I was reading Furby's blog the other day. By far my favorite blogger when he lets it spew. His talent lies within his ability to stay consistent, a perspective that captures the day to day tribulations of a person who might as well be invisible. He moves in an out of daily encounters with workers, employees of bike shops, Quick Trip experiences, boring stuff really, but he has a quirky personality, and it comes through in his writing consistently, every time. His knowledge of malt beverages is impeccable and useful. So that gives this story creedence enough.
His writing perspective comes from that of (not quite cliche yet) single and lonely Walmart employee, working third shift in pet supplies, squeaking out a living doing what he does, living alone in South City. He is a resurrected bicycle racer, again (meant to be redundant).
He has had his ups and downs of baddass in the past few years and that is what makes the story interesting. Around 03 I knew of him as the quiet guy riding alone in the woods with a SLCC kit, seeing him on the road moving along pretty good. He was always by himself and you had to friggin scream at him to say hello or get a nod, which pisses most people off. It's that friggin elite bullshit that one often comes across, usually on road encounters. It used to really chap me. It was more prevalent in my early riding career, I was probably inappropriately styled, had toe straps, boots, too big of a helmet, or something. As a dejected trail or road snub subject, our growing training group had the policy that pretty much stuck to the rule that we mofo any jerk who fails to acknowledge the presence of another rider. Retrospectively, with Shoemaker (his real name), it was likely his brinkmanship that didn't let us control the situation by getting him to say hi, or he was just shy. I think it also had something to do with me wearing a sleeveless Sunset Jersey that I got from Klepfer in 2000.
As things rolled around and I came into my understanding of the way things are in the world of amateur cycling, I noticed who would show up at races, and who would not. Furby showed at all sorts of races, MTB, Road Races, I think he did cross through the years too. According to his blog he is a freaking cat 2 now and there is a picture with him leading out Brad Huff and Kurt on the front page. Tell me the boy doesnt take it serious. I suppose I should yield, kneel and pray when encountering him now. He was always there for the past 7 or 8 years, quiet in his demeanor, little said to anyone whom he encountered rising throughout the ranks of Euber Roadie prestige.
It is a little odd that I know this stuff about the dude. After all, I keep coming back for more, reading his blog, checking back for updates. I think I have a softspot for people like him. Occasionally I was worried that he would drink himself onto his bike and in to the path of a car. He shares the occasional story of self destruction, that which makes one worry if he is actually getting "low" or simply pressing the buttons of his readers of which I would guess that he has many.
Two things have happened to Furby that have changed his demeanor in the past couple years. The first had to be with his emergence as wing boy with Dick and the Destroyers. Dick aka Richard Rickey, a fellow Geezer (40ish+ baddass on the bike) whom we don't often see that much anymore. There was also Johnny Underpants, another MTB badass who's integrity was challenged when a picture surfaced of him in a boat trying to get across the lake at 2006 Burnin at the Bluff. Furby was the third sidekick and it was like a light went off upon his inclusion into the group. They drank a bunch of beer one night and lore has it that they pee'd on the bar at Schlafly. This was likely the top cycling story of my entire career. Not a hero story, a funny unfolding of he said, she said. Look it up on Stlbiking.com if you choose.
At one time, they were the ones to beat on a three man team 12 hour. I am pretty sure that they drank all night before the gun went off. Then fights would break out after the race, a car was ripped apart and the backseat used for street skiing off the back of a car. These both happened at the two Burnin's that I attended. Never a dull moment.
The Destroyers are no more. Just an occasional blurb from Rickey about some race that he says he will show up for and doesn't. Johnny Underpants, the one who allegedly dripped on he bar, is nowhere to be seen, at least not in my areas of exposure. Furby has been cast out of the underbelly and is on his own now. For a while he went self destructive, drank too much, didn't train. Then, all of the sudden he is talking about 115 mile rides and putting pictures of he and Huff on the blog. Hell, he has a job now.
So there is life after the Destroyers, Fingerbangers or whomever they called themselves. I kind of miss those guys a bit, and like Furby, I have found the spirit to come back in to form to experience the likes of people like them, have the influence from some interesting folks who push things to the limits, unconventionally, humor.
Keep writing Brian.