Enduro™, fat bikes, volunteers, haters and innovators – just some of the things the ASS is thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Editor’s Note: The Angry Singlespeeder is a collection of mercurial musings from contributing editor Kurt Gensheimer. In no way do his maniacal diatribes about all things bike oriented represent the opinions of Mtbr, RoadBikeReview, or any of their employees, contractors, janitorial staff, family members, household pets, or any other creature, living or dead. You can submit questions or comments to Kurt at firstname.lastname@example.org. And make sure to check out Kurt’s previous columns.
If you are reading this column right now, consider yourself fortunate. Not because you are reading the diatribes of an angry singlespeeder, but because you’re reading, period. You received the love and attention of a family member, teacher or mentor who taught you to read as a child.
Secondly, you have a computer or a mobile device. And you have an internet connection. And you’re most likely in the warmth of a home, office or other sheltered location with heat and light. And you’re probably not starving to death. And you probably own a cool bike, or even several cool bikes. And you’re most likely planning to ride said cool bike this Thanksgiving weekend to burn off all those delicious calories that many people in third world countries would kill for. All in all, life is pretty damn good.
Thanksgiving is not only a time to reconnect with family and dear friends, but it’s also a time to think about the good stuff in your life and be thankful for all of it. There are many things in my life that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, and I’d like to share a few of them with you.
I am thankful for haters.
Without haters, the ASS column would be so mundane. Nothing pleases me more than when I receive inflammatory comments or emails filled with empty threats and fulminant emotions. I especially love it when Francis or Gregg receive emails from my haters stipulating that I should be banned from writing on Mtbr because they disagree so adamantly with an opinion column.
Haters are my most outspoken readers. They don’t hold back or sugar coat anything, and I respect that – even if their opinions and emotions are completely ridiculous. Sometimes a particularly sharp hater will call me out and make me realize that I was wrong. I’m opinionated, not stubborn. Okay, maybe a little, but I always keep an open mind.
Photo by http://teamdicky.blogspot.com
I am thankful for trendy fads.
Without buzz words words like Enduro™, Gravel Grinder, Fat Bike and 650B, what would disgruntled scribes like me have to make fun of? As much as I hate following the bandwagon, much fun can be found in it. Next year I plan to make my Enduro™ racing debut on an Enduro Blue® bike, shoes, shorts, jersey, helmet, gloves and special edition Aaron Bradford fanny pack – in blue of course.
So for all you industry peeps reading this, if you got an Enduro™-specific product and it comes in blue, drop me a line. In addition to making fun of it because it’s Enduro™-specific, in the words of Macklemore, “I’ll rock that muthaf*cka”.
I am thankful for innovators.
As much of a Luddite as I am, I still ride a 19-pound carbon fiber singlespeed with 100mm of suspension travel that can break down into a tiny suitcase and travel with me anywhere around the world. Without dreamers, visionaries, innovators and engineers, inventions like the suitcase Tranny would never be possible.
Although mountain biking has always been fun, mountain biking these days is SO much more fun thanks to those hard-working folks in the cycling industry who innovate their asses off. It makes the sport more enjoyable for all riders – especially those new to the sport – increasing the adoption of mountain biking as a fun, healthy pastime.
I am thankful for volunteers.
Whether you volunteer at a local race series, belong to a trails advocacy club and put in hours of sweat and labor or simply show your support through donating money, I got mad respect for you. Even if it’s not mountain biking related, volunteerism proves there is hope for the human race. Anyone who puts service before self is someone I look up to. Thank you.
It’s so easy to take, but it’s not as easy to give back. We’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another, myself included. One of the core reasons why I love mountain biking so much is because of the people; the culture. I’ve never experienced more selfless, devoted, happy and sincere people than in mountain biking. The spirit is contagious. When you see others giving back, you naturally want to as well. So if you haven’t volunteered in a while, make it a priority this upcoming holiday. You’ll feel amazing.
I am thankful for fans and friends.
Although it seems haters are the most vocal of my readership, I am constantly amazed at how many people know who the ASS is and have kind things to say when they meet me. I don’t know if they’re just blowing smoke up my backside, but regardless, I’ll gladly take it. Since writing the first installment in February of this year, the ASS column has far exceeded all of my expectations. I owe all of it to you readers…whether you like my musings or not. So thank you.
On Thursday morning I’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving the best way I know how; by riding in the 20th annual Los Gatos Turkey Day ride with more than 500 other mountain bikers to the top of a 3,000 foot peak, surrounded by endless amounts of food, libations and good people. Regardless of whether you’re a fan or a hater of the ASS, I wish everyone the most enjoyable Thanksgiving filled with joy, laughter and great rides.