The use of a French title for this post should reinforce that I’m clearly hairy balls deep in denial that Trans Provence is over. On that theme, there’s also no doubt that this should really be the first Trans Provence race post. After all, there is an avalanche of material waiting to trigger its relentless surge down the page and engulf you in too many words and photos, as I make it sound like I just went to Mars (solo) and back again whilst fighting off an Alien organism (don’t misread that word) in a way that would make Ripley look like a pussy (no pun intended).
But, this week marks a milestone worth noting… Er, not the TDF start… Er, not my Birthday either (good work cunts, everyone chipped in for a V10c frame right?!). No, the Birthday is of a Dirty nature. WHOOP, yeah brah, weird to think its now been exactly two years since that first awkward and slightly nervous dirty post went out on 1 July 2013.
I had absolutely zero idea what it was going to become when it all started, with no designs to celebrate a first birthday let alone a sequel. The last year has brought some big changes in with it as well, so here’s a quick look at some of the significant Dirty events that shaped the second year…
Dirty 2.0 site
Lets face it, we all fucking hate scrolling these days, we want our content NOW fuck you and preferably in short paragraphs. It was therefore a relief when the Hawk stepped in with Milan like flair and passion to convert us from a giant never-ending scrollfest, that made a Lord of the Rings movie feel like a short commercial, into something that actually resembles a website.
Fancy as fuck now isn’t it? Getting re-plumbed gave things a Fuentes like shot in the arm which allowed us to keep the content rocking in even more style. A huge Dirty thanks to Studiomochi for making it happen #legend #homeofthebangers.
A strategic change in direction
Yes, it has probably been noted that there has been a significant shift in direction in year 2. With the implementation of the ‘No road racing in shit holes‘ policy, the focus has moved to ENDURO and to be honest, its been an exceedingly rad decision from a fun perspective.
Not everyone is stoked with the new policy, but for the doubters I invite them to spend 2 hours waiting for medical attention (The fat dude in a home made T Shirt with ‘Medic’ misspelt on the front didn’t count) in the middle of third world nowhere, then wondering if you had indeed punctured a lung given the pain whilst being man handled under the X-Ray machine, all the while pondering what time the kidney harvesting would commence. Give it a whirl and see what policy adjustments you feel like making.
It also gave realisation to the fact that wait… It wasn’t actually a lot of FUN traveling to these places to race against uptight skinny people, suffering to your limits with more than a few solo rides home. There is some weird enjoyment in suffering, but ultimately switching to ENDURO is like going from being Pegged in an S&M dungeon to jelly wrestling with Kate Upton before she gives you a massage as an entree to wider antics. Or in other words, quite cool.
Still love the road riding, here and there, but it now needs to be in exceptional locations with equally exceptional gentlemen, see the Japanese Alps trip as a case study. Once in a while, you get the message or have an event that knees you in the anatomy and tells you its time for a change as you slide to the ground in pain, this was it for me:
Merchandising fever took hold quicker than MERS at a K Pop concert and its been the Dirtyfication of as many products as you can laser a logo on to in the last 12 months. Faster than a Specialized think tank creating a new product segment we didn’t know we didn’t need, it was logo slapping all over the show.
Road kit, ENDURO jersey, bottles, stickers… Its been a loosely coordinated exercise in what it must feel like to work in a Chinese factory. Biggest learnings?
- People will never read the sizing chart
- Its easier to arrange peace in the Middle East than get the socks right
- Roadies buy kit, Mountain bikers buy beer
- Stickers are actually alarmingly expensive, so when a company offers them for free, nail it
- If you want to fuck off everyone in the Singpost shop, rock up and hog the counter with your weird logistical antics and 5 year old hand writing
- Despite the numerous requests, getting a logo onto a diaphragm is considered more niche than we expected, who knew?
Plugged back into the matrix
Perhaps the most eyebrow raising change over the last year, and still a debatable topic on whether this is an enabler or inhibitor of adventures, there are obviously arguments either way. The re-entry to a 9-5 cubicle scenario where people ask for things in PowerPoint, wear lanyards with pride even though they don’t work for a Formula 1 team and take the booking of a meeting room with extreme seriousness has been challenging to say the least.
Perspective changes when you exit this world and coming back in isn’t as straightforward as some thought it may be…
Ignoring the boring realities that its funded some rather palatial missions (read: over the top, the accounting dept still can’t fathom the DM2 and EuroEnduro budgets), the “this funds that” argument only really feels good when you’re lying by a pool in the French alps watching the sun not glisten off your beautiful matte finished Santa Cruz rad machine.
But, with advertisers still playing coy, something about language and my loose methodology around product testing, WT Actual F, the dirtiness needs to be funded somehow, so the hose remains rammed into the back of the head… For now…
Had some BIG missions
- Japanese Alps
- Whistler Shredpocalypse II
- Meribel World cup
- Perth Enduromania
- The whole rehab scenario
- Dirty Mega March
- EuroEnduro and Trans Provence
What a line up… Almost a life time of memories and good times in that list alone, there were too many photos to choose from for this MF Montage, not to mention the golden units involved in each foray:
Aside from how the Singapore medical industry functions, its been more a year of reinforcement for some important themes which I have wanked on about previously, but especially in the last 6 months have become more and more relevant. Yawn now if you feel the overwhelming sense of predictability mixed with me on the Dirty soap box:
- You always need less than you think
- Prioritise adventure over assets
- The people make the difference
That’s it really… That and google maps is pretty much the best invention ever. Semi seriously though, these are things that most people (I hope) know, but we can all easily fail to practice at times. It does require a conscious choice as well as, at times, the conquering of fears to be able to make the decisions to get out and try new adventures. I’ll stop there before this starts to sound like some slushy faux poster you see in your Fuckbook feed.
Aside from spamming out a shit load of TP content whilst pining for Europe? Honestly? No idea… So much build up and fever went into Trans Provence, I suspect the next thing is a good dose of Post TP depression, an actual medical condition so I’m informed by real Doktor’s, but in reality, how do you top such a mammoth event?
Given its the Everest of ENDURO, I have started to look around to think about what mission to scale next. Andes Pacifico in Chile next year? Trans NZ ENDURO? Quit work and race the entire EWS circuit as a privateer next year? Head to the Pyrenees/Mont Ventoux on the road bike? Still need to follow the Giro at some stage as well… Northern Classics season?
No matter what happens, the focus will remain on finding roads and trails like this and then savouring them:
Thank you to everyone that has been part of the road or trail on the way to turning 2 – The DN Global Collective, readers, riders, contributors, haters, participators, voyeurs, merchandise fiends… You’ve all made it an awesome year and I look forward to keeping it Dirty as the show rolls on.
Not sure where to next, but that’s part of the fun innit? Stay tuned…