Sunday, March 25, 2012

Foundry Cycles: Tradesmen and Women Wanted

Foundry Cycles is hosting a contest to find 5 tradesmen and women to represent the brand (click here for details) . Basically, Foundry is selecting 3 entries per region and will post them by April 5th, on the Foundry website with voting buttons. Then the public has the chance to vote until the end of April. The person in each region with the most votes wins.

I have been considering entering the contest but wanted to make sure that I would be a good representation of the company before I entered. I had the opportunity to test ride some of the bikes when Jason Grantz brought them to town. I was impressed with the rides and the builds.

I am passionate about bikes, and even more passionate about getting people on bikes. Bikes are not simply something that I hang on the wall to look at (although I do often stand and look at my bikes). Bikes are a tool that can be used for so many different purposes. That is one reason that I started the local chapter of Trips For Kids (WNC) . Once a person, young or old, gets on a bike, and learns how to ride, the possibilities become limitless.

So, with the encouragement of friends and family, I wrote a short essay that I hope portrays my passion: Enjoy!

The cowboy stepped up onto the porch, took off his hat and beat it gently against his leg. Dust puffed off with each hit revealing the darker black compared to the brown film of prairie dust that had accumulated throughout the day. The man turned and took in the view, gazing past the corral that held his horses, watching the cattle on the far hill then finally letting his gaze fall on the colorful clouds lit up by the sunset.

He turned again to head inside, spurs clinking on the rough hewn lumber that made up the porch that wraps around the meager house he had built with his own hands. Putting his hand on the doorknob he opened the door, stepped inside and let his eyes adjust to the dim light of the lantern. He turned and hung his hat on the peg just inside the door, the peg his grandfather had carved for him and given him as a wedding gift long ago.

The hat hung there, just as it had for years, day after day, after doing it’s job. The hat had done a lot for the man and he was thankful for it. He was a cattleman by trade, and the hat was a very important tool. It had protected him from the blazing sun, kept the rain off during the sudden summer thunderstorms. It kept the falling snow off of his head in the dead of winter, all while he was moving his cattle from range to range. Without the hat, survival would have been nearly impossible. He took care of it, cleaned it, replaced the head band when needed, but he never left home without it. Just like his grandpa had taught him so long ago. He used it to collect wild herbs when making stew for dinner over a campfire. Occasionally it came in handy to brush the flies off his horse’s neck, one Easter he even let the little girl at the church use it to collect eggs when she forgot her easter basket back at the ranch.

His hat was a tool, a tool of the trade. The only cowboys who did not have a hat, were ones who didn’t have a use for one anymore, if you know what I mean.

And so, like a the “Boss Of The Plains” or better known as a Stetson, a bike is my tool. When I look for a bike, I look for one that is functional, one that might have multiple uses. I use my bike for training, for commuting to and from work, for riding with friends, for racing. I also like a bike that is tough enough for multi day, self supported trips. I clean my bike, take care of it, dust it off after a long day on the road, and then put it to use the next day. If it gets scratched and the color fades, so be it. That merely signifies that the bike has been somewhere, and done something. Some of the stories will be told, some I'll keep to myself, but at the end of the day, as I turn to admire the beauty of the setting sun, then hang the bike proudly on my wall, I will smile a contented smile, knowing that the bike is being used for what it was created to be. "IT'S A TOOL, NOT A TROPHY".