With almost 50 years of riding bicycles under my belt (and 40 years of mountain biking) I can safely say when I just hop on and start givin’r it feels much like an ‘autopilot’ or ‘cruise control’ of stoke. But…I recently had a moment that hit my turbo fun button and kicked my stoke into another gear.
It happened unexpectedly, when I was cast as a PVS delivery driver in a Pit Viper/IFHT Films rock video called “New Bike Day.”
After getting into costume and weaving through the tripods, lights, reflectors, audio equipment, cameras, and fellow actors I suddenly saw it…the source and primal object of my bike lust from way back in formative years…
A red and black motocross-inspired, full-suspension bicycle complete with fake plastic gas tank, fender, hi-rise handlebars, moto grips, and knobby tires. Oh, how I coveted this bike as a seven-year-old, back in the ’70s and here it was, just randomly sitting there with the other props!
My vision immediately tunneled, the audio in my ears turned into crashing waves, the hair stood up on my arms, my palms got sweaty, and my heart started racing. It felt like an out-of-body experience as my hands curled around the grips and I sat down on the bike’s extended, padded seat. I had yearned for this bike so badly as a kid that it hurt. I never got one, but I did get the model below the full suspension that had everything but the shocks. In hindsight, it was probably a good move because the full shocker was actually a heavy tank.
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To see one now in great shape though, made me flashback to those days of extreme bike love, jumping garbage cans, doing skids, exploring new areas block by block and expanding my knowledge of the world—those bikes we had as kids offered our first taste of freedom and mobility.
Back on the video set, I pulled myself together and laughed at the idea of what it would be like if little, garbage-can jumping me back in “the good old days” of 1976 had somehow seen the high-tech, full-suspension YT carbon mountain bikes filling my bike room right now in 2022. (This is where I was going to slip in a time-travel joke…but you didn’t like it.) Would my back-then mind be blown by a bike with today’s space-age tech? Or would I be disappointed that there’s no plastic replica gas tank?
After returning home from the “New Bike Day” shoot I checked out my current bikes with a newfound appreciation. I grabbed the closest sweet bike and hit the trails into the forest at the end of the block. Magically, the fog parted, and God-beams of sunshine began poking through the mist. My stoke definitely kicked into overdrive at that moment, and as I let the good times roll down the trail I said to myself, “These…ARE the good ol’ days!”
So let the good times roll… –Brett Tippie