19 October 2023

Archival footage: Vintage Chris King Angry Bee swag [UPDATED]

The following essay was originally posted to the Vintage, Retro, Classic forum at mtbr.com on 18 October 2023.

A little history per chrisking.com: Back when hub warranty registration was done my [sic] mailing us a postcard, Akiyoshi Takamura coined an infamous [sic] quote in the comment field of his card; "It rolls good with angry bee sound". This was the birth of the angry bees and so much more.

Aki-the-bear loading up on wild raspberries
before descending Pluto trail
Here in my hometown of Flagstaff, AZ (and likewise among the FLG-diaspora currently residing in Bend, OR) coiner-of-the-phrase "It rolls good with angry bee sound" (which, let's be frank, Chris King Precision Components has taken to-the-bank as it's now ubiquitous marketing theme), @angrybee Akiyoshi Takamura, has become nothing less than a legit folk hero. By no means "infamous," in our estimation Aki has, instead, become well-respected by handmade bike-builders and riders alike. All who have had the pleasure to know and ride with him have found his knowledge and enthusiasm for small-batch mountain bike sh!t to be deeply sincere, knowledgeable, and endearing.

Since I-don't-know-when, Aki has made an annual trip to ride in Flagstaff and, over the years, has purchased a respectable sampling of North American small-builder bikes to take back to shred in the hills and forests around Osaka, Japan. Sadly, COVID-19 made Aki's trip to the USA impossible for the past two seasons. So everyone that knew him was super stoked when word got around late in the spring of 2023 that Aki would be traveling to northern Arizona once again in the summertime.

While he was here this summer I traded him a custom-made "red Pepsi" Cooziecage in exchange for his Kanji-signature on my first-gen "It rolls good with angry bee sound" T-shirt which now proudly hangs in "the place of honor" (on the wall above my workbench) in my garage.

A few more pictures from Aki's recent visit...

UPDATE: 27 October 2023
I picked up this piece of new “angry bee” swag while I was on the Chris King site researching my original post the other day. Installed it on the Chester. Does what it says on the tin, as the saying goes.

09 October 2023

In Beauty

In beauty I ride
With beauty before me I ride
With beauty behind me I ride
With beauty above me I ride
With beauty around me I ride
It has become beauty again

-- adapted from a Navajo prayer

Swell Trail - 09 October 2023

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Ed Abbey