Monday, December 17, 2012


TEAM ROBOT has not updated anything over the past few days because your robot overlords have been very confused. Your human behavior is frustrating and bizarre to the the CPU at ROBOT HQ.

In the past week, a man burst into Clackamas Town Center with a mask on and started shooting people.

A few days later another man in Connecticut shot his mother at home and then drove to school and started killing kindergarteners.

TEAM ROBOT did not have the ability to make this situation funny. Humans that are funnier than the robots did their best to help people laugh, but ultimately there's not much to laugh at. TEAM ROBOT didn't have much to say.

On Saturday Billy Lewis, Paris Gore, and Tyler from Diamondback came down to Portland to ride the Lumberyard. I showed up late, as I do for most things in my life, and when I rolled in the first thing Paris said to me was "see that kid in the plaid shirt, on the bmx?"

"Yeah, sure" I said. "Is he gonna do ten frontflips or nose manual to barspin everything in sight and make us all look bad?"

"No," Paris said, "his mom got shot at the Clackamas mall this week. This is the first time he's been out of the house since then. Try to say something nice to him."

Mountain biking can seem pretty unimportant a lot of the time. We like to go in circles and up and down hills on bicycles, and on it's face that seems trivial compared to finding the cure for cancer or solving the debt crisis or whatever else is on the news making us all terrified.

But on Saturday, of all the places in Portland that kid could have been, whoever was responsible for him was smart enough to take him to the Lumberyard. That was probably the best, safest, most important place in the world for that kid.

Bikes are fun, and normal, and awesome, and I couldn't think of a better place for him to be. He was genuinely stoked to be there, and looked like he was having a blast. Yeah, sure, obviously there's this and that and a million other things to consider, but bikes are good and I'm glad whoever is responsible for him didn't just let him sit on the couch and play video games.

The lessons you learn on a bike are huge. You learn to trust yourself, but you learn your own limits. You learn what success and failure feel like. You learn what getting hurt feels like, but you also learn that you can and will come back from an injury. You learn to have fun and how to budget your time around what you love.

I don't think I've ever gone to the lumberyard and not seen little kids and old geezers. And I mean OLD geezers, like, over the age of 35 and everything. You know, people who are just months away from incontinence and Rascal scooters. Morning or night, midweek or weekend, people are riding there and having a blast. And people of all skill levels, on some dialed all-XTR whips and others on Surly Pugleys and Azonic Steelheads from '05. People just having fun.

There is not going to be a mass shooting at the lumberyard. Even minimal amounts of physical activity release enough dopamine to work wonders in moderating psychological problems. And bike riding is not just mindless physical activity on a treadmill or stationary bike. People actually have fun riding bikes, and they often choose to do it again.

Total rando gettin some on a rental bike at the Lumberyard.

Humans, just remember to enjoy your limited, mortal time on this earth and to ride your bike. Ride if it's raining, ride if you're busy, ride if you're tired. Just ride your bike, and get other people to, as well. Of course don't take them to anywhere TEAM ROBOT rides because we hate you and your team, but still take them riding. Just don't sit still, get lazy, and get mad, and don't let other people sit still, get lazy, and get mad.

While we're on the "life is fragile" talk, when you do ride your bike, don't be an idiot. If you're going to do a good thing and ride bikes, don't get yourself killed in the process. Wear a helmet, and wear the right one. Scott Secco put this video up on Pinkbike, and there's some good stuff in there. Needlessly dying doing something fun like riding bikes does not compute:

Humans, please stop killing each other. At TEAM ROBOT, it's our job to exterminate humanity.


Uncle Cliffy said...


Dirty Jane said...

This human was not aware that robots had sentimentality processors. Good to know, and thanks for sharing the story about the kid at the lumberyard. Glad there was some light in his life.

Laceface said...

Well said on all fronts. Getting pissed? Ride your bike. Bored? Ride your bike. Stoked? Ride your bike. Hungry? Eat tacos THEN ride your bike. It's the answer for everything.