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The wanderer

I enjoy riding my bike to bridges that I can drink a few beers under. I also like to bar hop by bike, ride on twisty fluid singletrack, and fly down the Kessel-Run in Fruita as well as ride my bike to the local grocery store. I’ve seen a lot of great and horrible things on those types of rides. I’ve seen a coworker run smack dab into a signpost breaking his collar bone as we were making our way to the bar. I’ve seen another friend ride a Moonlander down a ravine that I wouldn’t climb down, at break neck speed and pull it off like a champ. I’ve seen people ride through bonfires and I’ve seen even more people ride directly into bonfires. I’ve even had my wife ride up to me to proudly show off her new black eye that she got on her first ride, and crash, on singletrack.

Betsy after her crash.

Lately, my riding has been of a much different type. I’ve been going out later in the evening to some of the local bike paths around town to just wander around. Sounds boring, right? Well it certainly can be. At some point I started to bring some good ole’ Triflow chain lube with me because apparently people don’t understand that their bike needs to be maintained from time to time. It drives me crazy when someone gets on my wheel with a squeaky ass bike and refuses to pass me no matter how slow I go. So I started stopping people and offering to lube their chain for them. You’d be surprised at some of the reactions I’ve gotten. I’ve had people look at me like I’m crazy and ride away. I’ve had people thank me, I’ve had people thank me and offer me a beer, and I’ve even had one guy sprint away from me like I was going to murder him. Remember, this is well after the sun has gone down.

I’ve met some rather fascinating people doing this. This guy I waved down to offer him some lube told me that he hated fat bikes (I was on my Ice Cream Truck at the time) because they were giving “real” mountain bikers a bad name. One lady I helped was wearing what looked to be a business suit offered me a pull off her flask and if that wasn’t up my alley she said I could take a hit off her bowl. Needless to say I took her up on her offer. The conversations you can have with complete strangers as you work on their bike can be pretty remarkable and sometimes very entertaining. You never know what’s going to happen when you try to pull someone aside as they’re riding their bike and offer to fix something that they didn’t know needed fixing. I'd highly suggest trying this for yourself. 

The one thing I’ve never done is told anyone that I was helping out that I work for a bicycle company. I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to be pestered with questions or maybe it’s because I don’t want it to seem like this is something I’m pulling off for work. I think I like to remain anonymous because people tend to act a lot differently when I tell them who I work for. Some people have gotten really defensive or they try to apologize about what bike they’re riding. I really don’t give a shit about what they’re riding – I just want some god damn peace and quiet while I’m riding my bike.

Keep the rubber side down,

BoB

Backwoods Off's avatar

About Backwoods Off

Bob is at heart a nice guy, a fact he tries hard to dispel by riding a Harley (and dressing like it), and by hunting deer, turkey, and others of God’s magnificent creatures, which he then eats because that is how you do that. He enforces Surly’s use of social media, which is not as funny as it may sound since many people in this group truly hate the very idea of social media.

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