Ironhorse you're a Legend- but not The Special.

The Ironhorse has no front brake.

The pegs are suspect, the chain frequently pops off, and at any moment, the handle bars may collapse forward.

In short, it's a badass machine.

It's the Ironhorse- a killer lil' BMX bike someone with brains picked up on the way to last year's Air Race. It was introduced to me as Jammer's bike and while only in Salt Lake for a hot minute or two last December, it was brought to my attention while getting a brief tour of the home office- as if it had become an intricate part of the team. The Ironhorse returned to sunny San Diego again this year, about a week after we had kicked things off down at the Dub and seeing as how I'd spent the majority of that week running around the runway like a complete jackass, I thought I needed wheels.

The Ironhorse seemed perfect.

Oh and it was the goddamn cats pajamas down at the Dub. All the dudes & pretty Austrian ladies were diggin' on the ol' Ironhorse. Kirby Chambliss gave the Ironhorse the thumbs up as he taxi'd down the roadway, headed for practice runs. And in the setting afternoon sun, you bet your farmer's tan arse that the Ironhorse looked absolutely wicked. So wicked that one of the tech dudes spent nearly 30 minutes trying to make it even more wicked.

He didn't succeed. It didn't matter.

The Ironhorse became as important to the Dub's success as the planes, cigarettes, ashtrays, gaffa tape, and small aluminum sheets were. On Tuesday, I said goodbye to the Ironhorse, dropping it off at the Broadway Pier with some ninjas. It wasn't emotional.

There were no tears. From either of us.

Today I brought out the Ray F'n Louder special, my Philly bike. It's new to me, Ray dropped it off at the shop sometime last month. It's a replacement for the bike that goddamn spider monkey crackheads stole out of our backyard last summer. Ray had recently spruced up that bike, really made the bastard shine, and took it hard when I told him it was stolen.

"I'll get you a new one pal," he said. "You just tell me when."

When was after I got home from the Open in March. Spending that much time outside made me realize how much I love kicking around in the outdoors so I rang up Ray and told that homeboy to get me a bike together. Doesn't have to be anything special, I told him. Just something I can kick around the city in, but also handle a trail if I get bored and veer off onto one. Less than a month later he bunny-hopped my new bike into the office. Hands down the coolest entrance anyone has made at the office and will probably hold that title until someone comes either in on fire or handing out free chicken burritos.

So my new ride is the Ray F'n Louder Special and we went cruising today. Up the river, down the river- blasting the new Green Day album. Damn dude it felt awesome. Looking at the ladies & the meatheads on rollerblades & the old folks who think you're going to fast & the rowin' dudes walking around talkin bout going up the river, down the river and the closing of public libraries. The Louder Special might lack the originality and circumstantial awesomeness that the Ironhorse possesses, but today, I wouldn't have traded the Special for 8 Ironhorses. Mainly because the Special rocks and also because I would never have a need for 8 little BMX bikes.

From bike to bike, city to city, and album to album, it's some crazy shit how one Tuesday can be so much different than the last. It was only a week ago! Seven days and just like that, you moved on, up, forward, over & out. San Diego to Chula Vista to San Diego to Chicago to Portland to Brewer to Bar Harbor to Brewer to Bangor to Portland to Falmouth and finally to Philly. Different bike to ride with a different soundtrack to ride too.

The odds on such a shift happening by next Tuesday are slim, brah.

But really, with the Louder Special, Brita water, and clean jeans- who knows what it'll be like.

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