO read it and last night, while in me cups, as they say, I read this comment by Erik and it threw me into a tailspin of sorts, which ain't hard to do.  Go read the original post.  But this comment by our brother Erik stands alone and says more about cycling than everything I have ever written.  

ERIK Comments at Cycling In the South Bay
I always enjoy your tales of childhood, because they remind me so much of my own. Though I’m about 10-15 years younger than you, so the wussification of Suburbia was well underway by the ’80′s. Either way, I spent my summer days in the woods. Learned to curse during the summer after first grade in a long string of nonsense profanity that involved tits and balls, but not cunts and cocks. We had a neighbor with a pump track in his yard that we’d poach (you never asked ANYONE if you were allowed to do something, you just did it), and my steel-frame Huffy with plastic mag wheels was my steed from about 3rd grade until well into high school before I got my first road bike, which was actually my mom’s. It was a white chromoly Puch, about 4 cm too small for me, with a squeaky rear brake – so I only ever used the front. One evening I was riding without a light, head down, when I looked up at the last second to see a parked car where there never was one. I grabbed the front brake in a death grip and went right over the handlebars with the bike still between my legs onto the trunk of the car. I rung the doorbell across the street and apologized for the few tiny dents and scratches to the trunk, and offered to pay for them. She never called me back. I rode all over town on that thing when i was 15-16, and the only reason I ever started learning to drive was because it got stolen when i dropped it in the grass behind the bank one evening while I ran int to get 10 bucks. I was in there 5 minutes and the bike was gone that fast. I’ll never forget the dread of my first stolen bike. It was like the first time you loose sight of your child in a big crowd, only you know it’s never coming back. That bike was my escape from a shitty new life in a new town with an alcoholic step-father and his sociopath sons, that began abruptly the day after my last day of 10th grade after 10 years of my father’s long and destructive descent into untreated schizophrenia. I miss that bike.


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    1. My experience was about a decade later in the early 70's but yeah in both Eugene OR till about 73 and then in Portland OR from 73 on I rode my bike all over. First a used goldish banana seat cruiser that I learned to ride on, and then a hand me down Schwinn Typhoon that had been my brothers-what a tank. I rode my bike to school through jr. high, and to friends houses and just to have something to do, and always on the look out for dirt mounds to jump off of. Flipping my bike over on its seat and handlebars and pretending to be a mechanic. Based on the other posts I must have been a bit of a choir boy in my activities but I sure do remember the freedom of the bike. I remember when I got back in the saddle in the late 90's it all came rushing back like I was 12 years old again riding around my suburban neighborhood. It put a smile on my face. One of my favorite sales of a rebuilt 10 speed was a lady who bought a Schwinn Varisty from me, when she came back from test riding she had a smile on her face and said "that was like being 13 again". Good times

  2. Thanks for the head's up on Seth's blog. While I'm not a bike person, I AM a person and enjoy good writing, almost regardless of the subject, that's almost with italics and capitals and exclamation points. In neon.

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  4. Thanks for noticing and sharing, TJ. Until you recognized my words, I did realize how important cycling is. It's way more important than the usual environmental/health/life-is-good conceits we like to aggrandize ourselves with as grown-ups.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Eric. I hope you will drop by the Park again.


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