The Bum Ride Along the American River
Words and photographs by Jonathan Sadler
On a recent visit to Sacramento, (where I was born and raised) I had the pleasure of meeting Emily Kachorek, professional bike racer. Emily and Marty Woy are both involved with Squid Bikes. I am not sure how the Squid pyramid is constructed but Emily is the bottom. Remember, the base of a pyramid holds the rest up – think food pyramid.
We met in Marty’s backyard studio. I am struggling to think of adjectives to describe this place. The words “man” and “cave” will be avoided as they exclude women and mammals that aren’t bats. The words “Honeycomb” and “Hideout” seem more apropos. As I entered my eyes were met with a visual cacophony of art and toys (skateboards, drums, etc) in this former garage. Marty has three video screens on his desk, each featuring its own content. From left to right was: Joe Dirt (2001 – Columbia Pictures), a music documentary, and lastly, a documentary about Northern California cyclo-cross. Hanging from the ceiling were many bicycles including one of those awesome 7-11 Serotta built Huffies. Kitty corner to the Huffy was this early Squid Bike.
Marty’s bathroom is a museum of music and cycling. Side note: The Mumbo Gumbo cassette below caught my eye because a lifelong family friend, Tracy Walton, is a vocalist in that group.
There was so much to look at and to talk about that it took a while to get the riding segment of the day’s activities started. But start it did. The lovely Squid bike below was mine for the next couple hours. The rest of the time it belongs to a Emily’s husband, Pete. Thanks Pete. Such a fun ride! By some coincidence we all happened to be on single speed cross bikes, even Chris Namba who met up with us a few miles into the ride near Cal Expo. Side note number 2: Cal Expo is where I saw Run DMC and the Beastie Boys back in the 1980s.
Marty rides with a full frame bag. Until this point in the ride I was wondering what was in there. It turns out in contained some handy tools but mostly treats. Emily enjoyed her canned treat. It was, after all, practically her birthday.
We searched the Sacramento River for fish but found this shopping cart instead. But Emily, not being easily discouraged, commandeered a local fisherman’s fishing rod. After a valiant effort we continued on our ride, fishless.
Squid in a Crack
Here is Emily in here natural habitat; the unnamed chunk of real estate where Emily, Marty and the rest of the Northern California Cyclo-cross people converge to conduct clinics and camps (that was my attempt at putting a bunch of ‘c’ words together in honor of cyclo-cross). This is where Chris met us on his single speed Squid.
Emily documenting Marty’s booty (as in treasure) before riding off into the sunset – to get home before the sun sets. I couldn’t ask for more adventurous and enthusiastic people to ride with. Boy, do they love cycling. Looking forward to the next time!