A few weeks back we participated in the first ever Get Sick Day Ride. The goal was to sort of take a day for yourself. June 21st, the Summer Solstice ends up being the longest day of the year — at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere — so it seems like a natural day to just take off. Some, such as our brothers and sisters in California and Texas were taking the day to do some of — what looked to be — the hardest riding known to man. While that is all fine and well, we decided to do things a little differently. I mean, when we've got the entire day to ourselves we should be able to do whatever we want. Right?
We decided to do two different scenarios. The first - through the city would stop at a few of the spots we never get to when we are hard at work during the week. The second was for those who really couldn't take the day off, but still wanted to celebrate. We knew there had to be a couple of those, why would we hold that against them? Some people out there may even enjoy their jobs, who knew?
Ride One: There was coffee. There should always be coffee. And while there shouldn't alway be donuts, they were present as well. The plan was to head out and shoot some hoops and check in with some shops that we don't usually get to see. Well, that was the plan anyway, then things got a little heated on the courts.
Now, say what you will about getting people to skip work and the validity in that. We shouldn't be teaching people that they should shirk duty in place of fun should we? Well, all I can do is report back about what I saw. Laughter, there was a lot of laughter, then Greg burst open a blister on his toe and I figured that we were going to have to end the day with a 1 & 1 record, which I guess is fair, but it doesn't solve the dilemma as to who actually won the game. Turns out Ross was more than prepared — maybe running Atlas Sodaworks has prepared him for a thing or two? Bandaids were on hand in a manner of seconds. Whew, I was worried that we were going to have to end in a tie, shirking away like some unfinished World Cup match.
Looking around while Greg taped up his foot I realized that almost everyone here was self employed. What did that say about us? Sure, there was Ross Sauce - bicycle mechanic and Colin a teacher on summer break, Zach works for us, so that's cool and someone who works at a dispensary (Thursday is his day off anyway and it turned out he had too many errands to run but he was in close contact all day) but the rest of us were self employed. Patrick from Beam & Anchor was holding down the center position for the opposing team, Greg is a rep for a few notable brands (Giro, Bogner) Nate works for himself and the aforementioned Ross is the owner of the aforementioned soda company. What does that mean?
Well, Julie summed it up pretty well (right before she went to get her nails done - what? take a day and do what you want) "this day was created by people who work for themselves to get other people with jobs to come and ride with them." Could that be true? In a way it was, but we had hopes that it would be so much more than that.
But, the more we talked about it, the more it made sense. Most of us that are self employed do it for the simple reason that we can take off when we want to and ride. That makes sense. Of course it means putting in some hours later to make up for it, staying up all night to finish something or simply get back to those un-answered emails (sorry). But, whatever, if John Prolly can do it, so can we!
The day played out pretty much how you would want all your "sick" days to happen. Especially the ones where no one knows what you're up to. Sunshine. Playing basketball in the park. Hi fives. Lots of joints. A cool bookshop - Ampersand Gallery - check out that crazy photo book! And then some Stella Taco (Texas style? Into it!) and we were barely done by then. That's when the swimming and beer milkshakes from Ex Novo happened. Oh yeah and I almost forgot, we stopped by Manual for Speed to check in with those crazy cats as well. No one can stop us! We are adults and we can do what we want!
As we rolled in from the second ride of the day - our Thursday shop ride - it was smiles all around. Maybe it had something to do with the giant bucket of ice cream that people were dipping into? It was some salted caramel concoction after all and it wasn't their first dip. I know why I was smiling and this is where I will dip in to quote my friend Steve Blick "best day ever."