We found Portland covered in snow. It was an ice-coated metropolis of hoodies, beards, tattoos and girls with rocker and roll haircuts. The town also seemed full of people equipped to snow-shoe, ski, or snowboard down the street while being pulled by their dog.
So, being its rockin’, outdoorsy self, the place still turned out for the One Motorcycle Show and the screening of “Dirtbag” – including the teaser trailer for “Rigid.”
A few people even rode to the events, despite a supposed warning from the City to stay inside. At the One show, there was a Yamaha TT500 with sand-paddle tires leaned against the exterior brick wall. And one crazy fucker ripped down the iced-over avenue on a mini-bike. “That guy’s got a death wish,” said a local bystander.
Across from the Clinton Street Theater, a moped was locked up, bungee cords wrapped around its front tires as makeshift snow-chains. And a good portion of the crowd inside the theater turned out to be moped riders. This was a group riding what they want, where they want, regardless of whoever said it was a bad idea.
The group took to the socio-economic dogma of “Dirtbag” like a burger to a bun. They cheered Robin’s smoking of douchebags on R1s with his ratty old whateverthefuck. They applauded Scotty’s derision of fancy skull cap helmets and laughed at Poll’s assertion that most rich folks got rods jammed so far up their asses that they couldn’t be cool if they tried.
And afterwards, they asked a lot of questions. When the film was screened in Oakland, the Q&A session elicited mostly crickets and Poll said, “Fuck this Shit. Let’s go on a ride.”
But this time – after raffling off some swag from Icon – Poll, Turk and Paolo answered questions for about half an hour. And the crowd was engaged and interested, asking poignant questions regarding the route for Rigid and speculating how the Dirtbag Challenge might evolve. Would Rigid be a race like the Stampede? Would Poll add rules to make the Dirtbag chops all hard-tails? Would we come party with them at the end of the trail?
Answers: No. No. Hell yeah.
The session even grew into a sort of life discussion panel and Poll brought up this inspirational quote from Casey Andersen: “Adventure begins when our plans fail.”
“Whether you’re trying to get a plane to Portland in a snow storm, or riding across the world, or whatever it is in life that you’re doing, I think that’s a pretty good philosophy,” said Poll. “You know shit goes wrong all the fucking time.”
“Every day, all day,” piped up one assertive lady in the crowd. “I think the key is to say, ‘this is shitty’ the whole day and then be like ‘oh man, that shit was awesome.'”
“Yeah, but if you say it’s shitty all day, you’ll start believing it,” said Turk.
And it had been shitty out all day, all weekend even. But we were having fun.
On the way to the screening, we watched the mini-sidecar from the One show come to a stop that left the passenger and his fancy camera splayed out in the snow. They were both laughing.
At the end of the day we can see unexpected setbacks as injustices or as new challenges. We can see the morning run with the dog ruined by snow, or we can start digging out the snowboard gear.