While Jeff was digging through his junk drawer looking for his leopard skin seat cover, he came across a stash of spokecards, race flyers, and mementos from back in the day (even if “the day” was only a couple years back). Inspired, he decided to kick off a new series: Throwback Thursdays. While Jeff gets his Instamatic camera restocked with film, he asked me to kick it off.
Once upon a time, I was younger. This younger me went to school in Boston, bought a crashed and crinkled steel Torpado for practically nothing, bent it back into shape, and started messing. It was a big scene, and you had all sorts back then: summer trash (ignored), college boys (my cat), hippie mountain bikers stuck in the city, speed freak pseudopunks, racerboys, grrrrrls, etc. All these little tribes, but cutting across all of them were the Lifers. Careeriers, freelancers, whatever you wanted to call them, they were old school, fast, and generally worked for themselves with a client list and a pager. Rumor had it they did forty runs a day at $10 each. Yup, that’s a six figure income right there.
Most of them were ice cold to the youngbloods, but a couple came around if you lasted a winter or two. Elvis always rolled up and got the backstory on new kids, even if half of them didn’t last a week. Maze was an artist and musician, and had what I still consider the most styling mess bike ever: a bent-tube track pursuit frame with a disc rear wheel and a 650 up front, straight bar and bar-ends with shotgun shells for plugs. I tailed him coming in from Allston once, and it was like trying to draft a bobsled. But I digress.
Spencer James was one of the lifers too, and he was also a musician and filmmaker. He did some freelance work and put this together for a nascent cable channel. Without further ado, let’s take the Internet time machine back to 1992…
…and for the record: I didn’t race that night as I busted my pedal cage on the way there. and Maze still has way more style than me.