Year One at Standing Stone: Guest Post by Nick Blakeslee
This week we’re featuring a guest post from Standing Stone server and bartender, Nick Blakeslee. Nick recently hit the one-year mark at Standing Stone and took the time to reflect and jot his thoughts down for all of us to enjoy. Take it away, Nick!
It’s hard to put to words; to encapsulate a 365 day period in single piece of writing. Where do I begin? I have a hard time deciding which moments are most important in regards to working at Standing Stone, because so much has happened in the last year. I suppose I’ll start at the end. I’ll Tarentino it.
Last week, I received my Standing Stone commuter bike. Standing Stone provides a bicycle to all employees who have worked over 1000 hours. Essentially, it’s a way to provide an incentive to employees who bike to work, and it works. My previous bike had kicked the bucket six months prior, and the summer weather was just beginning to show its lovely face. So imagine my excitement when I entered work on a Tuesday afternoon and saw a flashy new bike with my initials decaled on it.
I have never owned a commuter style bike, only road bikes and weird, disheveled, deformed mountain/roadbike hybrids. You know the kind, the one’s you get growing up that only have, like, three and a half working gears, are made of solid steel, and cost your parents like $23 at a garage sale? Well, I was never really known for my growth spurts, or for growing in general really, so my parents were rather efficient with their purchase of bikes for me growing up. I was only given one gear-bike as a child, and I rode that until I was twelve or thirteen, then inherited my sister’s “unisex” bike when I was fifteen. There were very brief moments during that time frame when the bike actually fit me. When I went to college, I borrowed a friend’s bike – a 6’4” friend’s bike. I had to put the seat at its lowest setting, and even then it probably looked like a circus act. After moving to Ashland, I purchased an old-school 1970’s Puegot and rode that around until its untimely demise last winter.
Comfort and size were never on my radar with bikes. I always took what I could and used it. The new commuter I received was the first bike that was my size. It fits me and is built for comfort. I feel like I’m riding around on a luxury vehicle; this thing glides around like butter in a hot frying pan. It’s like a Cadillac Escalade of bikes, really. Like, an Escabike. Or Bike-illac. Or Cadibike-alade. Or maybe Bescalade? Yes, I like that.
Bescalade. Maybe I’ll get that decaled on the side of it.
Furthermore, everyone in Ashland seems to know what it means. Half a dozen people have congratulated me or ogled at it. One person seemed to think that I was paid to ride around on a bike smothered in Standing Stone decals. Not a bad idea, but I don’t think management would go for it.
Regardless, I feel like a sort of minor celebrity – a minor actor – when I ride around; no one huge, like Brad Pitt or Joseph Gordon Levitt, mind you. But rather, a really recognizable extra in a TV series that dies after three episodes, or maybe that one guy that seems to appear in every commercial on a particular day. The celebrity status only seems to add to the Bescalade name.