Like many of the things I post here (and on that Book of Faces interweb site) I lifted this from another, far more profeshonal, funnier weblog than this one. And this particular video struck a nerve with me.
Get in the way-back machine and travel to around 1989 or so and you'd find a 17 year old, mulleted (just an FYI for you too young to remember, when you went in and asked for a haircut you got a mullet, no choice), Bermuda shorts, Vans wearing kid that wanted to be a Clint Reynolds. I wanted to load my Lovely up with my then coveted Diamond Back Turbo BMX bike and head to San Diego and live the bike bum lifestyle, at least for a little while.
But, and it is a BIG but, to live that lifestyle, or at least to be able to get to a place where you can live that lifestyle, you had to have some money, or be from a family that had money, and I was neither. So, I continued working and going to college and later that year (1989), I "discovered" mountain biking. My dream then changed from going to San Diego to be a BMX bum to going somewhere where I could be a mountain bike bum, maybe Northern California, Oregon, Colorado or Utah. Once again, there is some money involved here, and while I had some money now, I was also on that I.V. drip of money and it was difficult to let go of it, just walk away, especially since I was now on a career path with that grocery store where I worked.
In 1991, I packed up my truck with my brother and headed out to a place on the map we only read about in magazines, Moab, UT. If you've been to Moab in the last 10 years or so, I'll tell you it is NOTHING like it was in 1991. It was a town with only 1 fast food joint, McDonald's (not that a fast food joint is important, it just illustrates a point) no movie theater and only one bike shop. It was a dying former mining town. Mountain bikers has just started going there in the previous few years. Now, it has many fast food joints, a theater, at least 4 bike shops and the town has exploded, thanks in large part to mountain biking. Coming back from that tangent...we headed to Moab without much of a plan other than to go to town, find a place to camp, buy a trail map and go hit some trails, which we did. We didn't have a lot of money in our pockets, so were kinda bumming it, making PB&J sandwiches, camping at a cheap spot, etc.
Since 1991, I've been to Moab many, many times (somewhere around 20 times, averaging almost once per year!) as well as biking trips to California, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado and right here in my back yard in the beautiful Black Hills. And almost every time I went on these trips, I didn't go and stay in a fancy hotel anything like that, but we camped or stayed with family or friends, sleeping on their floors, couches or for a luxury night, their spare bedrooms. I've slept in the back of my truck in a downpour in Moab with a friend, I've camped at the Fruita Fat Tire Festival in the same truck with my Lovely and the Boy when he was only 11 months old. I camped in primitive camp sites along the Colorado River with friends, near people that were living there full-time. Looking back on it, I have lived the mountain bike bum lifestyle, albeit 1 or 2 weeks at a time. Then when that trip is over, I get to go back home to a nice house, a warm bed, a refrigerator stocked with food and beer and a family that likes me better when I leave for a little while then come home with an attitude adjustment.
Now that we're planning our next biking trip to Moab, I am getting ready to go be a bike bum for another few days. And if I can keep this up for another 10 years or so, I'll have logged enough days of being a bike bum that it would be the equivalent of being a bike bum for a year or two. Doing it a week at a time probably works a lot better for me. I admire Clint Reynolds for following his dream, and youth is definitely NOT wasted on the young in this particular case, but I think I might just go ape-shit crazy living in a tiny little Airstream like he is. I get to be a bike bum without the uncertainty of where I'm gonna sleep tonight and without the dumpster diving. So, my dreams are not wasted, but fulfilled, a week or so at a time.