Ride Down Mountain This Afternoon

It’s a hard climb up, maybe a few miles, but the downhill is FUN! Curves and speed and vistas, coasting. When I let go of the brakes on this (Stumpjumper) bike, it seems to accelerate. Whoo!

   I got about halfway down, going at a pretty good speed and I heard “On your left,” and wild Indian on a bike came flying, I mean flying, past me. My first impression was of the long hair blowing in the wind, this guy was dressed not like a cyclist, but in plain old clothes. Goin’ FAST…No helmet. After he flew past, my jaw dropped even further as he started jumping. Front wheel up, back wheel off ground, rotate in air, lining up so landings were right.

  Wild and beautiful, the level of his skill and grace. Never seen anything like it. I screamed a whooo and he answered whooo. This was poetry; athleticism, coordination, daring — and joy.

   I caught up with him at the bottom; he and buddies were heading in a car to the local skate park. I followed and watched him on his bike and homie Sam on skateboard just shred the place. 

He’s 18 and his name is Trevor “Ratman” Perelson. He said he had a website. I asked the name and he said, “Well it’s a vulgar name…” “What is it?” “Well, I was a lot younger when I named it…” “OK, OK, what is it?” dontshaveyourtwat.blogspot.com The enthusiasm is exhilarating, they’re exploring the world with such zest…We talked for a while. We had things in common, like him and Sam “…seeking secret spots…” It was really my first solid contact with the teenage generation, looks like a whole new deal. I feel privileged to connect with people so young (almost a 60 year age difference here). Evolution…

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

5 Responses to Ride Down Mountain This Afternoon

  1. Yeah… I'm an O– F—- too and I can't tell you how much joy many of those in this current teenage generation bring to my heart. It's like watching otters. Methinks it may be because they believe (perhaps rightly) that they have nothing to lose.

  2. Otters — perfect! A few years ago I was sitting in a riverside sauna with my friend Louie and a family of river otters was playing. We watched them out the sauna window, they didn't know we were there. (They're notably skittish when humans are anywhere near.) Were they having fun! Running, splashing, slipping, sliding…In high school my friend Mike Barnato said he wanted to be reincarnated as a seal…

  3. He definitely seems like your kindred spirit. If he can avoid massive head injuries he might well reach your level of activity someday, but he still has a ways to go:) Even in my wildest youth I was never that fearless. Trevor, I dig you, but hedge your bets and put a helmet on man!

    Congrats on the success of your book, I will order one today. I recently got a copy of Stretching and that is proving to be very helpful for me, just what I needed.

  4. Lloyd, you made a good connection-I recently met and hung out with Trevor in Bobo town, and he came over to my place for a great visit and meal on Friday. He is on the right track, centered, grounded, and hopefully representative of his generation. He is a force of Nature and a young version of me. When are you and I going skateboarding – I still need that lesson from you!!!!

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