The Pettit Files~the mad diaries of a rookie rep. #2
The mad diaries of a rookie rep #2
Picture yourself a commercial fisherman slaying hundreds of thousands of pounds of black cod and halibut a hundred miles off shore on a 54 foot floating stick built in 1929. Or a concrete journeyman who can build a stamped concrete piece, custom countertops, packing concrete panels out of a muddy hole left by an excavator. Pounding nails, pouring pitchers, strapping on nail bags at 6 am, all the while thinking- ‘Damn, I would love to be a bike rep’
Six months and change into my new career that took a steadfast winding road of nearly four years to foster, well actually 35 years. I’m firmly planted right where I’ve always wanted to be. This is number two because number one took too damn long and covered ground that is past. Six months into my new gig and its going well, making my way, figuring a couple things out and getting it done. 2 sales meetings, 6 airports, nearly 11 thousand miles driven, and a lost count on shop visits. 6 races, 1 podium, new scars, fresh equipment, fresh chamois, lessons learned and a love lost, maybe definitely.
So much gets twisted and turned, lives and burns in a blink of an eye, and that is when we go back to who we are, what we do and follow our dreams and loves. I’m a sucker for a sunrise and sunset, riding with those I never want to forget, sharing a passion and making it ours, life man, it’s a ride. I’ve thrown myself into some events lately, Two Wheel Jones put on a hell of a crit in Mesa, filled with live music, a kick ass course and a Friday night crowd that was just starting to get raucous when I left. The old me would’ve stuck around town and enjoyed the scene, but after the crit that I probably should’ve taken, (it was a cat 5), I clipped a pedal and almost added a whole lot more to the road rash and scar collection. It was cool though to mix it up, and find a little flow on the road scene, not to mention ride with Jeff Frost. I like it and understand the people better, but lets be honest, anything with bikes, crowds, tunes and some booze is usually a pretty damn good time.
After my dejected crit experience I headed north for a couple hour drive to Prescott and the MBAA punisher. My third mtn race of the season. I blew out of town in the newly acquired rep rig, a Chevy uplander cargo van, fitted with a bed, two bikes, two pop ups, samples galore and the funk of a man doing a three day meander, two races with no shower. I arrived at the sight, flipped open the bed and firmly crashed out as best I could. Tossing myself awake, I realized I had forgot my jetboil, so no coffee on said trip, so instead I made a couple things to eat, and chugged down half a coke. I watched the sunrise over the mountains while some mellow Dave Mathews blew through the speakers and everything was covered in an ease, my mind was lost in thinking of something else, and what I was about to do.
MBAA is putting on some great events, drawing crowds from our northern states and the usual pro’s that are in town and stomping us in. Again in the marathon, and it felt good to be back on the line, although my top end fitness hadn’t been used in over a month I knew if I rode my own race I’d reel in most by the end. I knew there would be no catching Hunter Keating or Dax Massey today, but the others you never know. After a brief uphill we scooted out onto some fairly flat fire road and I let the pack ride away, I wasn’t all too concerned with their speed and was fine making my own.
A 7 or so mile loop a little loose descending, some fun single track climbing a little tunnel crossing then the start finish. I had caught a few people and was feeling fine, not like a panic race, just a cruise. I knew on the rocky decent I had torn a sidewall I could feel the sealant hit my legs, coming into lap 5 I tossed a big air into the rear wheel hoping my massive amount of stans and rubber mixture would coagulate around the tear, and it did for the most part. I had thought I was somewhere in the top ten but Mrs. Ellis was kind enough to keep some tabs on me and said I was top 5 maybe, the tortoise was catching the hares and I was beginning to hope this was a 100 miler, I really need to start faster!!
Coming across the line in a good 5th place in a decent field I was satisfied with my effort and comfortable for where I was at. A little Euro shower back at the van, changed, chatted and get caught up. I nearly missed my lone podium experience forgetting they went five deep and had to ride the ole specialized with a flat to claim my cash and a quick raising of the hands and high fives to the boys who finished ahead of me.
I had some work to do in Prescott, and got out of the venue to do some shop visits and drop off a couple things. My body felt fine, not too beat up, no cramps a good sign. I had the idea of seeing Fossil creek and one of my more favorite places I’ve found in AZ. I drove through the pines, and could feel my shoulders relax, found tunes that matched my state of mind and elevation above the valley. Sunlight filtered in between the branches and drew lines of shadows and sunlight on the road in a warm glow; I pulled the rig onto the gravel and towards a good stretch of green river front.
The water was cold and comforting, my legs where appreciative from their two days of abuse. I dunked my head and shivered but felt the coolness soak my soreness, letting the current move me downstream a little. And how come you don’t see a car for hours but as soon as your naked and in an awkward position one comes cruising on by?
The late afternoon sun covered pastures like those I grew up around. There is something about sheet metal roofs that I like, buildings sat out alone with equipment oddities around them some new and others rusting. I’d stopped at a grouping of horses, all stretching and creasing their necks through the fence to get a grass they can’t reach. I pulled handfuls of mountain grass and fed them, scratched their withers and watched them make funny faces at the pleasure, cleaned the crud out of their eyes. With my hands and feet on the rail I was in familiar form, I liked the smell of them on me, filling a need they wanted and connecting with something that doesn’t have a voice. They moved away from me, their manes and bodies in the sunlight and others came back for one last rub before joining their friends down the hill. I sat here for a long time looking over the fields and hills until the sunset and I got cold and wanted to blast the heater on my body.
I had more work to do the next day but was at ease here, my mind full of soft thoughts and mistakes made but happy. I pulled into the Chalet and had a bacon cheeseburger, washed it back with a 7-up and people watched as they began to file in for their Saturday night activities. Watching the beer and food elevator bringing goods to those upstairs, I had wanted to stay here, but had more to do. Hitting the road with a belly full of grease, a car full of goods and bikes on the back, I smiled at the fact that I have come to where I have always wanted to be, I have become a much fuller form of all I want to be. We have regrets, but we have new days, calendars expire, but we turn a page with lessons learned, a twinge of remorse and the ideal of what we want, and the understanding of what we need.
In all the books I’ve read or am reading, in everything I’ve learned and gone through in the past six months, and four years I understand that nothing is more important than the core. The core us, who we are, what and who we love and what we aspire to do hourly, daily and yearly. I am comfortable in the fact I’m no longer the man I was, but anticipate the person I’m becoming and those that are along with me. The core is unconditional. Unconditional love; respect, gratuity, adventures and understanding. There is no secret, it’s all an effort we either deem worthy of the hard times and the truly amazing times, sometimes the path gets lost and winds around, but with an idea of unconditional, we keep pursuing. Its a good lucky life we have, and I’m grateful for all I’ve worked for and for what has come my way.
So if you want to see more of Jonny P. Buy zoot products, order all that SRAM offers, get some ZOGG goggles, and ride in Shebeest. Keep the adventures, let them tune you to what and who matters the most.
More racing, times and stories coming soon!