More News From Nowhere

Spoken retro 2

Posted in Beer, Bikes, Epics, General, Riding, Roadtrips by brettok on May 1, 2010


Here is the second of my “I’m too busy to put up a new post so here’s a story from SPOKE” posts.  This one celebrates the friendship forged by mountain biking between me and my great mate Steve, AKA El Ganso.  



It wasn’t so much a who’s who as a who’s that? Sat round a table in a pub in a city in another country was a collection of guys and girls who wouldn’t turn a head should they walk down a street with a chicken stapled to their head. They meant little to the poor bar girl who had been plying them with beers for the last two hours and had subsequently been subjected to their unique brand of humour. Not crass or crude, but just weird, sometimes bewilderingly incomprehensible. But dammit, these were my friends, and just because they don’t mean anything to anyone else, doesn’t mean that they don’t mean the world to me.

They were gathered on this night, in this pub in this city, to farewell me as I set out on my NZ adventure, along with my good mate the K-Man. I didn’t know how long I’d be on this adventure, but I needed a change and I was actually going to do something about it rather than just talking or thinking about it. In the back of my mind though, I thought that I probably wouldn’t be away for more than a few months. How could I just turn my back on these people, my riding and social friends, and the trails that I loved to ride and would find it hard to replace? That was over two years ago. The K-Man only lasted a few weeks, but I’m still here, in my new city, with a new bunch of friends and a new bunch of trails that have kept me from all that good stuff back ‘home’.

That’s one of the great things about mountain biking; it brings people together, because of the sharing of a common passion. Sure, a lot of people with whom I share this common passion I wouldn’t want to spend any deal of time with, either on or off the bike. Strange people seem to be attracted to cycling. But you weed those ones out, and develop a little circle of riding buddies who you can ride with, share a beer, who can appreciate the good tunes, and can reel off impromptu lines from classic movies or tv shows. It’s the little things that matter.


Going back across the ditch on a couple of occasions has been an eye-opener too, hanging out with the old crew and riding the familiar old trails. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it was the absence from my new riding playgrounds that I missed the most. I guess the newness of these trails is still fresh enough to keep me excited every ride, and the old ‘home’ trails seemed just a little too stale. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, but the variety of terrain and the vaster array of riding partner options make my new locale all the more appealing. If only my old crew could experience what is keeping me here.

And of course they could. One of my oldest friends, who shall only be known as ‘El Ganso’ (Google it if you’re confused) popped over recently for a quick ride and drink mission. We’ve been friends since about 91, when we met at a local race, drawn together by that great equaliser, music. Ganso had been pumping out some nice vibes from his car while setting up his bike, and we got to talking. We’d bump into each other a few more times at a few more races, and then faded away for a few years before bumping into each other at the Cairns World Cup race in 95. In a crowd of thousands, and the length of a country from our home, somehow we were brought together again. Mountain biking had done it’s work. We ended up riding a whole lot more, then travelling to Europe, more riding back in Aus, before he met another of my great friends, fell in love and started a family. Riding became a smaller part of his life, but our friendship remained strong as ever. But his bike was getting on even if not getting used, and on my last return home we went and got him a nice new steed. El Ganso was back.

And then he was here. We drank, we rode, we reminisced, we created new memories to savour in years to come. We’d been brought back together by mountain biking, in a different country, on different trails, but with the same strong bond that it had forged so many years earlier. It’s a unique sport that can do that.





2 Responses

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  1. Chris said, on May 20, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    Dude are you comming to Ch-ch for the Pixies? i cant remember.
    I hear you now own a limited addition signed kevin top. awesome. Bet it reeks of success.

  2. brettok said, on May 20, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Hey mate…

    Yeah, I’ve got a ticket.

    And a sweet smelling Kevin top… it reeks of something, not sure if it’s success or not.

    Shit, I’d better get it out of the freezer at work! Caleb told me it would get rid of the funk. Burning it would work better.

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