Y’all ordered Upness products from us. Yer hard-earned dough, sent our way for fun (yet practical) products of awesomery. As an American, I understand wanting things “now”, that means pronto (that’s Spanish, not English, but whatever)! SO, though we had 6 inches of snow fall ’round our Portland warehouse, deliveries needed to be made… all your packages needed to be brought from us to the USPS.
I rose from my desk chair after eight cups of strong coffee, did some quick yoga stretches, stood at complete attention as I saluted my flag and suited up for the arctic tundra that waited for me outside our office door. Two full bags of your packages created quite a heavy load for me, but that wouldn’t stop my drive. The wind howled outside as I tried my best to force open the door, snow had banked up. The door would not budge! I closed the door and, quietly to myself, uttered the following collection of words, “They wouldn’t give up on me. They wouldn’t let the weather stop them. Santa takes no days off. Aaron, you must find a way out and see that these deliveries are made.”
I ain’t no tough guy, but I am loyal to our followers and I just had to find a way.
I climbed the stairs, a heavy bag strapped to my back and another strapped to my front, my thorax and spine breaking under the heavy load. Once on the second floor of the warehouse (a loft used for the storage of our companies various top secret items. Don’t even think for a second that I’ll tell you what they are either!), I headed toward the front of the building. The bags, now so heavy, like the lead of a thousand, million, cajillion melted down D&D figures. I brushed giant spider webs from my path as I headed closer to a small window. Like Dr. Jones, forward through this tunnel toward the light I went. I had a mission, after all. Make no mistake, I would make it to the USPS office today!
I reached the small window that overlooks the front of Upness headquarters, opened it and before I could gasp, the wind (strong like ox) blew the shutters right off their hinges and the window shattered!!! Snow blasted my face and forced me backwards into the loft, I lost my balance, regained it and lost it again, and then I regained it again, I stumbled some, and stumbled some more. You get the idea, this was trouble. This was serious.
I took a few steps backward, where the wind had less of a death grip on me. I watched as snow began to fill the loft, I soon would be engulfed in the freezing wet stuff. Time was running out, as in, why can’t I fucking get to the point of this post and really tell you the important stuff. OK! I released the frontal load and also the backal loads, your precious cargo gently placed on the now snow-covered loft floor (ugh, my boss is gonna’ kill me). I was ill-prepared, no straps to tow anything if the occasion should arise. I tied both bags around my waste with rope quickly torn from my face, braided beard strands now a long, strong tugging device. I took only a nano second to pat myself on the back for such an incredible idea. I also took a nano second to wipe blood from my face where my beard once grew longeth. With the tough strands of beard binding, I leaned forward into the windy room and dragged both bags toward the white window mouth of doom, my hot garlic breath steaming as I moved. All fear now gone and a with renewed strength, I made it to the window… like, barely. Must… get… to… and… through… and… down… from… that… stupid… window!!!
I will spare you some details. They are long-winded (pun) and my fight against the storm raged long and hard. It was so tough trying to get both heavy bags of Upness gold through the window and lowered (again, with rope fashioned from my epic beard) down to the ground. I will also spare you the hours that I cried, oh yes, strong men do cry. Don’t judge me. I was so worried about your stuff, dear readers. So worried, in fact, that I removed all of my arctic clothing in order to make a tent to cover the…
Skip it. I was freezing, but I was now down on the ground. Finally! Two things were now making themselves very apparent:
1.) This is ridiculous.
2.) There is no way that I’m going to get all this stuff, this glorious gear, from where I am to where I need to go.
A thought came to me, like the voice of an angel, that my local bicycle shop was only a block from our Upness warehouse… if I could only get these two bags to the shop. YES! I could rent a bicycle, a fat one, one that would make this all possible! Since the guys at 21st Ave Bicycles are pretty rad dudes, could be bribed with drugs or sex dvds, this plan might just work.
Since the bribery or bicycle shop officials isn’t all that important in this story (and, like the Mob, you don’t wanna really get them involved too much), I will leave all of that out. That said, after crawling with this cumbersome load to the shop, I was greeted warmly by the fellas. They saw that I was in pain. They noted my firm and constant grit to my teeth. They also noted the dedication in my eyes and my bloody, skinned knees proved it. After cleaning up with a few soiled, oily shop rags (very funny guys), I chose the Surly ECR as my weapon against the war… the war against, um… the war against the elements and against time itself! Yes, that sounds awesome! And it was!
Behold “the Surly ECR, a sure-footed, multi-terrain, offroad-obsessed 29+ camp bike. It can run racks, fenders and disc brakes simultaneously, front and rear. It’s compatible with singlespeed, full derailleur and IGH drivetrains (it even features a dedicated Rohloff torque arm mount) because the rear dropouts. Run what you like. ECR has multiple mounts on the frame and fork for water bottle cages and larger gear cages, so you can bring lots of water, stove fuel, milk, a sleeping pad, small mammals or what have you.” In my case, tons of packages of Upness. Joy, really. I am a joy bringer today and I shall deny no single granular of joy! This machine “takes standard 34mm headsets and regular mountain bike hubs (100mm front and 135mm rear). It’s designed for full length housing to keep out the elements and keep brakes braking and shifters shifting on long treks in rough conditions. The rigid fork can be swapped out for an 80mm suspension fork if you like, but this would mean you’d lose the extra carrying capacity of the stock fork, and you couldn’t run a 3” tire and 50mm rim. ECR is of the 29+ category: more width, more height, more traction, more cushion and more float than standard 29ers. The approach angle of such big tires (close to 31˝) combined with the extra traction and float of high volume, low weight rubber make this bike extremely capable of going lots of places, from roads to trails to little-traveled back country. It’s a pack mule, a pedal-powered escape pod. Wherever you want to explore, this is the bike that can get you there.” And to the USPS I needed to go.
After miles and miles, and miles, and more miles, and even some more longer miles, through the blizzard I rode. This fat bike was unstoppable. No frozen curb, slushy turn, baby squirrel could stop me. I was, if you aren’t picking up what I’m putting down, unstoppable. I finally reached the USPS office. I cried again, my tears freezing on my face and turning into diamonds as I caught them and tossed them into my mouth (by now I was seriously dehydrated). I removed the bags from the bicycle and… the snow stopped. Just. Like. That. The wind stopped as well, as if they decided to torment me no further. As if the cold and the wind skipped off together, in a shotgun wedding moment of epic proportions. The sun came out, clouds parted for him, as they should. His love, in warm rays of golden awesomery began to warm my frozen, unwarm body. He giggled, only for a moment, at my half torn away beard. “Oh, cruel sun!”, I cried. “Know you not what I have been through to bring Upness to the world… your world?”
There was no response. But, I was warming. I then laughed at the Sun. Yes, I must look strange, odd to others. Flesh had been ripped from me, blood shed, and muscles broken down into threads of… stuff. I was tired, and alone. But I was warming up. And I was unwaveringly dedicated. damn it!
I laughed louder now, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I had arrived at the gateway, the realm of delivery. As I laughed, I reached up to the front door, a horizontal bar to most… but it was a glorious thing to me. It was… wait, the door was stuck. Or, it was locked. Was this a cruel joke?!?! A small sign with the USPS office hours of operation clearly stated that they were “not open on Sundays”. Had that much time passed? Had I been fighting the raging storm and cold for so many long, painful days? The sun laughed again, this time his bellow shook the earth. With all of my strength, I stood. My knees buckled beneath my frame. “Fuck you Sun, Monday is only hours away and I shall deliver these bags of goodies then… you’ll see! And you shall choke on your laughter! For I work for Upness, I work for the people that believe in me!”
Pictured below, the ECR in the snow with full bags. Also pictured is Nick, Kurt and Timmy of 21st Ave Bicycle Shop well-wishing me. Thanx fellas.