Monday, December 6, 2010

History






I straight stole the image above, from Dave Hall's site. Thievery, I know, but we have enough old school locals lurking around here, that they should definitely recognize one or two players from the game above.

Lately, we've been seeing an influx of new folks in the crew. As life goes on, the core group is still around, but busier than they used to be, and their appearances on the rides are fewer and further between. They are not gone, in the way that Romeo, Vee, or even Big Tony have moved on. They are still in town, just caught up with ball games, diapers, teething, or in the case of Spanish Mackerel, butterfly watching.The new guys who have either just discovered riding at an obsessive level, or guys who have had that all along, but only just discovered the ego and image destroying, dysfunctional family, that is the BC crew, keep our group rides numbers up.

One of the new guys recently suggested that those of  us who have been around around since the beginning should share the history of the crew. This is a great idea, but I have 20 years of crew stories. You guys are gonna have to get these in installments. Hopefully my brothers in arms, at Bikechain and Dirtysouth, will jump in from time to time, with their own stories. If I have to tell them all, they're getting bent to my liking!

Tonight, I tripped over the picture up above, and the memories came flooding back. The purple Joe's Bike Shop jersey worn by Kingsnake, our Revolutions Cyclery jerseys, worn by Double D, and the old Scwinn kit of Zack then Murfree, now Finn.I was there that day, and have a plaque hanging on the wall to prove it, though not from that elite class above.

One of the guys I surfed and skated with, Tom Hellman, unknowingly changed the course of my life one afternoon. I went to pick him up to go skate some ditch, or some other spot we'd heard about, and sitting in the corner of his living room was this crazy looking bike. It looked like a bmx bike on steroids. I couldn't help but be drawn to those huge knobby tires. "What the hell is this?" I asked. "It's a mountain bike.", he replies. "My brother is living in Japan, and he's been riding one all over the mountains. He said I should give it a try, so I bought one at Sears." That was it. Innocuous as it sounds, the damage was done. It wasn't 2 weeks before Ms Worm, my then girlfriend, and I had been to Sears and picked out 2 ultra cheap, but crazy expensive to us, mountain bikes. Grade F department store Huffys, but more than enough to set the hook so deep, that 2 broken collar bones in my first 6 months, were not enough to shake me of my new found, 2 wheeled habit.

The first real bike I bought was a Specialized Rockhopper Comp, purchased from the first serious bike rider/racer I had somewhat befriended, Dave Baton. Dave introduced me to Jason Snow, and later to Nathan King. Kingsnake was still a 16 year old junior back then. He drove this old van, and rode a red Dakar with the shifters and brake levers all drilled out, 70's style. First flat I got was on a campus ride with those 3 guys, and my buddy Tom. I tried to bunnyhop a curb, not at all understanding the physics of it, and promptly dinged a rim and pinched the tube. I was so new that having a spare tube had never even occurred to me. Kingsnake throws me his tube and pedals off to fly off some huge loading dock, while I fiddle with the foreign valve stem, that clearly had had all of the rubber stripped from the outside. Yep, first presta valve stem, too. Completely embarrassed, but too stubborn to give up, I just kept trying to figure it out. Nathan finally comes back, looks at me like I'm an idiot, takes the whole thing away from, fixes it for me, and then promptly drops the hammer so that I get spit out the back. Tough love from a kid still in high school! But when it came to bikes, he was far and away my senior. Bikes will do that. Age goes out the window in the respect hierarchy, and I liked that. Master Baton, Kingsnake, and Snowman taught me a lot, and not all of it in the nicest terms, but I absorbed all I could. Those were the guys I looked up to in this new world I'd discovered, and hell. I was the same age or older than most of 'em.

By the time that pic was snapped, I'd been riding and racing for about 6-7 years. I had been working in a bike shop, for 3-4. Kingsnake still awed me with his natural ability, and still does today, when I get to see him ride, but it's not the same as it was that first year. By then, I was in it deep. Everything revolved around bikes. That bike shop I was working in, was Revolutions Cyclery. Double D is wearing the old jersey in the center of that pic. Revolutions was where the crew started. That melting pot of 20 something year old guys sent us down a path that continues to this day. I have been to more weddings from that crowd than I can count. I was best man in 2. I have adopted nieces and nephews; the offspring of crew members. I have many, many friends that came of that shop, and somehow the numbers just keep growing.

14 comments:

Mark said...

Nice!! Yeh, it would be cool to have the BC blog start from that angle too. Pretty cool how you got into MTB independently from us.

Little Ball said...

Nice. I agree with mark. It would be kind of cool if every made blog about how they ended up with the crew because I have rode with some people for more than ten years and I don't know how I ended up riding with them.

BIG JIM said...

Nice times 3. I can't wait to continue to read the installments. It's like waiting for each Harry Potter movie to come out.

RickySilk said...

I'm in that group somewhere and have some other pictures of the race.... from the red clay whoop climb at the end of the loop. Gonna dig them up.

Storminnorman said...

Good post, very interesting.

You guys were 20 somethings just 17years ago?

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Awesome. I have heard this story before but never the "Worm can't change a tire" angle. I bet it gave you closure to rip wheels out of my hand and change my tires (as if by magic) when I started with you guys ten years ago.
Still regret not buying that Rockhopper off of (someone) Steve Fox knew in 98. I coulda been there OG style.

Double Nought Seven said...

Next photo needs to be of BW with the mane! I mean come on that thing was a classic, a mix of Whitesnale, Def Leopard and Billy Ray Cyrus. Yes time flies, too fast. There's a whole crew there now, that does not know Double D, Ace, Gagin, Little Phil (well maybe Little Phil cause of Team Type 1) Carl, Jason (remember him breaking his frame on the drop off? Kent Road rash, my encounter with the car on Capital Circle, the Mackeral making a clean sweep of all my female cousions on my dad's side, Big Tony off the roof in Ellijay, hockey golf, breaking in the Fern trail. I have not been there in 10 years and still have tons of memories, like me workjing midnight to 8, then going riding. How about the Hash ride? Great post BW, not how about that pic?

BIGWORM said...

Don't worry, 007, the stories are coming. Not sure about that pic though. If I have any, I'll share. Your hoarding ass brother, though, he's got tons. I'm seriously considering a B&E job, to get my hands on some of those old pics.

Silk, I figured you were in there somewhere, but couldn't find you.

Stormin', yes, we were 20 somethings just a short 17 years ago. And if you ask Ms. Worm, most of us are STILL in our teens!

Double Nought Seven said...

Is that a Girvin on Number 60's bike? I can't blow upthe photo

Ken Foster said...

My first Mtn bike was a road bike bought from ten speed drive when it was on Monroe, about where the Subway is I think. My next mountain bike was a Ross 5 speed bought from Donny Crenshaw (the slut boys drummer) then came the specialized rockhopper sport, one step down from the comp. I paid to have bio-pace (google that) put on it.
All I recall of my first ride with somes of ya’ll was the feeling my life was in jeopardy when I kept referring to the Wakulla War Eagles as War Mullets. Not much racing for me back in the day. It was more topos and trespassing. Just tonight a stumbled across my aerials of Sheppard’s Branch.

A history of trails would be cool too.

BIGWORM said...

Yep, that's a girvin, 007. There's one on Double's bike, too.

The War Mullet thing is still funny! I never did have much school pride.

Mark said...

War Eagles, War Eagles, Fight, Fight,Fight!!!!!

AucillaSinks said...

I met Mingo in '83 through our mutual friend Ed. They had just started riding Ross 5-speed cruises all over town. One night I borrowed Ed's to go on a ride with Ken and I was totally hooked. I grew up on motorcycles and it had been since my banana seat in 4th grade that I had ridden a bicycle. Those Ross 5 speeds were awesome but within a few months I became the first in our group to buy a real mountain bike. I remember the moment when Ken realized that he must have a mountain bike too. It was during one of our first rides after I acquired my chrome Ross Mt. Whitney. I let Mingo hold onto my back rack as I effortlessly toodled up a long steep hill. He had his Rockerhopper within weeks.
At least that is the way my remaining brain cells tell it. Mingo's remaining brain cells may have a different take on the specifics but one thing I know we recall the same is the overall sense of joy and pushing the envelope and each other as we rode together around Tallahassee and across the Tetons all during the mid 80's. Yes, we're old school now but dang it, we were new school then!

Kent said...

I love these words. Collar bone makes me thinks of a crash google map project... How about the middle years with Tony's back yard as a full on trials course" Light, beer, action.., and where the hell is Brent and Jim J and fringe people like Nut Sack Rob. LOL