Weekly Roundup: Maybe There Really Was A Reason Why I Used To Keep My Hair Short Edition

The last time I was riding skateparks with any frequency was in 2003. My hair was quarter-inch buzz-cut. After being repeatedly and unexpectedly blinded at “Skate Naked” on Friday night, I’m thinking that perhaps there was some logic to that choice.

Friday night was a big night for “progression” around our house. On his third trip to a park ever, John managed to “drop in” to the small bowl. He got within two feet or so of the coping on the middlin’ half-pipe you see above. And he did his first “roll-in” down a steep ramp to a pyramid box. As for Dad? Well, I wasn’t exactly pulling Matt-Hoffman-style air but I also didn’t injure myself. At 45, that’s success, right?

Click the jump for this week’s contributions and a statement on a recent controversy.


As some of you know, earlier in the week my brother announced his departure from TTAC. The cause of that departure was as follows: TTAC’s Managing Editor, Mark Stevenson, chose to retract and delete an article of Bark’s that he had approved and published earlier in the day. In the discussions that ensued, Bark quit the site.

Speaking personally, I am hopeful that this problem can be resolved and that Bark can return to TTAC. I do know that he’s been contacted by a couple higher-profile media outlets in the past few days, so it’s entirely possible that he’ll take one of those opportunities instead. It’s up to him.

After Bark’s announcement, Mr. Stevenson and I had a discussion where I reinforced my commitment to TTAC and my intent to continue contributing to the site. I know that there are a lot of hard feelings all around regarding various issues of politics and censorship on the site, but I remain optimistic about TTAC’s future. I’m also — let’s be honest here — terribly sentimental about the place. With the exception of Sajeev Mehta, I’m the longest-serving TTAC contributor on record, and despite the fact that I was published in three major print outlets last year I continue to think of myself as a member of The Resistance, whatever it might be. We’ll see how it all shakes out.

So. This week, Bark had… nothing that survived.

For R&T, I talked about how to find traction on a wet road or track, and I considered the long-term investment potential of gas-powered investment vehicles.

At TTAC, I considered the merits of truly fair trade and brought Rodney back for another tale of forbidden love that managed to trigger the site’s resident comic-book-guy-pretending-to-be-a-waifu commenter. Finally, I did a QOTD on trucks.

More than ever in this tumultuous age of timid feelings and turgid egos, it’s critical for you to keep checking back here at Riverside Green as often as possible! This remains an advertising-free environment where everyone is welcome, and it will stay that way until one of my hair-blinded landings requires another serious dip into the old medical-emergency fund. Enjoy the weekend, everybody!

34 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Maybe There Really Was A Reason Why I Used To Keep My Hair Short Edition”

  1. Mr. Bacon

    When I started doing bunny hops again, I almost immediately got knee pain, particularly in my left knee. Has this happened to you? If so, how did you fix it?

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      I have knee pain when I’m watching television, so for me it’s just a difference of degree! But the key as you get older is, unfortunately, to limit what you do. It kind of sucks to drive five hours so you can ride 30m but you have to look it as being the choice between riding some and riding none. 🙂

      Reply
      • Ronnie Schreiber

        . It kind of sucks to drive five hours so you can ride 30m

        One of the reasons why I’m a roadie. Close the garage door, clip in and I’m riding. I always feel a bit silly driving my bike to a group ride. When I used to go to the Wolverine bike/skating club’s regular Sunday and Wed rides, I’d see people who’d drive less than 10 miles to the meet up. Considering that a lot of those club riders can easily do that on their bike in less than 20 minutes it seemed counterproductive. Nobody needs to save energy for a club ride.

        Reply
  2. 1A

    Doesn’t matter–I won’t be reading The Truth About Canada any longer either. Once you experience freedom of speech, you won’t regress!

    Reply
  3. Harry

    The TTAC thing is absurd all around. It wasn’t a great article, not every thing a person writes is. It seemed to be a major overreaction by the BB, and seemed like a shitty thing to do to pull it, because unless sponsors were pulling mone what is the point of pissing off a writer who was generating good traffic?

    I understand why you are sentimental about the TTAC, but the place isn’t what is once was.

    Things I like close or change, restaurants, sports franchises whatever, and I go/pay attention for a long time out of inertia. Heck, I still visit Uproxx even though I only ever went because I loved the original version of Kissing Suzy Kolber, which they purchased and ran into the ground. I don’t even watch NFL football but the writing and humor was fantastic back in the good old days. What reason have I to go now, its a waste of my time, but go I do.

    It is the same with TTAC, I loved it 8 years ago, it has been up and down since then, but right now is the biggest down I can think of. It is worse than the era of whats his face with the asian booth girls. Maybe the lows aren’t as low as then but now the site is both boring and uninformative.

    Maybe it will turn around, TTAC has changed editorial direction many times, but I think it will only follow the money down a safe path.

    I hope I am proven wrong, if I am wrong I hope that you and your brother are contributing to the site.

    If I am right and you still think of yourself as a member of The Resistance, and I haven’t read anything of yours that would compromise that, maybe consider sometimes lending your voice to a publication/site that shares those values. In its current form TTAC does not.

    Reply
    • Harry

      Also it would be nice to be able to edit posts. No matter how many times I re-read, I seem to miss a few errors that seem glaring once published.

      Reply
    • Ronnie Schreiber

      A website’s management needs to pay attention to reader complaints that the site has become boring. You never want to lose your core audience.

      As for memory-holing an already published post, that’s worrisome. Admit a mistake, close the comments, publish a retraction if you must, but completely deleting stuff is the opposite of transparency.

      During the Farago era of TTAC, I once wrote a piece about a local guy suing the Volkswagen group because Bugatti VINed a Veyron as an ’08 after he ordered an ’09 model (which they decided they weren’t going to build, going straight from ’08 to ’10 MYs). I discussed the irony and bad graphics of a company with VW’s history being sued by a guy who endowed a Holocaust museum in memory of his parents, survivors,and grandparents, victims, but that ended up distracting from the main point of the article, so Farago revised it, with a note to readers.

      Completely deleting articles evokes thoughts of Nikolai Yezhov.

      Reply
  4. hank chinaski

    Yes, ‘censorship’. Imagine the bile and keyboard abuse that could have been spared at the mere ‘not clicking on a link’. Astounding.

    As for turgid egos, was it *really* Rodney that spelunked Warty McWafflehouse? We know how those fish stories go.

    Reply
  5. Dr Ribs Revere

    Jack, about the problem with hair in the skate park. You were born in Brooklyn NY right? Time to start rocking the infamous “man-bun”… no need to add the flannel too (unless its cold out).

    Still working through a few thoughts on your truck dilemma/fantasy. Been working it out for myself over the last few months as well. Will get back to you on that.

    Keep up the work, always enjoy your and Bark’s articles.

    Reply
  6. Joe

    Right now the only draws for TTAC are Jack and Ronnie, I don’t mind the politics in an auto forum, I don’t like the left bent, it’s not equal.
    Ronnie does automotive history very well and is a connection to metro Detroit otherwise missing at the website.
    Onto what happens when you are legislated out of the internal combustion engine, I would think that the world will have lost some of its color, I think I would rather not be around for it.

    Reply
  7. viper32cm

    I enjoyed the collector car article, but I’m hopeful that the future won’t be as bleak for car collectors as you propose, if only to make myself feel better in the short term. Horse racing is still a relatively big business despite the fact that horses haven’t been a common sight on American roads for decades and decades. Heck, tons of people still shoot and develop bows and black powder firearms despite the fact that the self-contained smokeless cartridge is a completely mature and long-standing technology. Maybe those are false equivalencies. I guess we’ll see what the future holds, but I’m planning on my future containing a MG TC or TD at some point, inability to keep up with modern traffic be damned.

    Reply
  8. galactagog

    wow, there was some gold right there, in that article:

    “in the words of Rodney’s role model Lando Calrissian”

    “the model-slash-barracuda deployed by Ford as our dealer rep du jour”

    ““When,” Mr. Jones asked, cocking his head at me in the universal body language of men who are conspiring to conspire, “will that check be deposited?””

    hahha…great stuff

    Reply
  9. Frank Williams

    I understand Barkie-Bark’s actions and won’t blame him if he doesn’t go back. I was contacted last year by the PTB at TTAC about coming back to try to put some snark back into the site. Everything looked good until I asked how much they would pay for my insights. Suddenly there was no more communication with them. It seems that no matter who’s in charge there, nothing much has changed.

    Reply
    • VoGo

      I am surprised to hear that someone thought TTAC needed more snark. I am not surprised they were not able to pay for it.

      I am glad to hear Jack will remain at TTAC after all. With the addition of car reviews here, I was wondering if he would stay at TTAC. I’m sure Mark will be well read wherever he chooses to take his talents.

      Reply
      • Jack Baruth Post author

        There are going to be more car reviews here, I think. Mark S. isn’t as interested in rental reviews as he used to be.

        Reply
        • VoGo

          Your rental review of the Cruze did a lot to improve my image of GM. My employer forces me to use Hertz, so I pretty much get compact Nissans and H/K. Occasionally I luck out and get a Mazda3 or VW.

          Reply
        • Lucas Zaffuto

          I love rental reviews, please keep doing them! It is interesting to see real world impressions of the volume-selling model of a car that hasn’t been cherry picked by the manufacturer as the perfect example for review publication. In fact if anything that rentals are used and abused may give some decent insight into how quality they actually are in the real world.

          Reply
    • tmkreutzer

      Money was never an issue when Jack and Derek were running the place. When Bertel was the EIC, everything I submitted was done for free because I was just getting started. After Jack took over, I got regular checks for regular contributions until I got to a point where I left to focus on my job. I didn’t want to hang up my spurs, but I really needed to concentrate on what I was doing. When I was finally able to come back, I wrote for free again because jack and Derek had moved on and Mark really didn’t know me. I wanted to get my work back on site but, as time wore on, I began to feel like I was being treated as though I were a second class citizen.

      Just before I finally quit, I was in a place where Mark would toss me some money – or at least promise some money – once in a while, but none of it actually came through. I’m not the kind of person to bitch and whine over a few bucks so I let it slide, but I found the entire process frustrating and felt like I wasn’t getting a square deal. I found out later that the problem was really upstream – there was someone at VS who wasn’t sending out the checks – and Mark did make good on most of what he promised me, but by then I was done.

      I’ve written a few things since then, but my head just isn’t in a place where I can do it right now. I figured it was better to just go ahead and lay off until I get back to a place where I really enjoy it again.

      Reply
  10. Jon Buder

    Glad to hear about your son getting more ambitious on the bike. My oldest is almost 5 and although we got him a bike a year ago, he doesn’t really want anything to do with it. He sure loves motorcycles and scooters, though… My other son is 2, he has a trike and enjoys when I push him, but hasn’t got the pedaling down yet.

    I’ve got the itch for two-wheeled toys/vehicles badly these days. I really want a Yamaha FZ-07 because it would also serve as good transportation in the land of mild weather and lane splitting where we’ll be moving in a few months.

    But since I don’t want another vehicle payment, it’ll take a lot of saving up. For something to hold me over and allow fun with both of the boys when they figure out riding, I’m planning to get some kind of bike. I’ve been looking at mountain bikes but BMX bikes sure make a compelling option because of the fun-per-dollar offered. Even most single speed, rigid mountain bikes cost over twice what a decent complete BMX goes for.

    I enjoyed my DK 24″ cruiser with dirt tires until I sold it and got a 20″ when I was around 16. The 20″ was a lot easier to bunny hop and do beginner flatland tricks on, and it looked cooler. I didn’t really take care of that bike. Sanded off all the paint for the raw look and then it ended up all rusty and needing hub and crank maintenance. I ended up leaving it unlocked at the bike rack of an apartment complex when I moved away from there. Maybe someone fixed it up and is still riding it today, who knows.

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      How’d you like a complete Supercross Dirt Devil, 1 of 100, with Profile SS cranks, 48-spoke Atomlab wheels, and no expense spared anywhere, built at a cost of $1800, for $499? 🙂

      Reply
      • Jon Buder

        I’d never heard of those, so I googled it. Looks like a really heavy frame and from the sounds of the build, it would suit a heavy guy doing heavy duty riding.

        I’m not really a nostalgic guy when it comes to BMX bikes. Tank-inspired frames and dinnerplate-size sprockets look worse to me than more modern frame geometry and 25:9, removable brake mounts and the like.

        I wasn’t a fan of wide/tall handlebars before, but I got on a GT complete in the parking lot (sells for $420) and it had very wide and tall bars, and it actually felt really good to me now. Pretty lightweight too, which is good for me because the worst it’ll probably see is being ridden down some stairs or jumped off platforms a couple feet high or bunny-hopped a bunch of times to see if I can break 2 feet like I used to be able to.

        Hope you find a buyer who enjoys it, though.

        Reply
        • Jack Baruth Post author

          Oh, I’m just going to disassemble it next week and use some of the parts for a new build.

          But if there was somebody out there who wanted an INDESTRUCTIBLE bike, that would be it.

          Reply
  11. Hogie roll

    I agree about prewar cars. Who in the hell wants them? I don’t find many attractive. I’m even sick of seeing most 55 chevy’s.

    There are 80s cars I like a lot, but even the fast ones are dogs like you say. It would take considerable coin to get one up to speed with the early 2000s V8 cars.

    Reply
  12. DirtRoads

    Last week my wife had a cancer scare, my car broke down at work, then she had to go back for more imaging, and we pretty much ran out of money. Oh, and Comcast wrote and told me I had used up my allotment of data for the house, three days before the end of the month.

    Today is payday so a little breathing room. It’s the first time in a long time I can hardly wait to do my taxes, since we bought a house this year and I get a wad of money back from all that shit.

    So maybe there was a warp in the continuum and me and Bark were sitting in its way.

    Reply

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