SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 152: “Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously”

I’m a cyclist, love mountain biking, and if it has pedals on it, it’s for me.

Call me spoke happy if you will. I know… for some the though of sitting on a hard bike saddle for extended periods of time is kin to punishment. For me, sadistic as it may sound, sit me down, make me pedal and I’m on cloud nine.

Even in conversation, if given the choice between trivia and biking, point me to the pedals. And with a night sky delivering a sporadic hailing of rainfall, and a driver’s seat pointing toward a new bike shop in the area, Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery, my friend finding objective is set.

Into the shop I go and I am immediately taken back by its cleanliness, killer stock and organized layout. I strike up biking talk with the guys at the counter, and soon thereafter am photographing Mike.

Mike is a rather energetic lad. A road cyclist for most of his life, he talks of enjoying life and working hard.

“Don’t take yourself too seriously no matter what you’re doing. Because there is always time to bust your ass and work hard,” Mike’s suggestion for a good life.

He talks of school, work and cycling, but in it all there is a confident discipline in his demeanor. That blended with a spontaneous sense of humor makes it a pleasure to speak with him, and leads to his life driving motivation, “Life in itself is serious, but it’s not like you get time for infinite amounts of fun. So take advantage of it when you can.”

Mike is not one of those guys who take a soapbox platform in answering my questions and, as I mentioned, we are not in the store alone. With us are two other store keeps, one tuning a bike and the other listening in on our conversation. I will not mention them by name, but will tell you, there is a high probability that you may meet one of them in the near future. I’ll leave it at that.

What began as an interview quickly turns into a group discussion of handlebar vaulting, bike tuning and the stories from several of my 365 friends. It’s a wonderful thing to see first hand how the sharing of 365 interviews influences the world around me.

We talk of passing it on, of doing good and lean towards the overall theme of 365. For any of you who are here for the first time, that theme, “We are all in the thing together.”

If you are not a cyclist, you’re always welcome to hang with us; we are a happy bunch of people. And with this though, Mike gives us his wish for the world. “I’d like to see more bicycles for the planet, especially in Southern California.”

I know, what a short interview, but in fairness to Mike, the other store keeps and myself, It’s raining outside, the shop closes in ten minutes and we are surrounded by un-ridden bikes. Best to hit the road and rest for tomorrows ride.

Mike laughs a lot, and with the greatest of humor, he delivers a quick and humorous reply to my offer of a last opportunity to contribute.

With an ear to ear grin, he say, “That’s all, you’ve had enough of my philosophy.”

I buy my Honey Stinger energy chews and depart for the mountains.

Santa Monica Mountain Cyclery guys, see you on the trails.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: