From nearly the beginning of my blog, I've referred to the guys as Joes. It's made writing easier. I couldn't just make up a name for someone I know, nor could I illustrate the back and forth nature of conversation by writing: this guy said... the other guy fired back with... later that one guy hollered from the back room.... Neither a made-up name nor the term guy captured the person behind the story.
It just made sense to make them Joes. Joe said... JOE fired back with... I heard Joe holler from the back room.... It made them real without divulging identities.
However, and he probably doesn't know it, Shannon over at erratica was the one who inadvertently started the OBJoeS* by calling himself Joe #4 in response to a post I wrote about our meeting at the LBS in March.
Joe was working on his new build, while Joe was installing a new cassette/chain combo...from the other room Joe hollers: see-ya Jeanne.In his reply Shannon, then TGD, signed-off: Joe #4. Which made me laugh, but which also planted the question: who, really then, are Joes #1, #2 and #3? It takes something larger to have a numerical designation. And while there are many significant Joes in my life who will never be classified, this is a bicycle blog: the numerical Joes must have something to do with cycling.
I hear a different JOE: the Old Bag?!
So, the OBJoeS* evolved -- with five Joes so far.
But, a nagging question arose. There are other cycling Joes: Shawn is the second blogger I met, who drove an hour across Phoenix to ride with my crowd while I was there visiting, who lamented with me the changes in the desert landscape. But from the beginning he's always been Shawn. He definitely deserves Joe status, yet a number never stuck. Why not?
It made me realize the Joes, rather than being actual people which they are, mind you, moreso stand for an experience: Joe #4 is the in-the-flesh blogger while TGD will always be Joe #4, Shawn is too. #1 is the rider so smooth he allows me to forget my trappings this one is pretty died-in-the-wool for now. #2 will always be the romantic interest this obviously changes. Joe #3 is the connection beyond the ride we're all potential threes. #5 is the one I'll probably never meet in person, but is a writer I visit regularly and is the one who dared ask to be a Joe or maybe he didn't ask, but he hinted and I offered and it became...ok, so I had a weak moment!
Cycling life wouldn't be the same without the Joes -- or without the Bettys for that matter -- in the same way life wouldn't be as rich without the characters who surround me. Cycling, in whatever form, may be part of my lifestyle but the people make it part of my life.
* Old Bag's Joe System