Grateful for New Bike Day - Sunday Comics with Taj Mihelich

Aug 18, 2019
by Taj Mihelich  
I spent today waiting around for FedEx to bring my new bike. I’ve been so excited for it to arrive that I can’t seem to focus. The somewhat cynical comic I was going to draw comparing the progression of mountain bikes to that of cell phones stopped seeming funny to me. The undeniable fact is that I was stoked for new bike day and I couldn't wait for my new toy! This was slightly surprising to me.

A handful of years ago a back surgery decided that it was time for me to hang up my BMX career. That was the only kind of bike I had ever known and I didn’t imagine myself falling in love with bikes again. Mountain bikes have grown on me in a way I never expected. Bikes don’t consume every bit of my energy or thoughts anymore, but these big, springy bikes provide lots of ways to enjoy riding. In fact, it is all the different ways I can ride my mountain bike that makes it so fun.


Going down hills has been fun since the first time I ever stepped on to a bike. That has never changed in over 43 years of riding! Maybe I can’t session dirt jumps at the same level I used to be able to, but even laid back goofin’ off over the tabletop line is still fun to me. Being in the air is always a good feeling.


Ripping through trails and making motorcycle noises in my head never gets old! And some days I just want exercise so I climb hills and sweat. I’m not being creative with my riding during these times but it feels good to simply move.


I admit that on occasion my ugly ego from my younger days rears its head for a little scratch. I can still call back on those bike handling skills from days gone by to hold my own. On more introspective days I am completely content easing through the woods watching animals and looking at cool trees.


A really interesting side of mountain biking for me is that I can ride with normal people. People who don’t introduce themselves as a mountain biker the way I used to call myself a “BMXer” for so many years. There’s a huge variety of folks out on the trails who just enjoy riding bikes. Their skill level is irrelevant, though to be fair some are surprisingly good. They have lives outside of bikes but still love riding them. I love the funny groups I sometimes find myself in of people who might otherwise never intermingle.


Best of all, my bike can out run my computer. Some days I just need to get away from work, screens and my drawing board. A few minutes into a ride and all that “real world” stuff just melts away. Bikes have provided that service to me my entire life and I am grateful to them.

Next week I’ll probably be back to some slightly sarcastic comic theme or another but don't let the snark fool you, I love mountain bikes (and all the other kinds too)!


44 Comments

  • 43 1
 Gotta agree with the mix of people you get out on mountain bikes - it's awesome. I'll add that there's very little ego on the most part too - everyone's just stoked to be out and enjoying themselves whatever the weather! Enjoy the new bike buddy!
  • 23 1
 I always tell my wife (and now son) that my riding friends range from 15 to 50 and from ditch digger to gold digger, and THAT is why riding bikes will rule no matter where u are in life.
  • 11 0
 So true. I came across many groups of people during yesterday's ride. Two groups stuck out in my mind. 1. Four kids aged 13-15 that were so polite, out having a good time, and thoroughly enjoying themselves. 2. A couple out riding their specialized levos. They were so stoked to be out riding the trails. The husband kept mentioning that his wife has been riding now for four years, and that she just turned 63. Bikes are fun.
  • 19 1
 @DirtbagMatt: Your wife is now your son? what a forward thinking family! Wink
  • 3 0
 Love the Horsethief Drop In in Loma, CO. Strangers from around the world will stop and cheer on another stranger who has decided to go for glory just because they want to see them succeed.
  • 2 9
flag DarrellW (Aug 19, 2019 at 9:19) (Below Threshold)
 @Connerv6: You're a tad naïve in my view...
  • 23 1
 Need more info on the new bike? Whats big with rabbits these days?
  • 36 1
 Knolly Warren?
  • 8 0
 Ragley Bigwig?
  • 7 0
 Specialized Stunt-Thumper?
  • 1 0
 do a bunny hop!
  • 12 2
 Well written words, we are all just riding bikes at the end of the day.
  • 6 0
 Other thing, doesn't matter what happens in life, keep riding bikes, this is engraved in our identity. If we stop doing it because of someone or something, this will bring you horrible regrets and identify crisis. Be yourself, don't let that ugly belly and bad cardio that wasn't there disappoint you ever(for anything)... Being active and following a passion is awesome.
  • 4 0
 identity crisis.*

(of course who am I without having ten typos?)
  • 7 1
 Thanks for the perspective doodles Taj!
Bikes are the way to many great physical and mental destinations, can’t thank them enough for all the rad people & animals I’ve met and continue to meet.
  • 6 1
 Most of us have a life outside bikes. Few of us really want to admit that we do. For those of you that don't...I have both envy and pity in equal measures.
  • 6 19
flag vinay (Aug 18, 2019 at 7:01) (Below Threshold)
 As an engineer I'm tempted to say I disagree. Most of us here on Pinkbike have developed the fine skill of spotting the dentist.
  • 2 0
 @vinay I won’t downvote u, but the other DVs are probably a clue that this joke has jumped the shark...
  • 1 4
 @DirtbagMatt: Jumped the shark? Good! So this implies that from now on no one here on PB will start a comment with "As an engineer..." nor do dentist jokes? That's well worth the downvotes Smile .
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Fair! I’ll take it.
  • 3 0
 I can relate a lot - when I moved to Ireland ( from Portugal ) the weather difference made me dive deep into the pc-gaming rabbit hole - coming from a place where it was always sunny and dry, riding bmx in skate-parks with mostly locked pedals, to a place where it rains every single day of the year and i'm forced...... to pedal.... in the mud.... and rain and cold......

.... having that said, I'm glad I did pick up mountain biking - if I can chose between howling-abyss or bike-park, I grab the helmet in a heartbeat.....
  • 2 0
 Are you in the west of Ireland, in Dublin didn't rain for three months...lol... It did rain maybe every two weeks or 2 or 3 hrs... Around Cork or around Dublin don't rain as much for the past three years... We have amazing long summers Big Grin
  • 3 0
 @Kukaracha: yup... galway.... this place is ridiculous... Big Grin i really need to move............
  • 2 0
 @Luis-Sc: Ouch, that explains everything... Best luck man, around Galway there some great STEM companies to work with the tech industry... If you drive, and can afford to drive often, you can always drive to the tracks and parks, but I know it is not fun to drive two hours to the nice places...
  • 4 0
 I'm only picking up pc gaming (I just built my first desktop) more since a crash put me out. Just had the ACL and meniscus repaired 2 days ago.

I'd kill to go ride again instead!
  • 2 0
 @geeKayy: Get well soon dude.. hopefully you can at least return to soft rides... have you any idea if you can return sometime sooner or later?
  • 1 0
 @geeKayy: get well soonml mate - I fully ruptured my Achilles last October and although I played a bit more, I tried to keep it under 2h a day - I tried to watch YouTube and do recovery exercises, learned sign-language and monkey-c, took the time off to clean stuff and sell stuff I wouldn't use ( basically, minimise ) - rewrote CV and whatnot..... I tried to not fall into the lazy trap, eating pizza and playing games and watch Netflix all day....... Hope you're already on the mend !
  • 1 2
 Yet people keep reading these hahhahaha
  • 2 0
 Over 43 years of riding??? Surely you're not that old Taj? Hell, it feels like only about 10 years ago I was looking at your readers art in BMX PLUS! and your first photo (The super Griz one-footer, and I still have those issues in the garage too!).
  • 3 0
 As a bmxer of 25 years, who now also rides mountain bikes (trail ones, dh ones, fat ones) this is very close to home. I couldn't agree more , good to have your outlook Taj
  • 5 1
 Hard to have bad vibes on New Bike Day. Stoked for you.
  • 2 1
 Be it a new or old bike, what you seem to be stoked on is the prospect of going out to ride a (any) bike and all the joy that comes from that. Which is just the perfect mindset. Enjoy!
  • 2 0
 What back surgery? I’m in largely the same boat, and I get it. Now I need to go buy a new bike. I saw some good things about the new process 134...
  • 2 0
 Nice reflection on what’s going on in our minds when we roll on two wheels outdoors. Some universals in there for sure.
  • 2 0
 The only thing (almost) that keeps me sane. Thanks Taj, the feeling is mutual.
  • 5 3
 Still BMX just, bigger wheels Plus size BMX
  • 1 0
 I hope I’ll never have to hang up the bikes. Not sure what would replace them...
  • 2 0
 Good stuff, Taj. Always puts a smile on my face.
  • 2 0
 Surely we all make dirt bike noises out loud sometimes too!?
  • 3 1
 AMEN! Smile
  • 3 1
 Good read Taj!
  • 1 0
 Comics are stupid, we need more advertisements. Sike, great stuff T.
  • 1 0
 From Forward to grounded to rooted...
  • 1 0
 Well that was nice.

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