Mixed Taste, Deconstructed

Two Saturdays ago I had the wonderful privilege of being a speaker at Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art’s “Mixed Taste—On Ice” lecture series. Simply put, two speakers on vastly differing topics are randomly chosen to pair up and talk about their stuff. Then at the end, during a Q&A session, the audience and speakers are free to try and link them up. Which sometimes is a no-brainer, and sometimes a real stretch. (Last time, I spoke on Sylvia Plath and my partner talked about snub-nosed monkeys. The best question of the night was “Do monkeys ever commit suicide?” Brilliant! And weird.)

So the talk I’d prepped and obsessed and researched over was: Deconstructed Mountain Biking. Basically taking the idea and sport of mountain biking and attempting to find a true definition of it, and in that process uncovering the true meaninglessness of it. Once you deconstruct something, it ends up being rendered totally empty and devoid of knowledge.

I was paired with a UC Denver professor and expert on Frank Lloyd Wright.

Some basic truths I posited, then tore apart:

  • Mountain biking used to be a utilitarian act;
  • Mountain biking is language;
  • Each mountain bike is ride is a journey, during which you see miraculous things.

And so on. These statements are true, and also not true. After all, it’s just riding a bike, usually in a big loop. You never really get anywhere. And that’s where the beauty of it rests.

So, for your completely out-of-context enjoyment, I give you some powerpoint screengrabs.

My favorite made-up mountain biking words are granny, puckerfest, tacoing, and, of course, garaging (see earlier post).


The fathers of mountain biking. From left to right: Gary Fischer, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey. Groovy, eh?

Lastly, my riding bud Ed, cranking up a series of stairs at a local ride–the HogBack. Impossible for me, very possible for Ed. (I need to log more hours, I guess.)

5 thoughts on “Mixed Taste, Deconstructed

  1. It seems like a bold and stylish mustache makes up for any numbers of biffs or garaging incidents. Thoroughly enjoyed the talk!

  2. Oh, and Michelle, did you know that mountain biking was basically invented in your back yard? Those groovy riding pics were taken during a race down Mt. Tam, back in the 1970s.

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