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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on April 25th, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 7 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 7

Bring your own big wheel

Careening down a crooked hill on a little trike makes Krider feel like a kid again

Based on the number of times the sun has risen and set during my lifetime and other technicalities of the Mayan calendar, rumor has it that I am no longer a child. I guess it is true. I do reside in the body of a man in his 30s, with skin aged by the sun and a belly enlarged by barley and hops. But I don’t see things this way. Ironically, my eyes don’t recognize the wrinkles near my eyes. I only know how I feel, and I feel much, much younger. Based on my love for Twinkies and flatulence humor, maturity-wise I am approximately 8 years old. I like things that 8-year-old boys like—for instance, super heroes, Crunch Berries, remote-controlled cars, and feeling the wind in my face while going fast down a hill on a skateboard. To me, that is what makes life awesome.

The best part about being an 8-year-old adult is that now I have the money to buy all the toys I really wanted at 8 years old but my parents couldn’t afford (or just chose not to buy for me, like the Barbie Dream house which looked like the coolest toy I’d ever seen, had I only been born a girl). Being an 8-year-old adult, I also get to stay up as late as I want and play with my new toys. That is, until my wife comes around and tells me to “grow up and come to bed” or when my boss expects me to be at work “on time!” These things are a total bummer.

Grown-up life does sometimes suck, with all of the bills, work, honey-do lists, and this thing people refer to as responsibility. But every once in a while, I get the chance to put all of that lame responsibility crap behind me and be a kid again. Last weekend was one of those moments. I went to Toys-R-Us, bought myself a Radio Flyer big wheel, drove up to San Francisco, and rode it down the crookedest street in the world along with hundreds of other man-childs just like myself. It was absolutely epic.

The event, titled Bring Your Own Big Wheel (BYOBW), started a few years back when some other dude who didn’t want to grow up wondered what it would be like to cruise down Lombard Street on a plastic big wheel. He did it, filmed it, and put it on YouTube where likeminded nut jobs like myself could watch in awe and complete jealousy. Then it became an official annual event in San Francisco.

Now hundreds of people go to the top of an insanely steep, crooked hill; don wacky costumes; and cruise their modified and decorated big wheels down the curvy hill. Many big wheels are harmed during the race. Wipeouts are plenty and are an integral part of the fun. On my run, I battled corner after corner with a man wearing a Teletubbies outfit and diced it out with a guy who decorated his big wheel like a Star Wars snow speeder. A dude in an Elmo costume crashed into Jack from Jack in the Box, and two guys who looked like Mario and Luigi from Mario Kart went down the hill throwing bananas out of their backpacks.

But it wasn’t all just Halloween costumes and child’s toys; the hill was fast. We were flying down the slope, racing and passing each other with childlike reckless abandon. People were crashing, tumbling, and rolling over, and they will have the scars and fractures to prove it. BYOBW had its fair amount of BYOB as well—hey, it takes some liquid courage to wear a tutu and drive a child’s toy down a concrete cliff.

Riding and sliding my big wheel at ludicrous speeds down the hill while laughing and smiling the whole way made me truly feel like a kid again. When I was a boy, I rode my big wheel up and down the street until I wore holes through the plastic wheels. Bring Your Own Big Wheel was like a time machine for me. I thought it was the ’80s again, The Dukes of Hazzard was still on TV, and Michael Jackson was still alive and still had his original nose. All of that fantasy came to a screeching halt at the bottom of the hill when my wife, whom I love, reminded me of my responsibilities: “Don’t get hurt on that damn thing. The kids and I need you at home. You went down the hill and survived; you don’t need to go down again. Let’s call it a day.” The party was over. I would have to go back to my job, my grown-up life, and my family, who—luckily for me—loved me enough that they didn’t want to see me get hurt (or at least they didn’t want to waste time while in a tourist city like San Francisco waiting for me in the emergency room).

 But for those few fleeting seconds, sailing along, I was a kid again with the wind in my face and my plastic wheels spinning beneath me. It was awesome. To relive my “moment” over and over again, I filmed it.  Search “BYOBW 2012 Krider Racing” on YouTube and check out the gravity racing insanity.

 Speaking of racing with gravity (this one is actually for the kids, not just old dudes who think they are kids), Santa Maria will be host to a National Derby Rally (NDR) soap box derby race on May 5 and 6 at 10 a.m. on Union Valley Parkway west of South Bradley Road. Kids ages 7 through 21 can race head to head down the hill in one of three classes (stock, super stock, or masters). For more information about Soap Box Derby, go to aasbd.org or ndr.org. If this is something you want try before building your own car with your child, some “club cars” are available on a first-come basis.

If you would like a car or more information about the race, contact the Race Director Gene Blackwell at the4blackwells@juno.com or (559) 354-2019. This event will be run by the California Families Soap Box Derby Association: cfsbda.org. Bring the offspring out; soap box derby makes every kid smile. 

Rob Krider put his big wheel away and will be the official crew chief for his two kids as they compete in the super stock and masters classes at the Santa Maria soap box derby race. Come out to Union Valley Parkway on May 5 or 6 to check it out.




Weekly Poll
Should the proposed aquifer exemption in Cat Canyon be approved?

Yes—the water from the proposed area can't serve as drinking water.
No—oil containments could still pollute usable groundwater.
Additional oil and gas projects can create more jobs.
We need to move away from oil and gas and look at renewable energy projects.

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