Jack’s bike check

One of my best friends told me that I’m doing my kids a disservice by giving them great bikes and making sure they always work properly.  They will never know the exquisite pain of trying to make a hoopty perform at a high level.  Well, I like nice bikes and since I can offer my kids something great to ride, why not?  I make sure to let them know the value of their rides and that they need to take care of them.

I’m especially proud of Jack’s bike.  It’s one of my old flatland frames so it fits him perfectly.  At age 10, a normal sized bike is just too much for him to handle.  He just left for the day’s adventures and I snapped a few pictures before he headed out.  He loves this bike more than anything so I told him we Should do a bike check.


Frame:  2006 Haro M7, custom powder coat

Fork:  Odyssey flatland, custom powder coat


Seat: Haro


Pedals:  Colony

Cranks: SE

Sprocket: Odyssey MDS

Chain: KMC

Seatpost: SE

Brakes: Tektro with Odyssey straddle hanger

Seatpost clamp: Mirraco

Pegs: Black Ops plastic


Wheels: Haro Hypno, Double wall rear, Single wall front.

Tires: Haro La Mesa


Grips: Cult Vans (just put them on)

Bars: SE Power Wing

Lever: Odyssey Monolever Trigger

Stem:  S&M Lil’ Redneck

Gyro: Generic with Odyssey cables

What do you think?  Not a bad start for a kid.  I built it up for him before he went to Woodward this past summer.  I wanted to make sure he had a bike that would give him the most enjoyment from his week.  His thank you to me was learning 360’s.  Looks like we both won.

By brettdownsconspiracy

Dating or Ramps?

I showed up with good intentions and a basic idea of what I wanted.

Thinking that it would be a fun challenge for myself, I got my stuff together and left the comfort of home to throw caution to the wind.

I met a bunch of new people.  Some were immediately likable and some were odd.  I didn’t care because I had a bigger plan in mind.

I surveyed the area, got prepared and set up barriers.

Then it was time.  I gave it one last good look and steadied myself.  I watched the others jump in.  They were eager and full of youthful confidence.  Being older and more experienced, I decided I better err to the side of caution and protect myself.  I protected my most vulnerable parts.  After all, I’d been hurt and not fully healed.

I studied and focused what I was about to attempt.  Strange that I had butterflies in my stomach when it was something I had done a million times.  I convinced myself that I knew what I was doing and it would be ok.  My reserve steeled, I knew I would have to just commit and throw myself and not worry about the what ifs.  Just trust in myself.

There was one little obstacle first that I hardly noticed.  My experience got me over that and then it was time for the big leap.  I hardly remember the launch or the actual move of my first attempt but I do remember the harsh thud at the end.  Damn Brett, tried too hard.


A little less next time.

Second try, not too different than the first but the confidence in myself was building after the initial go.  Halfway through I knew I was falling short, I sucked it up and absorbed the impact.  I was ok.  Just had a better understanding of what I needed to do.

I got back in the queue and felt my self assurance growing.  This time everything went perfectly.  I was conscious of each moment and spotted where I wanted to be and made myself go there.  I was smiling as I realized I could still do this.  The floating sensation was familiar.  Confidence and satisfaction radiated from my smile.  It was going to be a good day.

But that one success was over and I had to try it again. I mingled with the others for a while and felt the nerves starting to build.  I knew I had done it perfectly but my reluctance still had me shaking.  Each try was the potential for disaster but I wanted it.  I dove in a fourth time.

Everything felt fine with the set up and approach.  Once I let it fly, I was off balance and knew this wasn’t going the way I wanted.  I had been in this situation before and knew what I had to do.  I prepared myself hoping the failure would be a minor one.  It was.

But after I touched back down to earth, something gave.  Things went screwy and sideways and I felt forces beyond my control slam me.  Hard.  Suddenly I was a jumbled heap. Pain was all over my body in big and little ways.  I picked myself up and stepped aside to one of the boundaries I had set to assess the damages.

The worst pain was an old, familiar one I had felt before.  I was hoping I hadn’t made it worse.  There was also a new pain in my gut.  My chest ached with a throbbing reminder that I was still alive and this was going to hurt for a while.

Funny thing was, this time I was laughing to myself.  The pain was real and intense yet I was laughing because I had protected myself first and sure enough, it saved me from much worse injury.  Maybe I wasn’t able to do it like I used to but at least this time I was prepared and when it all blew up I knew I’d be ok.

Now, two weeks later, I wake up with the soreness still with me.  I notice it all day long.  It’s slowly fading and I’m getting back to life as it was before without the constant reminder of my unsuccessful leap.  Many people would be hurt like this and give up trying.  I know that some day I’ll do it again.  What can I say, it’s worth it to me.  I don’t regret getting hurt because it feels so good when it all comes together perfectly.

Or maybe I just don’t know better…

By brettdownsconspiracy