Tuesday, April 16, 2019


I watch a lot of YouTube videos.  Mostly at work.  It's a fringe benefit, but my supervisors would probably not see this the same way.

Perhaps with slight nostalgia, I clicked on an old skateboard video today.  This led to more and more old skateboard videos being suggested by YouTube, one of which was a clip from the cheesy 1986 film "Thrashin'" with Josh Brolin and Pamela Gidley.  I confess that, as a skater in the 80s, I watched this film repeatedly to the point of memorization.  For many of us it was our first exposure to real skateboarding.  Yeah the story was stupid, it certainly didn't portray the sport in a very positive light, instead making us look like warring gangs torching property.  But the skateboarding, as it always does, rang true, louder than hokey dialog and a predictable plot, totally hooking those of us on the fringes who wondered if there might be something to it other than riding down our driveways on K-Mart boards.

And then there was Chrissy (played by Pamela Gidley), love interest of the main character.  She was everything our underdeveloped teenage brains thought a skateboard girlfriend should be: smart, beautiful (obviously), sweet but tough, supportive of our socially unacceptable hobby and with just a little bit of her own devilish side.  We all had crushes on Chrissy, whether we wanted to admit it or not.

After confirming the coast was clear, I clicked on that link and watched the five minute snippet.  And another.  And another.  A Delorean couldn't have transported me any quicker.  You know what I found?  I'm old, Thrashin' is still a cheesy movie, the skating still holds up and some crushes never die.

While wearing the rose colored spectacles, I wondered what ever became of her.

So I Googled Pamela Gidley.

Only to find she had died at 52.

On April 16, 2018.

And one year to the day I wind up randomly watching her in a clip from the endless sea of them.

The universe is a bitch man.

Brolin and Gidley in Thrashin'

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

2018 Race Season Photo Review

2018 VCHSS season, 4th place overall, 40+B class.  The pictures tell only part of the story...

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Waiting For Winter's Wane

2018 gasps its last agonal breaths with only a crappy holiday or two left to endure.  Six weeks after the last race, three months before the first.  Staring out at last Sunday's gift, a foot of snow, coldly book-ended by grey days of torrential rain, watery sunshine, mud and a stupid time change.  One wishes to sleep 18 hours a day. 

But the man has other plans, as well as a garage full of projects.  There's motors to be built and rebuilt, van interiors to be re-designed, parts sourced, money upon money burnt.  This is racing, and it's never over.

Even when it seems like it's over.

Flying into spring, hopefully...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Let It Ride

"I do the work that is in front of me." -Ian MacKaye

The 2018 season draws to a close, with only one race left to contest before the end.  For most this is a break, a rest, a respite.  No more packing up, hauling bikes and gear, schlepping all over the countryside in search of an obscure, seldom found muddy glory.  Many will take stock, reflect and wonder whether to remain in this hardscrabble hare scramble world.  There are certainly more forgiving hobbies, cheaper ones, less painful and difficult.  I'm not immune to that line of thought, comes with getting older I suppose.

 But for those who keep their skin in the game, now is the time to build, train, prepare.  To learn new tricks.  Yes, even this old dog.  The scant four and a half months between races will be gone before you know it.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, another birthday will pass like a breath and the faithful will be lined up on a cold, damp March day with guts full of butterflies and fogged goggles, listening to the race marshal bellow, "TEN SECONDS!!!".

Looking around a garage littered with dirt bike parts, engines in need of rebuilding, a bare frame that I shall have barely enough time to turn into a race bike, I wonder what to do.

Moments of overwhelming indecision, then it becomes clear.

I shall do the work in front of me.


Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Battle Rages On...

September 23, 2018 VCHSS Round #12 Knockdown Hare Scramble, Charlotte Court House, VA

Rain overnight.  Another muddy race.  Another 3rd place.  The season winds down.  Much learned.  Much left to be learned.  The clock is still ticking...