sometimes you have to stop and smell the chamois butter

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


It is the first day of February and it appears as though the mercury has seen his shadow and has dipped back in his hole.  On a day like today, the sun struggles against the wind providing only light.   I'm glad I was able to get out and enjoy the pre-spring weather we were having.  But now we are back to suffering temps.
The only riding being done by this guy today is over to the laundromat. Not far away, but far enough to enter the pain cave on a day like today.  Except the cave is made of ice.  Much like my face right now.  Not to be completely outdone by the weather, I suit up and head out to hook up the trailer.  "Dead Guy Bike" is waiting patiently to be tethered to the former kid hauler.  Wait, did you say "dead guy bike?"  Yes, I'm afraid the workhorse of the townie line-up was formerly owned by a guy who tried to ride all of Portal trail.  The infamous Portal trail has some serious exposure on it in a few spots.  Needless to say,  the owner of the bike stepped off in the most serious spot and didn't make it.  Sad story indeed.
Now I'm not really sure how, but my girl ended up with it.  It's an early nineties Stumpjumper (complete with fukengruven sticker covering the top tube) with a vintage Switchblade fork on it.  It had spent far too many years hanging in a barn, so I threw on an upright cockpit and my super-sized Brooks saddle.  Fukengruven rides again.  And he seems pretty psyched to be hauling my dirty laundry.


  1. The history of "dead guy bike"—a sorry name, yes.

    Back in the day (or at least, MY back in the day) Moab SAR consisted of a bunch of random town folks, NPS rangers and the occasional scruffy climber. One night, Kyle Copeland, local hard-man of the vertical scene got the call that a rope rescue was necessary and beyond the skills of the SAR team. Kyle set out and ascended the chossy cliff line up Portal descent.

    When he arrived at the crash site, things weren't pretty. The vic was not quite decapitated but sans the back of his skull. Rumor had it he had some fungus among us and that may have clouded his judgement. Rumor … innuendo … ME findings … who can say? All I know is that Kyle told me he spent the night talking to the remains—mainly saying "if you f&*^ing move, I'm gonna kill you!!!" Rough times spending the night with spilled brain matter will cause a man to do such. He descended the next day and DGB was now his.

    Kyle traded the bike to David for who-can-remember-what and then David traded the bike to me. I think it was one Yamaha guitar+Asolo ice boots for 1 sketchy Volvo DL+DGB (dead guy bike.) Both are still in my possession. Neither ran for years. The Volvo died on entry. The DGB just kept pissing me off w flat tires on EVERY ride until it was thus vanquished.

    I tried. I realllly tried to honor the lost rider and make DGB my trusty steed, but MAN he FOUGHT me EVERY step (or turn) of the way! I was accused of under-inflating, over-inflating my tubes, having rim burrs (likely, as the rims were converted from pretsa to shrader w some barbaric technique) you name it—a theory would be posited and a well-meaning wrench tried to rectify it (mostly free of charge cuz our local wrenches ROCK! And wanted to be the one to solve the mystery.)

    It was thus discovered c. 2005 (by another wrench who refused to be defeated by the perpetual DGB flats) that the rims on DGB were an odd, off-sized rim. Tubes didn't seem to exist for such. Sigh. DGB went back up on the hooks.

    Enter the MechanicKing. Not afraid of challenges that turn the stomach of the fairer-hearted, he took on DGB and thus he runs true and straight today. His Slick Rock Trail days may be behind him (as are mine) but he can do one HELL of a Love Muffin run!


  2. You guys are hilarious! Great story. Thank you for sharing it so I have something to entertain me while I hide from the *bitter* cold.