Failure makes the heart grow fonder.

Or sometimes it just leaves you feeling a little useless.


Let’s light today’s joint with the following video that was just last week released by Easton Bikecycle Parts Company;

This clip is most especially noteworthy to me for two reasons.

The first being that I had no idea what a horrible actor Junker was, and two, was this sequence towards the end of the clip;

Now due to the fact that video tends to flatten things out a bit, there’s no way to tell just how insanely difficult this move is.

One or two of you might recall this same section being featured in BIKE Magazine a few years ago;

These trails were near and dear to my heart. They provided an absolute world class commute, they were my lunch time ride, and they were the best possible extension on the way to riding in the UCSC campus.

But that one little spot, was the single feature in the entire tract which I was never able to master, and then dumb Jeremy Powers has to go and make it look easy.

Similarly, this section (shot by Molly Cameron) which is also in the heart of my old stomping grounds, being made to look like little more than a curb by one Mr. Barry Wicks;

No big deal, right?

No, this is a ridiculously huge deal, as illustrated by this photo of Bee picking his footing on his way down the same obstacle;

-and something that I would have otherwise thought to be an impossibility.

Every time I see something like this, it only serves to make me feel worse about my own abilities aboard a bikecycle.

And while we’re on the topic of my own personal shortcomings, I might as well dip the proverbial ladle into a bowl of art which doesn’t suck with a few examples by British artist, Paul Chiappe;



Ordinarily I don’t go for photorealism, but Chiappe takes it a step further and abstracts it to a point where it strays into expressionism.

My partial disdain for photorealism might stem from a time when I studied under a painter named Jack Mendenhall, who, while being a master of his medium, was generally kind of an asshole, but with the anal retention that it takes to complete pieces such as his;

it shouldn’t come as any surprise that we might not see eye to eye on many things.

However, to his credit, upon visiting his studio (which was immaculate, naturally) I mentioned to him that I kept wondering what his sock drawer looked like, to which he shot back “that’s the one place in my life where I let chaos reign.

It was almost as if he momentarily let his perfectly manicured guard down, and for that I’ll always remember him.

Moving on into a whole different realm in which I suck, I officially mentioned on Friday that I had a brand new run of some very spanky socks;

Well, in a flurry of processing orders I seem to have shipped off some of the new ones to folks who ordered the old ones and vice versa.

If you ever ordered anything from Swobo while I was in their employ and got the wrong thing, that was most likely my fault.

I don’t know if I get overwhelmed and what my eyes are reading doesn’t get properly transferred to my brain or what, but for some reason I screwed a few orders up, so if you didn’t get what you ordered, make contact and we’ll get it sorted out.

I may have failed in this department, but I failed spectacularly, so to that end, at least I can say there’s one thing I excel at.


Thanks Joe.

20 thoughts on “Failure makes the heart grow fonder.

  1. I know this grief all too well. A few years back I built a run-up feature into a hill for a cyclocross race and was all but certain that it was unrideable. It held every field at bay. No one even dared.

    Then the Pro1/2 takes a crack and Dylan McNicholas proceeds to roll up the thing like it wasn’t even there. Guys like him have a totally different perspective.

  2. YIKES, now I too must hit De La and obsess about the drop-off that Mr. Disk Brake CX fancy pants just showed up and owned…. aargh…that hurt me right in my ego ;-P

  3. I’m sure having Jeremy’s power-to-weigh ratio of a single cab / short bed 1980′s Toyota 4×4′s got nothing to do with it.

  4. Nothing like starting the week off with a subliminal hallucination of Laurel and Hardy. Oh the pratfalls that will come….

  5. WTF. really! I never even considered Molly’s section a possibility……for anyone, that section always stopped me from going down let alone up.

  6. Nail on the head head throughout this entire post. Now I can face Monday and a chilly commute I’m avoiding. ¡Gracias señor!

    P.S. “When the going gets weird, the weird turn professional”–H.S.T. Those guys are paid to make it look easy. The rest of us get to pick our footing and/or have Uncle Tupelo rattle around in our heads, which for me is a fairly regular occurrence.

  7. JPow lives w/ my kid sister and her hubby, and she informed me that he rolls up to the dinner table in the same fashion (but she’s a little pissed about the tire marks on the table).

  8. O.K., so he’s got sick amounts of power and is freakishly talented technically too…..big deal. Did you see that drive? Come on man! My gramdma can throw better then that

  9. If you want a boost in confidence take a roadie in his mid to late 30′s off-road that has never been off-road. You will immediately feel like a Zen-Dirt Master after about 3 miles of low-speed tip-overs.

  10. Great post: killer J-Pow footage, cool new socks, and my all time favorite Uncle Tupelo song! J-Pow is a beast! I had a chance to see him kick off his season at the Tacchino Cyclocross race in September. He was in Maryland to do a clinic, with no intention of racing, but everyone was egging him on to race. Jeremy says “no problem,” hops in the Pro-1-2-3 race and casually crushed it. Having been in the 3/4 race a bit earlier it was supper cool to see how Jeremy could rip around the same course. There was a difficult set of log barriers on a steep muddy hill that I was happy to have been able to clean a few times in my race. Jeremy absolutely flew over it every lap, a complete combination of power and grace. Also, everyone I know that had a chance to talk to him said he was a super cool and accessible. Jeremy is a true, clean, ambassador of cycling.

    Here are a few photos of J-Pow at Tacchino Cyclocross: http://www.flickr.com/photos/john_switzer/sets/72157632557708786/

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