— Felix Salmon (@felixsalmon) June 7, 2017
Tomorrow, Thursday, June 8th, the city’s schools are closed:
(That’s today meaning tomorrow. Meaning Thursday. You know what I mean.)
Therefore in accordance with my blogging contract, I won’t be updating this blog tomorrow. Instead, I’ll be doing some skateboarding and then going to see the “Captain Underpants” movie.
Then once I’m done with that I’m going to spend some quality time with the kids.
Of course, inasmuch as I once looked like this:
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I too used to ride a skateboard in my youth. Furthermore, like all aging people who once looked like that, buying that skateboard rekindled something inside me. Therefore, it also probably won’t surprise you to learn that within a week I pulled the classic dorky dad move, and instead of simply living vicariously through his son like a normal middle-aged doofus I went back to the store and bought another one for myself.
Yeah, that’s right, I’m a walking cliché:
And I won’t be walking for long, either, because we all know it’s only a matter of time before I bust my ass on this thing. See, the problem isn’t that it’s been like 30 years since I regularly rode a skateboard. In fact, as soon as I stepped onto it it felt as familiar as if I’d been skating just yesterday.
No, the problem is that even 30 years ago I wasn’t very good. I mean sure, I could zip around the neighborhood on the thing no problem, but I was pretty bad at doing tricks. Indeed I was similarly bad at doing tricks on my BMX:
(This was about as good as I got. Note I hadn’t yet adopted my angry teen wardrobe, or removed my reflectors for that matter.)
(This, incidentally, is why I like riding singlespeed mountain bikes. It feels like the BMX racing I enjoyed so much as a kid.)
Nevertheless, as I’m sure you can imagine, as soon as I got on the skateboard I started to break out all my old moves, and then as now my entire repertoire consists exactly of this:
So what I’m saying is basically it’s only a matter of time before the board flies out from under me when I fail to land one of my pathetic ollies and I wind up in the ER.
In the meantime though it’s been fun, and I figure I might as well enjoy it while my son’s still too young to be humiliated by the sight of his father on a skateboard. (Or until I wind up in the ER, whichever comes first.) And surprisingly, perhaps the most enjoyable part so far (besides the familial bonding) has been buying the thing.
See, as much as I try to have a good attitude when I walk into a bike shop, as a complete bike dork I’m always secretly rolling my eyes whenever a member of the staff dares make a recommendation. It’s the insufferable attitude of the old man who’d been there and done that. Believe me, I’m not proud of it. In fact I make myself sick.
Not like I need to tell you any of this. I mean you all read my blog.
Given this, it was incredibly refreshing to walk into a skate shop, embrace my ignorance, and completely surrender to the staff. (I also refrained from binging on information from the Internet and then trying to pretend I knew what the hell I was talking about.) Oh sure, I know a bearing from a bushing, and I’d even owned a couple of the retro boards that they had for sale, but it’s been so long since I’ve paid close attention to skateboards that I wasn’t going to even attempt picking one out for myself. Best of all, there’s not a lot of risk in buying what they tell you to buy, since while skateboards aren’t cheap exactly they sure seem like it when your frame of reference is bicycles.
Seriously, consider what Fred pays for just a pair of handlebars:
As for what I ended up buying, it’s probably the equivalent of a hybrid bike or something, but that’s about where I am in life anyway, and at least I didn’t go for the electric model.
Finally, here’s someone who has been thoroughly brainwashed:
— Stephen B (@BicycleAdagio) June 7, 2017
Wearing a helmet while city cycling the Netherlands is like wearing a latex glove when you masturbate.
And on that note, I’m off, and I’ll see you back here on Friday.
–Wildcat Rock Machine