I've got heroes. You wouldn't necessarily know it by looking at me. You might find yourself saying "wow, a good looking guy with your hairline has heroes?" Oh yeah, is what I can say. I mean, if I had invented something really cool like that stuff that makes the water run right off your windshield of if I could find a way to make the perfect oatmeal in half the time - and patent it - then I would be a hero also. Maybe I would not even feel the need to continually read cheap novels on airplanes.
If you think about it the perfect oatmeal is out there somewhere. Sometimes you are not even thinking about it and you combine just the right amount of oats, water, almonds, walnuts, berries, peaches, organic yogurt...gets me excited just writing that all out like that. Lately, I have been combining the oats with an egg and Cinnamon. You just drop the egg in when the water is pretty much gone, and then a grop of Cinnamon and there you have it. Near perfection.... I just wonder though, what if you put the peanut butter right in there also? hmm...
But, I digress. It is so easy to get carried away. When is that National Oatmeal Day again?
Oh yeah, heroes. Not that goofy show either. Although, there was a girl on there that could throw herself out of a window and get just horribly mangled on the ground. Arm bent around her back the wrong way, collarbone pushed out there her skin, neck broken and head pointing in the wrong direction, leg twisted around backwards etc... Really gruesome looking. But, she would just straighten herself out and be right as rain. Kind of Oracle like. It was pretty cool. Almost made the show worth watching, but it went downhill from there.
I do have a serious list of heroes though, and even some brushes with greatness on my part.
Here is my version of all of that.
1. Eddy Merckx. That is easy to say, I know. "I like that guy from Belgium who won alot. You know, the guy with the slobber coming out of his face while he annihilated his competition. You know, the guy with his name on the bike". Anybody of my age in cycling will say Eddy Merckx and then kinda look up at the sky and go all dreamy about cold Belgium training days and attacking over and over at the Giro. Eddy would tell you he was going to win that day, and then go crush his competition flat, twice - just to make his point.
2. Roger De Coster. "The Man" If you are only into cycling and reading this, you might not know who Roger De Coster is. But, Roger is affectionately known as "The Man" in the motocross world. You see, I grew up with anything 2 wheels. I raced motocross as a kid, and bicycles all through my college years. Roger was the stuff of legends. He won at a time when the sport was a European only sport, but then also won when it was becoming an american sport. He still is known as The Man.
I have my own story about those 2. I was a kid in high school, living in Belgium. I was just off a few years of racing motorcycles and just getting into bicycle racing. It was 1978. I was playing tennis in a tournament in Belgium (that is a story in an of itself), I was playing on one court, and on the court right next to me was Eddy Merckx playing a match with Roger De Coster! Holy crap. 2 of my lifelong heroes right there next to me. It was the greatest moment of my life (give me a break, I was like 17).
Fastforward about 25 years. Trek and Eddy Merckx are trying to put together a deal. I flew over to visit Eddy at his place in Belgium, then he and I hopped a plane to Italy to visit his suppliers. I WENT TO ITALY WITH EDDY MERCKX! I mean pinch me - jesus. I was riding along in a car with Eddy Merckx - in Italy! If I would have died right then, it would have been on a huge huge high. But wait, it get's even better. (Bring it around Joe).
Eddy drives about 120 mph everywhere he goes, to top that off he has like 3 cell phones going all the time. He can rapid fire switch between English, French, Flemish and Italian. We stayed at a little hotel in northern Italy that they knew him when he walked in. We had dinner at a restaurant, where they knew him when he walked in the door. He is Eddy Merckx after all. On the 2nd day, I told him about playing tennis next to him on the court in Brussels in 1978. He got a kick out of that. He got such a kick out of it, he dialed up Roger De Coster on the phone and we spoke to him while bombing around in northern Italy. Ok, that is just too cool for words. I have a huge smile on my face, just writing all that.
But wait, it get's even better. Sometime later, I was at an Annaheim Supercross race and my friend Zapata introduced me to Roger De Coster. Holy looping of my life in circles batman. I am so going to play that Kevin Bacon game this weekend. Just a couple of Andy Warhol moments.
I have more heroes, but it all kinda pales from here.
3. Rain Man. You know, because he was right. Those places do suck.
4. Anyone that can ride a wheelie or a manual. Yep, if you can - you're my hero. I am convinced that it is genetic. You are either born with the wheelie gene or not. You will see a person that can ride a wheelie and they can be about 10. They are just able to do it. One handed, seated, standing, talking etc... I always wanted to be able to ride a wheelie. I still cannot. I should have chosen my parents better.
5. Fulton beer company. I really dig the IPA. Just thought I would throw in some random commercialism. I did just enjoy one though.
6. That kid that can play the guitar like Jack Johnson. Surely you have seen that. There is only one thing that I wish that could have done in my life almost as much as a professional cyclist or professional offroad motorcycle racer (ya, there is a 2 wheel theme there). I wish I could play the guitar. I would so like to rock a bunch of slits in my jeans and a Slash top hat. Plus, I could play guitar with Fergie singing with me. Duh.
7. The guy that made the video "Marcel The Shell With Shoes On". It is pretty much the coolest most pointless video of all time. It makes you think.
8. Mr. YouTube. Oh how much entertainment and enlightenment can be provided.
9. Gary Fisher. Thank god for all his whackiness. I don't really know if he invented the mountain bike or if some random dude in Germany did. Whoever did thank you, but we should all thank Gary for inventing the mountain bike business. Without him, we would all be playing golf or something like that.
10. Honey Badger.
11. Mr. Peet. Without him, mornings would be alot less amped up. I travel. Traveling has it's ups, it's downs and it's just plain old is. There are lots of downs, like no Oatmeal and no bicycles. But, think of how you feel when you see the Peet's coffee sign. You can find a Starbucks just about anywhere. But, Starbucks is not special. Mr. Peet provides the special all that for us.