When I think “hardcore” and “biking”, I immediately have flashbacks of dirt, pain, and red hair. Let me introduce you to one of my best friends ever. Santa Barbara – BIG HILLS, CHEAP THRILLS.
Ken Foraker lived in a greenhouse, had a custom mountain bike, and a wicked Cold Steel hunting knife. He ate from his organic garden. We first met at the Isla Vista Food-Coop. I spied this scruffy, sort of homeless-looking dude, with what was clearly a hand-built ride. This was back in the late 80′s when mountain bikes were still a novelty. I was the King with my numbered Fat Chance Kicker. Well, I suggested we “go for a ride”. Heh. Tell you what, that first ride was the beginning of an epic journey.
After just a couple of really radically brutal years of “fun rides”, Ken began to kick some serious ass. I blame it all on Gaviota, where we learned the Zen of spinning up dirt hills and near-death experience of racing back down. Shortly thereafter, I split the scene for parts more Asian and Ken got a paid gig racing for Yeti.
In March of 1989, Ken was out with a group of cyclists on Highway 101 when they were struck from behind by a drunk-driver. The driver was a multiple offender. It was total carnage. One cyclist died at the scene, Ken was creamed, thrown and had his leg ripped off. The details of his injuries defy comprehension, as does his recovery. Since then, he’s continued to ride and promote cycling, and he’s an Alaskan guide. Even though I haven’t spoken to Ken in a few years, I’m sure he would not approve of the idiocy up in St Lawrence County.
Prison sex, smuggling, murder, stabbings, mutilations – all that and more. That’s St Lawrence County. Now we’ve got George Olmstead. Now that his plea deal is out, it’s up to the “justice” system. I don’t blame the mother for crying. The St Lawrence County “Justice” system clearly has failed by letting this multiple drunk offender back on the road only to kill a 12 year old boy. (My son is 12 too). There is the very real possiblility that this guy could actually go free again. Please do the right thing. Wake up you people up there!