Feed on

Direct quote from a kid who’d stopped by Friz tonight to spectate. We were taking a break and chatting with the newcomer who’d voiced interest in the game. He was riding an IRO fixie, which would have been supremely difficult (if not somewhat dangerous) to try to play Friz on. So various among us were suggesting he surf the garage sales and/or Craigslist to find himself an old mountain bike of decent quality for Friz.

But he didn’t seem interested in getting a mountain bike, and I think part of it was a generation and fashion thing. He sported the floppy Bieberesque hair and tight jean shorts which signify a particular current subculture, along with that IRO fixed gear bicycle.

It was another encounter with the generation gap.

Much (but not all) of the Friz crew these days is over 30. We’re constantly inviting passers by, and occasionally lure a few fixie kids into the mix. They generally seem to be having a lot of fun, but they seldom come back. Friz can be tricky and it’s definitely fast paced, but skilled riders usually catch on quickly.

I think the image factor of playing a stoneresque pick-up game with a bunch of “old people” is part of what kills it.

Which is entirely too bad. Friz is a damn good time, and getting better all the time. The institution of our potluck picnics has been a great boon. The snackage is hard to beat. Likewise the not-spending-money-on-mediocre-Westport-bar-food is a benefit not to be taken lightly.

I think, also, some of the younger set who poo-pooh mountain bikes have never ridden them properly. You know. Offroad.

I commuted for many, many, many years on that old Trek 800. It’s not really a fun bike on the street. It’s not that great of a mountain bike, but I can tell you, it’s a hell of a lot more fun to ride that thing on dirt (or at least grass) than it is to schlep around town on it.

Friz Machine

If you’ve only ever ridden a mountain bike around the subdivision, then you just don’t have much of a concept of what mountain biking can be. Real, honest-to-goodness trail riding (and not just piddle-putzing around on a gravel “multi-use-path,” can really be a sublime experience.

It’s about the closest I’ll probably ever get to meditation. Working with your bike to work with the terrain, soaking up the fresh air, taking in the lush, green scenery (or the romantically gnarly bare trees, if it’s fall or winter). How can you possibly say “piffle?”

The constant building and testing of skills is gratifying; you can actually mark your accomplishments by which logs you can clear, which rock gardens no longer unseat you, and how quickly you make it through a particular loop. Or you can take it all leisurely and take pictures, cool your toes in a creek, or stop and watch a cicada unfurl itself out of its old carapace.

Maybe I’m “stuck in the past” because I like to mountain bike, but I’ll happily roll with it, especially if I’m rolling the sweet “whoopdy-doos” of the Lawrence River Trails.

5 Responses to ““Mountain bikes are soooo early ’90s””

  1. jacquie says:

    PoinTED bitching, valid bitching. Please don’t chop yrself, come on!
    Piffle, god I love that word.
    GO! Michelle, GO!
    What’s Friz?

  2. Meetzorp says:

    I forgot to provide a link regarding the exactitudes of Friz, so here you go! Friz is a ridiculously good time, and we’ve added an element of Wombat-style potluck picnic to it this year which seems to have been the only thing Friz had been lacking. “Halftime” such as it is, has now become dinner time, as well.

  3. julie says:

    I could not imagine life without my mountain bikes. Tracey got me my very first one 2005ish and I’ve been in love ever since.

  4. Meetzorp says:

    Oooh! Thanks for the link…that was like riding a roller coaster just to watch it 😀

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