Adam’s Performance Synapse – Spencer Harding

Adam’s Performance Synapse
Photos by Spencer Harding, words by Spencer Harding and Adam

A little over a year ago Adam sent me a photo of a rigid 26” bike with a Crust Clydesdale cargo fork on it, which he said was his “baja divide rig.” This would be enough to strike fear into the heart of anyone receiving Nicolas’ emails about the Baja Divide Grand Depart exclaiming “MUST HAVE 3 INCH TIRES!”

Nonetheless, he rolled up to the start on that janky Synapse (the name was crossed out and replaced with Deep Search ala The Life Aquatic). Adam being the extremely adaptable trash panda he is, he made it pretty damn far on the Baja Divide with that rig.

When Adam rendezvoused with me out at Slab City straight off the Black Canyon Trail this past February I almost fell over laughing at the rig he had concocted. Though I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, he rode a cross check on the DFL the Divide ride.

The current iteration of his Performance Synapse at least has two of the same size wheels, rocking some very appropriate Kenda K-Rad tires. It sports a 2×8 Huret/Shimano mashup shifted by a hose clamped downtube shifter. Though the front derailleur is just for keeping the chain from dropping, in our 1X future its all about looking like you can shift…This bike is pièce de résistance of bike co-op bin scores held together with 12 hose clamps and countless zip ties. you may also notice the traction pegs on the pedals have been ground down as Adam doesn’t wear shoes.

But enough from me, here is a lil’ something straight from the horse’s mouth;

“Oh my! oh my dearest listener. I am writing to YOU not as the bicycle bag bad-baby that you see gallivanting around the globe upon different catastrophes of conveyance but as a simple, sleepy eastern possum, named Crystal(s), living in its nest-castle, in the corner of a big field, in this wall of sticky sticky sticky June heat, in the most beautiful and illuminated of places ~*~that’s right~*~ central North Carolina farmland. 

Of the cornerstones in Crystal(s) short-but-not-so-SO-short life bicycle travel is a long and unbroken thread, holding dominion. Dominion over Crystal(s) entire possomhood ever since leaving the cuter days of scraggly possum adolescence in the helmet-mounted rear view. From the PHYSICALITY of moving bodies, reminding ourselves that we move (and that we move well!!) to the SOCIAL BEAUTY of actually graceful and kind bike punks helping one another against a most horrible and common enemy, to the social pitfalls of punks (people) in general. From the EMOTIONAL MINEFIELD of really trying hard to exist as a positive snowflake that doesn’t like dealing with the world quite how our possum parents dealt with it, and thereby built it (woopsy!) ~ to the medieval times styled affair that greets you as you enter most bike shops/culture hubs, ie. staged jousting, expense, EXPENSE, hunks of meat, a royalty-serf dichotomy, and lest we forget: you paying people to be mean to you because you don’t know how to do what you’re paying them to do. 

I guess Crystal(s) can be cynical at times. BUT most of the time Crystal(s) feels positive about the way that the Bicycle is surging along in our cities and along the natural corridors of the world. And ALL of the time Crystal(s) really really digs riding bicycles around collecting experiences like their cool-looking rocks. And while Crystal(s) may not be rich in the current physical plane of existence, Crystal(s) did win the privilege lottery by being born looking a certain way. For this reason Crystal(s) generally shy’s away from giving advice on how to bicycle travel cheaply/shittily or whatever, It’s all pretty obvious stuff and plenty of people have written about it, AND it’s all so so particular to Crystal(s) or possums like Crystal(s). But Crystal(s) does want to use this platform. 
“How so?”
Thanks for asking, several reasons. 
The first being the self-aggrandizing glory spot-light stuff, woohoo! I can see my house from this cycling blog!
The next to say that the media that I consumed before taking a very small part in that media itself seemed like such a fairy tale! such uninhibited life! …but ol Crystal(s) over here is still trying to decide if decaf would be better for the afternoons and if fluoride is actually what possum teeth need (it’s still not, it’s still the government inside your brain).
The next, and finally, to say that I think of bikes as TOOLS or TOYS. We are all playing with toys.

So I guess if I had a point in all this coffee induced vibratory blabber-writing it would be that I wish we could all be bit nicer to each other, not give a fuck what bike/scooter/earth board(jk, fuck that) you move around on as long as you do care about the land and people you’re moving around. And please to not take ourselves quite so seriously with all this stuff: We’re just playing with different toys. and toys are fun. and fun is a radical substance that motivates.
Okay, okay.”

All the bags are DFL Stichworks customs made by Adam himself. if you want your bike to look as fly as this, just hit him up, but leave a voicemail as his flip phone’s screen is busted.


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